Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, David Einhorn, Paul Singer, FS KKR Capital Corp (FSK), Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IONS), and More

David Einhorn, Paul Taubman Select Duke in Bloomberg Brackets Challenge (Bloomberg)
It’s all chalk. At least when it comes to billionaire hedge-fund investors, chief executive officers and philanthropists making their picks for who will be crowned the national champion in men’s college basketball this year. Wall Street mavens ranging from Greenlight Capital LLC’s David Einhorn to PJT Partners CEO Paul Taubman and Bitcoin enthusiast Michael Novogratz picked the top-seeded Blue Devils of Duke University to cut down the nets in Minneapolis next month. A total of 23 out of the 52 titans of business and finance participating in Bloomberg’s Brackets for a Cause have the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament champs picked to win it all.

Platinum Goes Live with Catena TRACE for European Trade Reporting (HedgeWeek)
Platinum Asset Management, an equity-focused global investment manager based in Australia, has gone live using Catena technology’s TRACE Reporting solution to meet its OTC derivatives transaction reporting requirements for European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Platinum will also be taking advantage of enhancements to TRACE Reporting that support Australian lifecycle reporting, which is required by Australian regulators beginning in July 2019. TRACE Reporting is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that manages a wide range of functional requirements for trade reporting, including cross-asset coverage, valuation and collateral reporting, reconciliation, and multi-jurisdiction support, including ASIC, CFTC, EMIR, HKMA, MAS, MiFID II, and Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR).

Countries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the World

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After Suffering Bruising Losses, Ackman Pursues Quiet Recovery (The Wall Street Journal)
With performance bad and investors fleeing, Mr. Ackman ‘went activist’ on Pershing Square. William Ackman, once an omnipresent rabble-rouser, is barely visible these days. About a year after the shareholder activist stopped raising money for his private hedge fund in the wake of a pair of disastrous bets, Mr. Ackman has told his investors he is avoiding hard-to-understand companies, staying out of the media spotlight and returning to the basics of investment analysis that first catapulted him to success.

Michael Gelband’s Hedge Fund ExodusPoint has Added a Trio of Former Carlson Capital Staffers to its Growing Team (Business Insider)
Millennium Management‘s former fixed-income head, Michael Gelband, has hired Carlson Capital‘s former fixed-income head, Ivan Ross, to his new firm, sources tell Business Insider. Ross will run a fixed-income strategy at Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital Management, which broke records when it launched with $8 billion in seed capital last year. The strategy will feed into the firm’s larger multi-strategy offering, sources say.

Paul Singer Unnerves Korea’s Billionaires Whether He Wins or Loses (Bloomberg)
For decades, South Korea’s most powerful tycoons ran their companies with little regard for minority shareholders. Then came Paul Singer. The hedge fund titan’s activist campaigns — first at Samsung Group in 2015 and now at Hyundai Motor Group — have trained a spotlight on the corporate governance failures and complex ownership structures that saddle South Korean stocks with some of the world’s lowest valuations. His calls for change have put the country’s biggest conglomerates on the defensive, triggered a wave of homegrown activism and turned shareholder returns into a national talking point.

AQR Veteran Wins ABN AMRO’s ‘AIF Factor’ for Most Convincing Hedge Fund Pitch in Amsterdam (Opalesque)
Launched in 2011, the ABN AMRO Amsterdam Investor Forum (AIF) is a landmark event in the Netherlands for the Alternative Investment Industry and organized by ABN AMRO Clearing. One highlight of the conference is the popular “AIF Factor”, a competition where 5 shortlisted funds are given the floor for a 3-minute pitch, to present their proposition to 250+ professional investors and managers. Delegates then cast their votes, appointing the most convincing pitch as the 2019 AIF Factor winner.

Hedge Funds Extend Winning Streak to a Second Month, Says BarclayHedge (HedgeWeek)
Hedge funds extended their winning streak to a second month with a February return of 1.24 per cent, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index rose 3.21 per cent for the month. Year to date, hedge funds gained 4.98 per cent while the S&P was up 11.48 per cent. “Markets quickly overcame the downdraft precipitated by a strong US wage growth report that stoked inflation fears and rising interest rate jitters early in the month,” says Sol Waksman (pictured), president of BarclayHedge. “Multiyear highs for corporate profits and consumer confidence were able to promptly recapture investor enthusiasm.”