David Christopher Ott of Viking Global Investors, LLP
April 2014 Hedge Tracker post entitled “Top Connecticut Hedge Funds Surge; Assets up by 7.6%”
In May 2009 it was reported that Vice Chancellor Stephen Lamb entered judgment in favor of defendants Viking Global, Andreas Halvorsen, and David Ott in the lawsuit filed by Brian Olson.
An April 2009 article stated that The New York State Common Retirement Fund had $55 million invested with Viking Global Equities II.
A February 2009 article reported that Viking made a small gain in 2008 despite massive losses across the industry. At the end of 2008, Viking’s net long exposure to the market was only 23 percent with its largest holding being for-profit education company Apollo Group. The company, which runs the University of Phoenix online schools, rose 58 percent since Viking began buying the stock last May.
In February 2009 Viking raised $80 million to launch Viking Long Fund, LP.
In January 2009, it was reported that Viking Global Equities III Ltd., a $6.8 billion hedge fund run by former Tiger Management trader Andreas Halvorsen, lost 2.1% through Dec. 19, 2008.
A December 2008 article reported that Viking Global hedge funds showed very small losses (less than 4 percent) through October and were invested mainly in stocks. Over the first 10 months of 2008, the S&P 500 lost about 35 percent.
In an October 2008 opinion in Olson v. Halvorsen, Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants as to the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim. Other claims and counterclaims in the suit were decided earlier, after a Sept. 8 hearing in the case. According to the complaint, in the summer of 1999, before the launch of the Viking Global Investors hedge funds that are the subject of the suit, founding members Brian T. Olson, Andreas Halvorsen and David Ott agreed to the material terms of a founders’ agreement. It said, among other things, ‘that each would receive a payout of his interest in Viking for a period of time following his death, retirement or other departure from the firm.’ This was referred to as the ‘Founders Earnout.’ The complaint said the earnout entitled each departed founding member or his estate to receive a payout of his interest in Viking over a three- to six-year period. This earnout was only detailed in one unsigned written agreement. Olson argued the unsigned earnout agreement was enforceable, but Lamb ruled it ran afoul of the statute of frauds.
A July 2008 article described the Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc. lawsuit. Viking Global Equities, LP and VGE III Portfolio Ltd. were plaintiffs along with Icahn Partners. In this challenge to a merger consummated in 2005, defendants were entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claim that they breached their duty of disclosure in connection with a proxy solicitation since it was now too late for the court to remedy any disclosure violations. Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. (TKT) and Shire Pharmaceuticals Group merged In July 2005. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs filed appraisal actions. In March 2007, they filed the instant fiduciary duty action. They alleged that voting papers have been lost and that a TKT board member was offered a side deal if he agreed to support the acquisition. In 2005 the same shareholders tried to block the deal, but Shire managed to deflect their lawsuit. The Court of Chancery consolidated both actions. The court granted in favor of the defendants in three out of the four counts. The court denied defendants’ summary judgment motion as it pertained to Count III, the unlawful merger claim. Plaintiffs had demonstrated that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether TKT actually obtained a sufficient number of votes for approval of the merger.
In June 2008 pub group Enterprise Inns dropped 11½ to 432¼p as Viking Global Investors, the US hedge fund run by Andreas Halvorsen, lifted its stake to 6.6pc.
In April 2008 Experian, the credit checking group, strengthened 13½ to 381p as Viking Global Investors, the US hedge fund set up by Andreas Halvorsen, revealed that it had amassed a 4.7pc stake.
In March 2008 it was reported that Viking Global Investors manages $9 billion, up from $6.5 billion in 2006.
In February 2008 it was reported that Viking Global Equities was down 4.7% through Jan. 25, after surging more than 40% in 2007, according to HSBC.
In Alpha’s 2008 hedge fund rankings, Viking was ranked #70 in the world.
In June 2007 shareholder Viking Global Performance LLC said it has generally been pleased with LandAmerica Financial Group Inc’s management performance but said the company should consider a sale to further improve value for shareholders.
A January 2007 article stated that Viking Global Investors was a part of an ACC Bondholder Group in Adelphia Communications Corp’s Chapter 11 filing that alleged in its appeal motion that certain creditor classes had no accepting votes and that it was denied due process.
In January 2006, Brian Olson, one of the $5.3 billion hedge fund’s founding partners, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the hedge fund and his co-founders, Halverson and David Ott. In a Jan. 13 letter Viking informed its investors of the lawsuit, which it said is “without merit.” There are conflicting reasons why Olson left Greenwich, CT-based Viking last May. Olson says he was fired, while Viking called his separation a voluntary leave of absence. Viking’s letter to investors said the firm made a “significant effort to part ways amicably.” Hedge Fund Alert suggests that the Olson’s real beef might be that he wasn’t fairly compensated for his stake in the partnership, believed to be 25%. Halverson and Ott reportedly own 50% and 25%, respectively.
One article stated that Andreas Halvorsen, David Ott, and Brian Olson, who were all previously employees of Tiger Management, founded Viking Global. Viking Global has become well known for extreme secretiveness as well as achieving superior returns. The three left Tiger Management in 1999, just over a year before the firm imploded.
In 2004, the Viking Global Equities Fund earned 7.6 percent for the year. This trailed many competitors and was disappointing considering the fund had averaged annual returns of about 25% since 1999.
In 2003, Viking Global moved from its Park Avenue, New York City address to new offices in Greenwich, CT. The new office in Greenwich is 36,000 square feet.
In April of 2001, there was an article written on John Fredriksen, a Norwegian businessman who rose up from nowhere to control the largest fleet of oil tankers in the world. He has been known for drinking binges and aggressive takeovers. He was even jailed in 1987 over charges that he used crude cargo to fuel his oil tankers. Since then he has been building an oil tanker empire. Viking Global was listed as one of the investors that have backed Fredriksen.
In July of 2001, Viking Global Investors recruited Bear Stearns senior managing director Philip Egan as the COO.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an article was published stating that many hedge funds had profited from the attack. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Equities III was one fund that made a lot of money since they had been shorting many different US stocks.
One investor claimed that the success of Viking could be traced back to the fact that “their core strength is that they’re fantastic business analysts.”
In 2000, Viking’s $2 billion fund was up 89% last year after fees. This was considered very good considering 2000 was a dismal year for the stock market.
In a 1997 article, David Ott of Tiger Management was listed as one of thirty “best of buy-side analysts in the US” by Institutional Investor magazine. This was for his performance in 1996.
In a 1994 article, David Ott of Massachusetts Financial Services was listed as a panelist in the TWST Roundtable on Home Improvement Chains.