Dan Loeb Stands Up to Teachers Union
Kudos to Dan Loeb for standing by his principles and standing up to bullying by the teachers union:
Daniel Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, is escalating a battle between hedge-fund managers and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten over public-worker pensions.
Loeb, who manages $13.6 billion, had fellow hedge-fund chiefs Paul Tudor Jones, David Tepper and Paul Singer applauding in the ballroom of Manhattan’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel last month as he donated an extra $1 million to a group of charter schools to show his opposition to the head of the second-biggest U.S. teachers union.
In April, the union included the four billionaires on its “watch list” of money managers that support groups the labor organization said are hostile to traditional public pensions. The groups included StudentsFirst, an organization that backs eliminating tenure and funding charter schools at the same level as public ones.
“Some of you in this room have come under attack for supporting charter-school education reform and freedom in general,” Loeb told the audience. To show opposition to Weingarten, the “leader of this attack,” Loeb, 51, boosted his pledge to the nonprofit Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, where he’s a director, to $3 million from $2 million.
States and municipalities seeking to boost returns for their retirement funds have invested billions of dollars with hedge funds. The AFT wants pension trustees to consider fund managers’ ties to groups that oppose defined-benefit retirement systems as a reason when hiring or firing them. Critics say that threatens the managers’ livelihoods.