Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Ray Dalio, Highland Capital Management, Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc (RETA), Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA), and More

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Chipotle Stock Is Surging, and Pershing Square Is Selling Millions of Dollars of Shares (Barron’s)
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed that it again trimmed its investment in Chipotle Mexican Grill stock. Two of the hedge fund’s affiliates sold 58,400 Chipotle shares (ticker: CMG) on Sept. 26 and 27 for a total of $47.6 million, or an average of $815.49 each, according to a form Pershing Square filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pershing Square L.P. and Pershing Square International Ltd. sold the shares through what is known as a Rule 10b5-1 plan. An investor sets values such as stock…

Dalio Outlines Possible Path for Trump to Limit Capital to China (Bloomberg)
Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund, said preliminary discussions on limiting U.S. investments in China make him wonder if the Trump administration is “inching toward bigger moves.” In a new essay posted on LinkedIn Tuesday, the Bridgewater Associates co-chairman points to the U.S. freezing Japanese assets and embargoing oil to Japan in the late 1930s to early 1940s as a potential example of how special emergency powers could be used by the president.

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Mark Okada Retires from Highland Capital (Opalesque.com)
Mark Okada is retiring from Highland Capital Management a firm he co-founded with Jim Dondero in 1993. Okada will assume a senior advisory role through the end of the year to support transition activities. He will retain his ownership stake following his retirement from the firm. Dondero will continue to oversee the management of Highland and all affiliated businesses, and will take over as co-chief investment officer following Okada’s retirement. Okada has already transitioned a number of responsibilities in recent years to senior leadership on the credit research and structured products teams, as well as to co-chief investment officer Joe Sowin, who oversees day-to-day investment activities across the Highland platform.

This is the Year’s Best-Performing Hedge Fund (Institutional Investor)
A fund set up by Muirfield Capital Global Advisors to invest solely in the preferred shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now the top-performing hedge fund of the year, according to HSBC’s latest weekly ranking of hedge fund performance. Muirfield GSE Partners, which was launched in 2017, gained 70…

Italy’s Bio-on Slashes 2019 Sales Forecast, Blames U.S. Hedge Fund (Reuters)
MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Bio-on (ON.MI) reported a collapse in first-half revenue and slashed its full year sales forecast on Tuesday, blaming what it said was unfounded criticism of its accounts by a U.S. hedge fund and almost halving its market value. The results, which saw sales fall to just under 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from 6.1 million in the first half of last year, came after Quintessential Capital Management (QCM) questioned the bio-plastics firm’s accounts in July.

Mangold’s QQM Stake Acquisition Gets Approved (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – The Swedish Financial Authority has given the go-ahead for Mangold’s acquisition of a 25 percent-stake in QQM Fund Management, the Stockholm-based asset manager running systematic market-neutral fund QQM Equity Hedge. The deal was announced in early July and was approved by Finansinspektionen at the end of last week. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Mangold as a significant shareholder in QQM,” says Ola Björkmo (pictured right), the CEO of QQM. “We are convinced that a long-term partnership with Mangold, an independent Swedish securities broker with a successful private banking business aimed at company owners, individuals and foundations will strengthen our distribution capabilities and help in the future development of QQM.”

Hedge Fund Started in College Dorm Room Accused of Fraud by SEC (Bloomberg)
Samuel Barnett, 30, founded SBB Research almost a decade ago in his dorm room, transforming a college side gig into a hedge fund that managed more than $400 million. How did he pull it off? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says through a years-long fraud that consisted of inflating holdings to mislead investors into believing that SBB’s performance was much better than it actually was.

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