Audacious BlackRock challenge is Bluebell's David vs Goliath playbook

By Simon Jessop, Nell Mackenzie and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bluebell Capital Partners' attempt to oust BlackRock Inc CEO Larry Fink represents the small activist hedge fund's boldest bet that its punch-above-weight strategy could deliver a financial win, though its push for changes faces long odds.

In the three years since its launch, Bluebell has challenged the policies and executives of some of the world's biggest companies, including GSK Plc, Glencore Plc, Vivendi SE and Danone SA, while owning very small stakes.

The major prize Bluebell has so far scored was at Danone, where it helped oust a chief executive. It also scored plenty of media coverage for taking on big companies while managing only $250 million in assets.

Yet even when Bluebell could not claim victory, the related investments more often than not boosted its profits; its Bluebell Active Equity Fund has returned 21.3% since inception and was up around 2% for the year in November.