Activist Barington Fund Adds 15% In January

Feb 14 2012 | 10:37am ET

Barington Companies Equities Partners, a value-driven activist hedge fund helmed by James Mitarotonda, gained 15.14% in January.

The results, provided to FINalternatives by a source familiar with the matter, seem to indicate a return to form for the fund, which ended 2011 down 4.98% after returning almost 30% in 2010 and over 50% in 2009. They also put the activist hedge fund well above of the average hedge fund for the month—the Hennessee Group’s composite index of hedge fund performance gained 2.5% in January.

Founded in 2000 by Mitarotonda, the chairman, president and CEO of New York’s Barington Capital Group, Barington Companies Equities Partners has invested in firms including Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack, Steve Madden, Dillards, Nautica and Ameron International.

Barington was involved in a bitter proxy battle with Ameron last year, which ended in Mitarotonda’s being elected to the company board. Mitarotonda had been highly critical of Ameron chairman and CEO James Marlen, whom he pushed to reduce expenses and cut executive pay, among other stock-price-friendly measures.

Minimum investment for the Barington Companies Equities Partners fund is $500,000 and fees are 2% and 20%.

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