Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Ken Griffin, Ray Dalio, Leon Cooperman, Fiserv Inc (FISV), Bumble Inc (BMBL), and More

Citadel Billionaire Ken Griffin Defends Melvin Stake Against ‘an Insane Conspiracy Theory’ (CNBC)
Ken Griffin, the billionaire CEO of hedge fund Citadel, defended his $2 billion investment in short seller Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital last month amid the height of the GameStop mania. “No, I think Gabe Plotkin is one of the finest investors of his generation,” Griffin told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on “Squawk Box.” The comment was in response to a question from Sorkin about whether Griffin’s investment was a mistake because it created questions about Griffin’s motivations in propping up Plotkin amid his battle with retail Reddit traders who were pumping up the price of GameStop.

Bridgewater Associates Reshuffles Leadership Ranks (The Wall Street Journal)
Bridgewater Associates is shuffling its management ranks after one of the most challenging years in the hedge-fund giant’s history. One of Bridgewater’s top executives, Chief Operating Officer Brian Kreiter, is leaving. Nir Bar Dea, previously the co-head of Bridgewater’s “investment engine,” was promoted to deputy chief executive under Chief Executive David McCormick. Bridgewater is also creating an investment committee “to broaden the decision making” beyond Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio and co-chief investment officers Bob Prince and Greg Jensen.

Billionaire Investor Leon Cooperman Blasts the Reddit-Trader Revolution as ‘Baloney’ – and Says Warren, Sanders, and AOC Shouldn’t be Deciding the Market Rules (Business Insider)
Leon Cooperman blasted the idea that the Reddit-trader rebellion was a battle between the wealthy and the poor. “That’s all baloney, this persistent attack of the wealthy,” Cooperman said in a Bloomberg interview on Thursday. “America is a country that became great because people want to aspire to become wealthy.”

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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Hedge Fund Reports Record 2020 Returns (Fox Business)
BOSTON – Activist hedge fund manager William Ackman, whose bets on companies are closely watched, updated investors on how his flagship fund earned a record 70.2% return in 2020 on Thursday in a socially distanced way by sending out a 57-page presentation. Normally this would be one of the rare occasions where investors could pepper the billionaire investor and his partners in person with questions about markets and individual companies over dinner in New York.

Wall Street Eyes JANA’s Latest Investment (Institutional Investor)
Analysts are speculating about Laboratory Corp. of America after the activist hedge fund disclosed a stake in the company. JANA Partners attracted the attention of Wall Street analysts earlier this week when the activist hedge fund disclosed in its latest 13F filing that it had established a new stake of a little more than 800,000 shares in Laboratory Corp. of America, the life sciences company. Jefferies analysts who follow the…