Atticus Capital (Timothy Barakett) Files 13G on Transatlantic Holdings (TRH) ~ market folly

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Atticus Capital (Timothy Barakett) Files 13G on Transatlantic Holdings (TRH)

In a 13G filed with the SEC yesterday, hedge fund Atticus Capital has disclosed a 5.6% ownership stake in Transatlantic Holdings (TRH) due to activity on June 8th, 2009. They now hold 3,689,600 shares. This is a brand new position for them, as we previously did not see it in their portfolio per their 13F filing. Timothy Barakett's hedge fund has been on a rollercoaster ride lately, to say the least. And it finally appears that they are getting back to business and establishing positions. When we checked their entire portfolio out last week, we saw that they only held 5 positions as of March 31st, 2009. So, this TRH position is a new addition for them.

Atticus had a rough year last year, as they were subject to liquidation rumors (which were later proven untrue) amidst poor performance. They were ranked #2 on the Top 10 Asset Losers for 2008 in hedge fund land. As such, their portfolio has been all over the place, loading up on options positions one quarter and then just recently only reporting 5 material long equity positions. So, this stake in TRH makes it seem like they are ready to get back to investing after stabilizing their ship.

Background on Atticus: Barakett received both his BA in Economics and his MBA from Harvard. Its very evident that Barakett employs macro based investment theses. Once he has decided on what the trend is, he will find the best company within that trend and he will place a big bet. And, when needed, he will step in and take an activist role, ensuring the company is performing to his liking. A fun fact about Barakett is that he was a Harvard hockey teammates with Philip Falcone of Harbinger Capital Partners, whom we also cover. Check back each day as we cover a new hedge fund in our portfolio tracking series.

Taken from Google Finance,

Transatlantic Holdings "conducts its operations principally through its three operating subsidiaries: Transatlantic Reinsurance Company (TRC), Trans Re Zurich (TRZ) and Putnam Reinsurance Company (Putnam). The Company offers reinsurance capacity for a range of property and casualty products on both a treaty and facultative basis. These products are offered directly and through brokers, to insurance and reinsurance companies, in both the domestic and international markets."

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