Fir Tree Real Estate Fund, New Clarium Fund, Arrowhead Ponzi Case

Fir Tree Nets $628M For Real Estate Fund (FINAlternatives)

The $7 billion New York-based firm announced that its Real Estate Opportunity Fund II garnered $628 million before it closed. Fir Tree had initially sought $500 million for the fund, which was launched a year-and-a-half ago, two years after the firm launched its first real estate fund. Hedge fund Fir Tree Partners has raised more than $600 million for its second real-estate private equity fund, more than $100 million in excess of its original target. Fir Tree has already invested some 90% of the second fund in commercial and residential real-estate, including equity, senior loans and mezzanine investments.

Jeffrey Tannenbaum

Clarium Chief’s VC Fund Seeks $600 Million (FINAlternatives)

Clarium Capital Management founder Peter Thiel is looking for $600 million to do what he does best: investing in nascent technology companies. Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, is fundraising for its fourth fund. Its third closed last year with just $250 million, less than half the amount Thiel is now seeking. San Francisco-based Founders aims to close the fourth fund this month, Bloomberg News reports. Founders raised its first fund in 2005.

SEC Charges Minn. Hedge Fund Managers With Aiding Alleged Ponzi Scheme (WSJ)

Regulators Wednesday charged two more hedge fund managers with helping feed funds to a Minnesota Ponzi scheme that eventually defrauded victims of at least $3.65 billion. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Minnesota hedge fund managers James N. Fry and Michelle W. Palm invested more than $600 million in assets through Arrowhead Capital Management LLC with Thomas Petters, who was convicted of fraud. The arrangement allegedly netted the pair $42 million in fees. The SEC complaint said Petters had promised investors their money would be used to buy vast amounts of consumer electronics to be resold the to so-called big box retailers. In reality, the business didn’t exist.

Hedge Fund Exits Tumble as Investors Seek Refuge (Reuters)

Exits from hedge funds slowed by almost four-fifths in the month to November 1 than in the prior period, as demand for risk management strategies rallied on worries Europe’s debt crisis could be tip-toeing towards the endgame, data shows.

Hedge Funds Want to Hire Technologists with Gaming and Research Backgrounds (eFinancialCareers)

Hedge funds are still hiring technologists, more IT professionals within investment banks want to make the switch across…but hedge funds are increasingly recruiting from outside the financial sector. If you’re a developer working on a cutting edge trading platform in an investment bank, and think that you’ll be able to apply your skills in a (potentially more lucrative) role in a hedge fund, you could be sorely disappointed. More hedge funds are looking for developers with non-finance experience; people who may have worked in gaming, research or even the telecoms industry.

Ex-Day Traders’ Hedge Fund Returns 20% With Nikkei Options Bets (SFGate)

Harpstar fund, run by former day traders, returned more than 20 percent since starting in July by investing in Nikkei 225 options as volatility gauges worldwide surged amid Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. The fund started with about 2 billion yen ($26 million) on July 29 and has boosted assets to 3.2 billion yen through performance and new allocations from high-net worth Japanese individuals, said Kyosuke Shirasaki, chief executive officer of Harpstar Partners LLC. Shirasaki and Masato Tanaka, partner of the firm, aim to raise 5 billion yen over the next year with a target return of 50 percent, they said.

Hedge Fund Aggregate Index up +2.31% in October (-3.61% YTD) (Opalesque)

The HFN Hedge Fund Aggregate Index was +2.31% in October 2011 and -3.61% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis. The S&P 500 Total Return Index (S&P) was +10.93% in October and +1.30% YTD. Early reporting funds indicate industry redemptions again outpaced allocation in October. Should the trend hold as more funds report, hedge fund AUM will have decreased for a third consecutive month and redemptions will have outpaced allocations for the third month in the last four. Total industry AUM is estimated at $2.453 trillion at the end of October 2011.

Hedge Funds Add 2.46% In Oct., Down Less Than 3% YTD (FINAlternatives)

Hedge funds began to pull themselves out of the doldrums in October, leaving hope that they’ll manage positive returns for 2011. The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index rose 2.46% last month. The index remains down 2.95% on the year, having missed out on most of the month’s 11% jump in the Standard & Poor’s 500.

Iveagh Appoints New CEO (HFMWeek)

Iveagh Private Investment House, an asset management boutique and the Guinness family office, has hired a new chief executive officer, following a number of new hires within its investment and marketing teams. Richard Ford left his position as CEO of WH Ireland, a private client stock broker, to take up the role and brings to the table his business management experience, having held senior positions in the retail, alternative management and private wealth management space.

Former CalPERS Investment Committee Chair Joins Lyrical (FINAlternatives)

Lyrical Partners, the investment boutique established by the co-founder and former co-president of Greenlight Capital, Jeffrey Keswin, has tapped the former chair of the CalPERS investment committee as a managing director. Michael Flaherman was a board member at the California Public Employees Retirement System from 1995 and served as the investment committee chair from 2000 to 2003. In his newly created role at Lyrical, he will also serve on the firm’s investment committee for its funds of hedge funds.

Axioma Adds To Management Team (FINAlternatives)

Axioma, Inc., a provider of decision support, risk analysis and portfolio rebalancing and analysis tools, has hired Claude Greengard to serve as vice president of client services.

PIMCO Adds C12 Vet To Mattu’s Team (FINAlternatives)

Mutual fund giant Pacific Investment Management Co. has hired a hedge funder to join its portfolio analytics group. Stefano Risa was named head of mortgage and asset-backed analytics at the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm. Based in New York, Risa most recently worked for hedge fund C12 Capital Management.

Mich. State Eyes Indus, Standard Pacific (FINAlternatives)

Michigan State University’s endowment is set to invest more than $30 billion with a pair of long/short hedge funds. The $1.2 billion Common Investment Fund plans to allocate $18.7 million to Indus Capital Partners and $15 million to Standard Pacific Capital, HFMWeek reports. The investments are backed by MSU’s consultant, Cambridge Associates.

Paragon Eyes Institutions, Seeders In Fundraising Push (FINAlternatives)

Paragon Capital Advisors is ready to ramp up its assets under management. The New York-based hedge fund is set to open its flagship vehicle to institutional investors, hoping to boost assets from their current $20 million to an initial $100 million capacity, HFMWeek reports. Paragon plans to market its wares to a variety of institutional investors, including pensions, endowments, funds of hedge funds and family offices, as well as hedge fund seeders.

Financials Analyst To Launch Hedge Fund  (FINAlternatives)

A European banking analyst is set to jump into the turmoil facing financial institutions and the European debt crisis with a new hedge fund. Joseph Dickerson has left Banco Espirito Santo. He plans to launch a financials hedge fund early next year, seeking to profit from banks’ restructuring and other troubles.