Paulson Apologizes, Capital One Axes Hedge Fund, Hawkins Ups $TXI

John Paulson Apologizes to Investors for ‘Worst’ Year (CNBC)

Hedge fund legend John Paulson apologized to investors for what he is calling a year that has been “the worst in the firm’s 17 year history.” “We are disappointed and apologize,” the Paulson Funds said in a letter to investors obtained by CNBC. Paulson’s funds stumbled significantly this year. The Paulson Advantage fund was down 32.57 percent for the year. The Advantage Fund Plus, a leveraged version of the Advantage fund, was down 45.35 percent. That represents a slight recovery from an earlier reported decline of 47 during the first nine months of the year.

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Capital One to Ditch Hedge Fund, Private Equity Investments (FINAlternatives)
Capital One Financial isn’t sweating the Volcker rule. The bank will sell or restructure some $150 million in hedge fund and private equity investments to come into compliance with the new regulation, which will severely restrict banks from investing in or owning alternative investment funds. Unlike many banks, McLean, Va.-based Capital One doesn’t have specialist hedge fund or private equity units. The $150 million in investments came through acquisitions of other lenders. In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in July, made public yesterday, Capital One said that complying with the Volcker rule will not have a “material affect.”

Rajaratnam: Wiretap Questions Should Keep Me Out Of Jail (FINAlternatives)

As expected, Raj Rajaratnam‘s appeal of his insider-trading conviction will focus on the most crucial pieces of evidence used against him: the thousands of wiretapped telephone calls. Lawyers for the Galleon Group founder has asked a federal appeals court to postpone his arrival at prison, currently scheduled for next week, to begin his 11-year sentence. Patricia Millett argued that the “substantial issues” surrounding the wiretaps “support release pending appeal because suppression would require reversal of the conviction and a new trial on every count given that the wiretaps were integral to the merits of Mr. Rajaratnam’s conviction.”

Mason Hawkins’ Southeastern Asset Management Raised Stake in Texas Industries (InsiderMonkey)

Mason Hawkins’ Southeastern Asset Management increased its activist stake in Texas Industries Inc. (TXI) to 29.3%. According to the firm’s amended 13D filing on November 28th, Southeastern Asset Management now has 8.18 million shares in TXI, which is a 5% increase in its position at the end of the third quarter. Southeastern Asset Management bought those additional shares from November 23 to 28, at about $22.50 per share. Now TXI is trading at $23, near its 2-year low. The stock has already lost 50% so far in 2011.

Hedge Fund Managers Give Policy Makers Poor Marks for Handling of Euro Crisis (WSJ)

Hedge fund managers asked to grade policy-makers’ handling of the European financial crisis handed out low marks, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Aksia, a hedge fund research and advisory firm. “Parents would not be pleased with the report cards of the world’s policy makers,” the Aksia survey said, noting that the U.S. Congress, E.U. leaders, and the U.S. President all received “D” grades. The survey said the low marks “might be generous” given that a wide-majority gave them either a D or F. The U.S. Federal Reserve and EM Central banks were at the top of the class, each getting a “B” grade in the survey, which polled 125 hedge funds representing about $800 billion in assets.

Hedge Funds Received Illegal Inside Information From Henry Paulson (InsiderMonkey)

Bloomberg reports that hedge funds received illegal inside information from Henry Paulson. We aren’t surprised a tiny bit. Ordinary investors don’t have access to insiders like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who decided what needed to be done to failing Fannie and Freddie. What Paulson did isn’t illegal because he didn’t himself trade based on that information or benefited in any shape or form. If SEC wants to prosecute Paulson, they need to prove that Paulson did benefit from this strange form of information sharing.

Westgate Fraud Victims Get Restitution Checks (FINAlternatives)

Victims of James Nicholson’s $141 million hedge fund fraud have a little something to be thankful for in the wake of the holiday weekend. The first restitution checks reached investors in Nicholson’s Westgate Capital Management over the weekend or yesterday, the Bergen (N.J.) Record reports. The checks cut represent almost all of the $19.6 million recovered by the federal government from the Ponzi scheme, which collapsed two-and-a-half years ago. The restituted money accounts for only about 14.5% of the money raised by Nicholson.

Tudor Vets’ Hedge Fund Adds Three From Former Firm (FINAlternatives)

Three more Tudor Investment Corp. veterans are leaving the hedge fund giant to join a hedge fund founded by two former colleagues. Zafferano Capital, which already boasts some US$100 million in commitments from investors, including Tudor itself and Tudor partners, has hired Cliff Pattenden, Colin Greene and Richard Sidebottom, Financial News reports. Pattenden, chief operating officer of Tudor’s emerging markets business, will be COO and CFO of London-based Zafferano, while Greene and Sidebottom will serve as portfolio managers, roles they played at Tudor.

HFA Taps Castellano To Head New Southern EU Branch (FINAlternatives)

The Hedge Fund Association, an industry lobby group, has launched a new Southern EU chapter under the direction of José Castellano, managing director of the $230 billion asset manager Pioneer Investments. The new chapter will advocate for hedge funds in Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. According to Eurekahedge, 406 hedge funds with combined assets under management of $68.3 billion are based in these countries. Eurekahedge also says 26 EU-focused hedge funds with AUM of between $2 and $3 billion invest in Portugal.

CTA Millburn Taps BlueCrest Vet Syed For Biz Development (FINAlternatives)

Greenwich, Conn.-based Millburn, a systematic CTA with $2.1 billion in assets under management, has opened an affiliated branch office in London and tapped BlueCrest vet Shezad Syed to oversee its business development in Europe and the Middle East. Syed, a former principal with BlueCrest Capital Management, one of Europe’s largest hedge funds, where he was responsible for the sourcing and introduction of new strategies, research teams and strategic investor relationships. Syed was also a member of the portfolio team for BlueCrest’s hybrid multi-manager fund.

Jones Moves From Barclays To Rothstein Kass (FINAlternatives)

Hedge fund industry expert Meredith Jones has joined Rothstein Kass to lead its research effort in the field. Jones was named to the newly-created post of director, and is charged with generating Rothstein Kass’ research and content on alternative investments, as well as offering strategic consulting services to its clients. She will be based in Dallas. Jones joins from Barclays Capital, where she was director of strategic consulting. She is also a former managing director at PerTrac Financial Solutions and director of research at Van Hedge Fund Advisors.

Hedge Fund Exec. Takes Trading Helm At Barclays Japan (FINAlternatives)

Barclays Capital has added a hedge fund executive to serve as its Tokyo-based head of global markets. Nicholas Wright will lead all sales and trading activities in Japan, Barclays said. Wright, who joined the firm last week, has been based in Australia running a portfolio of companies, including an unidentified hedge fund. He formerly worked in Japan at Credit Suisse.

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