More than 1,000 hedge fund managers gathered at Lincoln Center today for the Ira W. Sohn Investment Research Conference, an event that raises money for charity as well as gives other members of the industry a chance to gleam investment recommendations from some of the brightest financial geniuses around. (Those who paid the $3,000-per-person fee this year were treated to talks by the likes of Jim Chanos, Mark Kingdon, Stephen Mandel, Peter Schiff, and Peter Thiel.) Last year's conference was a particularly dramatic affair. David Einhorn, the founder of Greenlight Capital, used the event as an opportunity to explain why Lehman Brothers was headed off a cliff. Those who heeded Einhorn's advice did well for themselves, of course: The bank went bust just four months later. Einhorn spoke at the annual confab once again today, although it's too soon to know if the poker-loving hedge fund manager took aim at another financial firm this time around. In the meantime, though, Einhorn's lawyers seem to have done just that. They've been busy trying to crush the other Greenlight Capital.
On Friday, Einhorn's firm, Greenlight Capital, Inc., filed a lawsuit against a company called GreenLight Fee Only Advisors, LLC. Naturally, the other Greenlight, which bills itself as "one of the nation's premier fee-only investment advisory and financial planning firms" and is "conveniently located on the west side of Evanston [Illinois]" has nothing to do with the mega-fund that brought Lehman to its knees. And Einhorn's Greenlight Capital has a trademark on the name, which is why the hedge fund instructed the Illinois-based firm to knock it off back in January. The firm refused to give in, though, so Einhorn is now suing the company for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, trademark counterfeiting, and unfair competition, among other things.
Einhorn is asking that a judge to force the Illinois-based GreenLight to change its name. He's also asking that the firm be required to turn over any profits it has derived from its allegedly illegal use of the Greenlight name. So, you know, if Einhorn's multi-billion bets don't pan out this year, there's always the possibility that a two-bit firm operated by a guy in suburban Chicago named Sid Blum may make up for it. The lawsuit is below.
Hedge-Fund Titans Hear Chanos, Einhorn, Raise Funds for Cancer [Bloomberg]
The Confidence Man [New York Magazine]