Hedge Fund News: Andreas Halvorsen, George Soros, Raj Rajaratnam

SOROS FUND MANAGEMENTFSA fines hedge fund boss £3 mln (Reuters)
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned Alberto Micalizzi, whose hedge fund racked up hundreds of millions of dollars of losses in the credit crisis, and handed him a record fine for an individual in a non-market abuse case. The Italian chief executive of London-based Dynamic Decisions Capital Management was not “fit and proper” to perform any role in regulated financial services, the regulator said on Tuesday.

Miami Hedge Fund Misled Clients About Managers’ Stake, SEC Says (Bloomberg)
A Miami-based hedge fund and two of its executives agreed to pay almost $3 million to resolve U.S. regulatory claims that they deceived investors about their own stake in the fund and failed to disclose conflicts of interest. Quantek Asset Management LLC falsely represented that it had “skin in the game” along with investors in a $1 billion Latin America-focused hedge fund from 2006 to 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said today in an administrative order. Quantek, which made the claims in due diligence questionnaires and so-called side-letter agreements, also didn’t properly disclose loans to one of the executives and its former parent company, Bulltick Capital Markets Holdings LP, the SEC said.

Hedge fund opens Swiss office to lure scientific talent (Marketwatch)
Money talks and scientists walk. At least that’s what Winton Capital Management appears to be hoping for as the hedge fund, with its $29 billion in assets, opens a new office this summer in Zurich, Switzerland, a city known for its scientific pedigree. It’s also not too far from the Geneva-based European Organization for Nuclear Research. “Zurich lies at the center of German-speaking Europe,” founding physicist and investment manger David Harding said. “It is a big academic center, home to the ETH and the University of Zurich, which both have a global reputation to rival that of Cambridge and the top American universities as well as being a major research hub for several of the largest U.S. data companies.”

Hedge Fund Manager’s $710,000 Vegas Score (WSJ)
Most attendees of a three-day hedge-fund conference in Las Vegas earlier this month left with a canvas tote bag, some free pens and a stack of business cards. One left with $710,000 in blackjack winnings. Michael Geismar, who co-founded $4.6 billion managed futures firm Quantitative Investment Management, turned $300 and a $10,000 line of credit at the Bellagio into $470,000 in a six-hour stretch that began on a Tuesday night, the trade publication AR Magazine reported last week.

Hedge funds bet wrong on wheat, right on copper (Reuters)
Hedge funds and other money managers betting on a continued rally in U.S. wheat from dry weather bought close to $2 billion (1.3 billion pounds) worth of contracts in the grain over a week before the market’s tumble three days ago, trade data on Friday showed. In copper, fund managers dumped nearly $670 million worth of long positions just before the metal suffered its sharpest price drop in over a week, the data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

JPMorgan’s top hedge fund liaison out (CNN)
There are more changes afoot at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and this time, they are spreading beyond the bank’s chief investment office, the unit responsible for a multi-billion dollar loss. Lou Lebedin, the head of JPMorgan’s prime brokerage unit, is out, according to a source close to the company. The prime brokerage unit executes and clears trades for hedge fund clients. JPMorgan is one of the giants in the space. JPMorgan declined to comment. Lou Lebedin did not return a call for further comment.

Asia hedge fund start-up Expedition hires ex-Sparx Bahra (Reuters)
Hong Kong-based hedge fund startup Expedition Advisors has hired Kam Bahra, former chief executive of Sparx Asia Investment Advisors, as chief operating officer, a top executive at the firm said on Tuesday. Craig James, Expedition’s founder and former head of Asian trading at New York-based hedge fund AM Investment Partners, confirmed the hire to Reuters.

Twitter Hedge Fund Goes Silent (Finalternatives)
The world’s first Twitter-based hedge fund has tweeted its last—and quietly, at that. Derwent Capital Markets shut its much-ballyhooed $100 million hedge fund after just one month last year. The London-based firm said its proprietary trading model analysed the use of “calm” words on the social networking system to predict movements in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with 87.6% accuracy.

Segantii wins Best Asian Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund and Best Asian Hedge Fund Awards (Hedgeco)
The Asian Hedge Fund Awards 2012 took place on 25th May 2012, marking another year of success as Eurekahedge celebrated the best of the Asian hedge fund industry. With 320 hedge fund players in attendance, Eurekahedge gave credit to the top achievers of 2011 and 1Q 2012 and were pleased to welcome many new faces among this year’s event.

Hedge-fund firm AAM to diversify as it eyes top tier (Businessday)
COMMODITY specialist Armajaro Asset Management aims to join the top tier of European hedge fund firms by diversifying further into equities and doubling its portfolio of funds over the next seven years, ahead of a possible flotation. CE Harry Morley said yesterday that an initial step would be the launch this year of a global financials hedge fund. The new long/short financials fund would be its first pure equities product, complementing its emerging markets fund, which invests in equities and bonds.

Hedge funds get into 30-yr treasuries (Opalesque)
Hedge funds are aggressively buying 30-yr T-bonds futures by ~500% to $7.2bn notional up from $1.2bn notional last week according to a new report from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. Funds are favoring longer duration treasuries opting to cover their shorts in 10-yrs and sell out of 2-yrs, according to Mary Ann Bartels, lead hedge fund analyst at BofA Merrill Lynch. Long/Short hedge funds switched to growth and small cap tilt from neutral, while neutralizing quality preference. It’s the first time that Long/Short funds have favored small cap since February. They also sold NASDAQ 100 exposure to a slight net short. The investable hedge fund composite index was down 1.34% month-to-date (MTD) as of May 23, compared to down 5.65% for the S&P 500.

Here’s What This Big Hedge Fund Company Is Buying (Dailyfinance)
Every quarter many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks. Today let’s look at Viking Global Investors, founded in 1999 by Andreas Halvorsen and David Ott, who had previously worked together at Julian Robertson’s respected Tiger Management firm. Viking is known as a long-short global equity fund, meaning that it aims to maintain long positions in companies on which it’s bullish, and short positions in those where it’s bearish.

Busson Said To Weigh EIM Sale As Fund-Of-Funds Struggles (Bloomberg)
Arpad Busson, who rode a global boom in hedge funds to become one of the biggest investors in the industry before the 2008 financial crisis, has held talks to sell his EIM SA fund-of-funds firm after assets shrank, four people with knowledge of the matter said. Executives at EIM are discussing a sale to another asset manager because the amount the firm manages has dwindled by more than 50 percent from a peak of more than $14 billion before the crisis, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. With fees for managing client money falling, EIM is finding it harder to profit from a business that still employs more than 100 people and has offices in cities including London, New York and Paris, the people said.

Brevan Howard’s Mesquita Said To Leave Strategy Job (Bloomberg)
Mario Mesquita, Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP’s chief strategist for Latin America, left the hedge fund, said a person with knowledge of his departure who asked to remain anonymous because the matter is private. Mesquita, a former Brazilian central bank director, ran Brevan Howard’s office in Sao Paulo. The firm, which oversees $36 billion globally, hired Jose Oswaldo Monforte from Banco BTG Pactual SA this month to be an emerging-markets trader.

Gupta lawyer implies others leaked on P&G (Reuters)
A number of people other than Rajat Gupta could have leaked confidential information about Procter & Gamble Co’s sale of its Folgers coffee unit in 2008, Gupta’s lawyer implied to the jury at his insider-trading trial on Tuesday. Gupta, a former director at P&G and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, is accused in U.S. District Court in Manhattan of telling now-imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam about the $3 billion Folgers sale to J.M. Smucker & Co before it was publicly announced on June 4, 2008.

Egypt’s OCI says to get $605 mln from Gavilon sale (Reuters)
Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) said on Tuesday it would earn $605 million from the sale of its 16.8 pct stake in U.S. grains merchant Gavilon to Japanese trading house Marubeni. The deal is part of a $3.6 billion takeover by Marubeni of Gavilon, whose other owners include billionaire investor George Soros and hedge fund manager Dwight Anderson.

TrimTabs and Informa report managed accounts had net inflows of just $34.9bn in first quarter (Opalesque)
TrimTabs Investment Research and Informa Investment Solutions Plan Sponsor Network said that separately managed accounts received estimated net inflows of $34 billion in this year’s first quarter, reversing outflows of $104.6 billion in the last two quarters of 2011. “Separate accounts investing in bonds and foreign equities attracted $59 billion and $16 billion, respectively, in the quarter. In contrast, $48.5 billion flowed out of U.S. equity separate accounts in the same period.” said Minyi Chen, vice president and head of TrimTabs research.

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