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Monday, April 11, 2011

Hollywood Entices a Mutual Fund Star

News summary by MFWire's editors

The former chief of the Prudent Bear funds is putting his fortune to use in a different industry: Hollywood. David Tice left Federated Investors [see profile] in December plowed $10 million into the new movie Soul Surfer [see IMDB], which opened on Friday and stars AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Underwood. And Tice set up his own film production company, Enticing Entertainment. Watch for him to fund more movies in the near future.

Bloomberg's Ronald Grover reported on the news and offers insight into how Tice got into the movie-making business. Tice sold his firm to Federated in 2008 for up to $143 million.

"I'm not much of a venture capitalist," Tice told Bloomberg. "I've always thought that anything that is cool enough to talk about at a cocktail party is a bad investment."

The movie, which cost $15 million to make, reportedly brought in $11.1 million in North America this weekend, finishing at number four in the box office. (Reuters claims Soul Surfer "exceeded expectations" in ticket sales.) The film tells the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a Hawaiian surfing star who came back to the sport after losing her left arm to a shark. Tice is listed as executive producer for the film.

Meghan McAndrew, a spokeswoman for Federated, confirmed that the Pittsburgh-based mutual fund firm "will continue to maintain a consulting relationship with him [Tice] so he can present his bearish view on the market at client events." Tice's official consulting role is "bear market strategist".

Tice says his movie-making isn't just a one-time gig. Yet he declined to give Bloomberg any hints as to what movie he'll work on next.

"I will be very judicious and I probably won't ever take as big of a chance as I did with this one," Tice said prior to the film's release on Friday. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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