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Hedge Fund News: David Einhorn, Paul Singer, The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX)

GREENLIGHT CAPITALIn A Few Weeks, Bill Ackman And David Einhorn Will Judge Your Best Investment Idea (Business Insider)
The high-profile hedge fund industry event brings together some of the top fund managers to present their investment views and picks. Business Insider will be there covering it. Another key part of the Ira Sohn conference is the annual investment contest for people to submit their best long or short investment ideas. The contest is judged by some of the industry’s biggest names — Bill Ackman, David Einhorn, Seth Klarman, Michael Prince and Joel Greenblatt.

Hedge fund manager’s beautiful personal assistant avoids jail as she admits stealing almost $1m from him in credit card spree (Mail Online)
After over a year of denials, Renata Shamrakova, the pretty personal assistant of hedge fund manager Todd Meister admitted she did steal nearly $1 million while working for him. The glamorous 28-year-old had maintained since her February, 2012 arrest that all the money she illegally spent was gifted from Meister, but in court on Monday she finally came clean to avoid a 15-year prison term. Admitting identity fraud, Shamrakova escaped any time in jail by promising to pay back $821,000 to Meister within the next two years – although her parents have had to sell their upstate New York home to finance this.

Blackstone, KKR Raise Billions on Sale of Junk-Loan Funds (Bloomberg)
Sales of junk-rated debt funds known as non-traded business-development companies doubled to a record $2.8 billion last year, according to estimates by MTS Research Advisors, a Gilbert, Arizona-based consulting firm. Franklin Square Capital Partners, the Philadelphia firm that created the securities about four years ago, said it took in $134 million of revenue last year, much of that passed on to The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), which picks the loans and manages the portfolios. The funds take investor money and lend it to companies including private-equity owned BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. (BJ) and Safariland LLC, a maker of police gear. The investments are luring individuals with annual payouts of about 8 percent and access to managers including The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) and KKR & Co. (KKR)

Cyprus worries may boost hedge fund exit requests (Reuters)
Client demands to pull money out of hedge funds may rise further from a three-month high in March as investors grow nervous over Cyprus’s debt crisis, said hedge fund administrator SS&C GlobeOp. SS&C GlobeOp’s Forward Redemption Indicator (FRI), a monthly snapshot of clients giving notice to withdraw their cash as a percentage of assets under administration, measured 4.33 percent in March.

Hedge fund Greylock cuts back Cyprus bond bet (Financial Mirror)
New York-based hedge fund Greylock Capital has sold most of its Cypriot government bond holdings and may dump the rest, its founder said on Wednesday, as the state of talks between the island and its creditors heighten the risk it will default. Greylock, well-known for a history of building up positions in risky sovereign bond markets such as Greece and Argentina, has cut its bet on Cyprus by about 75% over the past two weeks, Hans Humes said.

Paul Singer Ups Short In FirstGroup After Roaches Swarm Greyhound (ValueWalk)
It seems like the infamous cockroach army that swarmed a Greyhound bus in New York had a particular effect not only on the horrified bus riders but also on Paul Singer, the hedge fund titan. Paul Singer’s Elliott Management increased its short in FirstGroup plc from 1.4 to 1.96 percent on March 18, right after cockroaches rode freely and happily from Atlantic City to New York. Greyhound is a division of FirstGroup plc that operates in Canada and U.S. FirstGroup plc is down 4 percent YTD.

California hedge fund manager agrees USD1.8m settlement in Galleon-related insider trading case (HedgeWeek)
The Honourable Jed S Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has entered a final judgment approving a USD1.8m settlement between the SEC and hedge fund manager Douglas F Whitman and his firm Whitman Capital in a case that arose from the SEC’s investigation of widespread insider trading perpetrated by Raj Rajaratnam of Gallon Management and other hedge fund managers. In its February 2012 action, SEC v Douglas F Whitman et al, the SEC alleged that Whitman and Whitman Capital illegally traded based on material non-public information obtained from Rajaratnam associate Roomy Khan, who was Whitman’s friend and neighbour.

Exclusive: Buyout firms team up to take BMC Software private – sources (Reuters)
Private equity firms are joining forces in the auction of BMC Software Inc, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, making it more likely that the business software maker will be taken private in a deal that would top $6 billion. KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital LP have formed a consortium, the people said on condition of anonymity because the process is confidential. Bain Capital LLC and Golden Gate Capital have separately also teamed up for the auction, the people added.

Green Mountain wins dismissal of shareholder lawsuit (Reuters)
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc has won the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of making misleading statements to investors that ultimately resulted in a financial restatement and a regulatory inquiry. U.S. District Judge William Sessions in Burlington, Vermont, on Wednesday said investors fell short of making allegations to support a strong inference that the K-Cup manufacturer deliberately sought to mislead investors.

Pensions Funds Account For 8% of Hedge Fund Investor Base (ValueWalk)
A Manager Snapshot Survey conducted by Infovest21 found that a typical hedge fund has an average of 110 investors. And a whopping 54 percent of those investors are family offices/high net worth individuals. Financial institutions like banks and insurance companies account for 11 percent of an average hedge fund organization’s investor base, while fund of funds account for 13 percent. Pension funds contribute about 8 percent while sovereign wealth funds and foundations represent about 3 percent each. The percentage distribution among all the funds including, private capital, pension funds and endowments declined from previous levels. Infovest21 president Lois Peltz said after the survey that hedge funds expect the share of family offices to fall to 49 percent of their investor base by the next year.

Hedge funds raise bets against Hungary bonds (Reuters)
Some hedge funds have begun quietly increasing their bets against Hungarian sovereign bonds in the belief that the yields don’t properly reflect the country’s political and economic outlook. The amount of Hungarian sovereign bonds out on loan – an indicator of short-selling by funds anticipating a drop in price – has risen sharply in recent weeks, data shows, while short interest in some other leading east European economies has fallen.

U.S. Credit Swaps Rise; Corrections Corp. Plans to Issue Bonds (Bloomberg)
The Markit CDX North American Investment Grade Index, a credit-default swaps benchmark that investors use to hedge against losses or to speculate on creditworthiness, added 0.8 basis point to a mid-price of 90 basis points at 11:24 a.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. Traders moved into a new version of the measure, Series 20, yesterday. “We have an economic recovery going on, but it’s very tepid,” Robert Grimm, head of corporate trading at Odeon Capital Group LLC, said in a telephone interview from Greenwich, Connecticut. “We can’t afford any disruptions, and if this Cyprus thing blows up in Europe, it’s a disruption that’s going to hurt us.”

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