How Activist Investor Paul Singer Made His Billions


Billionaire activist investor Paul Singer
has been called “The Vulture Lord” and a “bloodsucker” by the former Argentine
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner He’s also been labelled a “raider” and
a “profiteer.” He’s feared the world over for hostile
boardroom takeovers and profiting from debt-laden countries. He’s so powerful, he brought Argentina to
its knees and set off a chain of events that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s
president in 2017. Reviled by some, admired by others, he’s
also been described as a “guru” and “one of the most revered” hedge fund managers on
Wall Street. “If someone had invested with you at the
beginning, what kind of rate of return would they have compounded over forty years?” “1 dollar became, like, 160-165 dollars…” “When Paul Singer talks, people tend to
listen” In the world of finance, Singer is recognized
as one of the most famous “Activist Investors”. Once known unflatteringly as “Corporate
Raiders”, think merciless money-makers like Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko “Greed, is good” Typically they used junk bonds
to buy stakes in companies and then leveraged their positions on boards to boost undervalued
stock and oust management. “You either do it right, or you get eliminated” They might have evolved since Gordon Gekko’s
day, but the way activists operate is still contentious. Scott Deveau is Bloomberg’s shareholder
activist reporter. Activism is doing all that work to assess
value and then taking steps to impact the direction
of the company. Singer’s fund – Elliott Management, Elliott
is his middle name – has a tough and brutal reputation. When it invests in a company and an executive isn’t
on board with their plans, they’re a target. “Activist investor Paul Singer takes another
shot at Samsung’s Lee family” Jay Y. Lee, the Vice Chairman of Samsung was jailed after he bribed another investor to vote against Singer. Former Arconic CEO Klaus Kleinfeld resigned when he lost his cool with Singer during a proxy fight for control of the company. And more recently, Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish got the axe after resisting Elliott’s restructuring plans. The list goes on. It’s fair to say Singer makes execs nervous. While he’s been condemned for allegedly
employing bullying tactics, Singer doesn’t very about his reputation. He sees it as a selling point for his investors. “It’s good when a corporate executive listens
with the understanding that we are real.” Shareholders are equally relaxed. When Singer’s
company buys stock, his reputation can often be enough to raise the price. But he wasn’t always successful. As a young man Singer started to play the
stock market with his father and learnt quickly. “He and I found just about every possible
way conceivable to lose money, so when I started Elliott I was determined to engage in a trading strategy that made money all the time.” He started Elliott Management in 1977 after
a stint as a real estate lawyer. His legal background would become invaluable
though as he forged a path toward activism. By the 1980s his fund started buying distressed
debt from companies in, or on the verge of, bankruptcy. By the mid nineties Singer’s fund began
buying something different – sovereign debt. He made millions extracting payments from
Peru and later, the Republic of Congo. But Argentina would become the one that made him respected – and despised – around the world. “New York billionaire Paul SInger is Argentina’s
public enemy number one” The UN had to intervene and the Libertad
was eventually released a few months later. After fifteen long years of legal battles
the country agreed to pay up. Critics condemned Singer’s targeting of
a weak country as immoral — half the population was living in poverty after the country’s
default in 2001 — But Singer saw it differently… He laid the
blame at corrupt officials. Undeterred, Singer and his hedge fund went
on to raise more than five billion dollars in just 24 hours in May 2017 – The fund is now worth an estimated $35 billion. In the first half of 2018 Elliott initiated
17 activist campaigns, vastly outnumbering the competition. Paul Singer still has plenty of appetite for
activism if he sees value in a company.

83 comments

Why do you people waste your time worrying about these people with lots of money… Money only has power over people because they are lazy and STUPID!! Guess it's not actually their fault since they are BORN domesticated helpless human beings who then get BRAINWASHED about the right and wrong way to obtain money…
Forget this video!! Look out your window… See plants and trees? What happens if you eat those leaves on that plant? Don't know what kind it is or its use or value? FIND OUT!! Take a fucking picture and research a little… Will those leaves poison you or sustain your body with what it needs to live!? No one will fight you to the death over that plant when they are TOO STUPID to know it's value… It doesn't know what country it is growing in and birds don't get visas to fly south for the winter… The "store" called nature is open 24/7 and does NOT require money for you to access what is there!!! BUT! BUT! It does require KNOWLEDGE!! If all you know is your money and the store and you consider it progress when you get more money so you can go more store – if all you know is money and the store you will die quickly if you are stuck in nature without any knowledge of it… You want to join in the public lynching of these people because of these stories that may or may not be true?? Which STUPID war would you like to die in next so the elite can continue controlling you!!? Just like domesticated humans, the more money (permission slips) they get the better their life in captivity is… In nature, the more knowledge of nature you have, the better and easier your life living in nature will be… GET SOME FUCKING DIRECT KNOWLEDGE!!!

I'm 3:05 into this now… This is like watching a dog chasing his tale… It's called human nature… Various personalities will mingle and these things will ALWAYS happen… You will NEVER fix it because to fix it requires a change in the facts of human nature!!! No shit Sherlock!! You mean they are not good little boys and girls doing what's right with humanity!?
After learning what he did in Argentina I think he is insane… He already has billions of dollars… Did he discover how to obtain eternal life or something? Tic Tock tic tock… The only thing of "value" he really has is the time he has left to live his life until old age or something kills him – like all the rest of us… The only reason his mental illness effect you all is because EVERYONE fails to understand the value of money… It is NOT knowledge… Everything you buy with it became available for you to buy because of someone else's knowledge…ONLY knowledge has value… Money is only the amount of permission slips you have to access the system – the system of knowledge (the collective knowledge)…

The New Yorker published and incredible piece on singer. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjUybnMjK_fAhWK34MKHQESBF4QzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2018%2F08%2F27%2Fpaul-singer-doomsday-investor&psig=AOvVaw3zRSGbhDI71tbpnBvNKTR7&ust=1545419014662748

The guy sends out people to collect military vessels when bond payments are missed

People may think I'm crazy but I swear I met Paul Singer in Brookline, Massachusetts outside of Prairie Fire on Harvard St. three years ago.

Reminds me of when I buy high-risk credits on P2P platforms. Except the overall profit margin is maybe 10% per year, if you're lucky.

Not many guys can say that they fought entire countries to the point they give you everything you demanded, without the use of military or terrorism etc.

He sounds like a corporate raider (buy, breakup and sell, for profit) and not an activist (I can run this company better than y'all can)….. In the movie, Wall Street, Gekko was a raider whereas Sir Wildman was an activist.

one thing u cud do from next time is stop using different names for the same person through out the vid. You end up confusing losing catch if what is important…

The bonds he purchase in Peru were not going to be paid by the government, selling is the only way to get some money back. Those bonds still haven’t being paid.

Actually, Paul Singer had negligible effect on South Korea's impeachment of its former President Park Geun Hye. But Bloomberg does like to create fervor and image-making for the people it interviews, so this is not a surprise.

Samsun's Lee Jay Young wasn't arrested at anything that had to do with financial corruption or complaints from Singer; it was due to his deals with Park Geun Hye.

Causation is NOT correlation; Bloomberg's logic in this case is basically the same as me arguing that because Trump refused to prevent the government shutdown after I said Trump is going to do something stupid that hurts America. Sure, I'm not wrong, but I didn't actually influence Trump to do anything.

Singer is most certainly influential in the politics of certain countries he targets, but his effects are limited to countries with unstable finances, like Argentina. There's very little mention of Singer's feud with South Korea companies like Samsung in Korean politics, because the conglomerates like Samsung are usually able to stonewall Singers' attempts to increase shareholder influence/profits. And as for impeaching Park, virtually all of the evidence and focus came from insider leaks about Park's corruption activities, and had nothing related to do with Singer.

If anything, Paul Singer's history shows that you can only make so much money from targeting weak vulnerabilities in business, countries, and so forth. The real money is to be had from overall economic growth, like macroeconomic fundamental investing (like Buffett) or just outright owning the industries using the government (like Chinese Communist Party members).

Singer is only worth about 3 billion USD. Above him, many people on the billionaire list are people who focus on net wealth creation (whether its the Walmart family or Buffet) or people involved with state-level corruption (like Putin and his cronies).

Jay Y. Lee ( the Y isn't really a middle name, but whatever) is still the vice chairman of Samsung. The most powerful family in Korea isn't that easily imprisoned 🙂

In Argentina they colluted Argentina's government, Mauricio Macri. This allowed Macri to become president. That is not smart, that's a fraud

So he became rich by putting millions of people in Argentina into poverty. Zero respect. He should be ashamed and condemned for his actions!

These are the same way Dan Bilzerian's dad made all his money and actually went to jail for it. Oh, and Dan made all his money from poker.

Well '. I think it's fair that when you borrow someone's money and not responsible for paying off that debt is a bigger issue here

after this fucker claimed the fault of poverty down here came from rotten local politicians and bad politics the former government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner went downwards in every poll and the Media echoed this, eventually focusing the people's atention into one "new" candidate… a local fucker, a Singer's huge fan, whoms now the actual president of the Argentinian Fucking Republic… Paul Singer is a genius, certainly… I still hate him, but he's definitely a genius, and my country is still paying for his financial crimes

This guy seems to be morally questionable. I think bullies like him shouldn't be praised. 🙁 Sad that people aspire to this kind of humanist failure.

Somehow every profit his investments are producing are directly linked to his individual persona, whereas all his moral incompetences are explained as failures of systems he does not interfere with (Argentina).

That sounds a lot of BS to me. A system which concentrates so much money and power where the morally corrupt are and brings dept to so many, who are not at fault is really sad. 🙁

There's many like him but the truth is that they are all literally one heart attack or stroke away from kabbbboooooooom !!

I raised 185 million in 1yr for my hedge fund. We are now worth about 1 billion but this man knows exactly how the system works.

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