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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Tom Steyer, Lime Asset Management, Conagra Brands Inc (CAG), AtriCure Inc. (ATRC), and More

Billionaire Hedge-fund Manager Bill Ackman is Poised to Exceed 50% Returns After a 3-Year Drought (Business Insider)
Bill Ackman‘s hedge fund is on track to land massive returns after three years of negative net performance. Pershing Square Capital Management posted a 3.4% gross gain for November, or 3.2% after fees. The month’s performance brought its year-to-date return to 51.3% after fees. Should Pershing Square’s 2019 surge continue through December, Ackman’s fund will post its first year of positive net returns since 2014.

Steyer Stumps in Marshalltown (TimesRepublican.com)
Saying he is the only candidate who can successfully take on President Donald Trump, billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer made his case before a standing-room only crowd Sunday at the La Carreta Mexican Grill. “If Democrats don’t nominate someone who can go after him on the economy, Trump will win in 2020,” Steyer said, adding he knows what it takes to build a business. “I built mine over 27 years. I understand what it takes to grow a business, what makes the United States a prosperous country, which is what Trump does not know because he is a fake.”

San Francisco City & County Employees Allocates $655 million (Pensions&Investments)
San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System disclosed eight commitments and investments totaling $655 million in a report from Chief Investment Officer William J. Coaker Jr. for the upcoming board meeting Wednesday. The $27.7 billion pension fund made an additional investment of $200 million in a multistrategy hedge fund managed by Elliott Associates. The investment was made through San Francisco Absolute Return Investors II, a limited partnership between SFERS and Blackstone Alternative Asset Management. SFERS originally invested $100 million in 2017; the report notes this is the “first investment with Elliott via share class B of SFARI II.”

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Chad McDermott / Shutterstock.com

US Hedge Funds Dump Datalex Stakes at Huge Losses (BusinessPost.ie)
Two US hedge funds have sold major stakes in the troubled Irish software company Datalex at enormous losses, stock exchange filings show. Highclere Investments, run by American hedge fund boss Ed Makin, and Kabouter Management, based in Chicago, spent €13 million and €15 million respectively building up their stakes in Datalex between 2014 and 2016.

Korea: Lime Asset Faces Legal Action for Concealing Hedge Fund Losses (RegulationAsia.com)
Lime Asset Management suspended redemptions in three funds in October. One of them had 240bn won invested with New York-based IIG, which has since been charged with securities fraud. South Korea’s FSS (Financial Supervisory Service) is reportedly considering taking legal action against hedge fund manager Lime Asset Management for alleged concealing losses from its investors.

More Hedge Funds Close in 2019 than Opened (AI-CIO.com)
A common complaint: There are too many hedge funds. If so, that is in the process of being corrected. For the fifth straight year, the $3.2 trillion industry suffered more fund closings than launches, according to Hedge Fund Research. During the past five years, more 4,000 hedge funds have been shuttered, leaving the count at less than 9,000 by most estimates. Big stars like Jeff Vinik and Louis Bacon closed their funds, to the shock of the entire industry.

Active Managers Turning to Activism, Says Headland (Hedge Week)
Active fund managers are increasingly turning to shareholder activism as a way of protecting their investments and driving returns, according to analysis by Headland, the communications consultancy. Headland examined UK markets data from Activist Insight, separating “conventional active managers” from “pure play activists” such as Elliott Management and Crystal Amber. It found that the former launched 55 public demands in 2019 versus 35 in 2018 and just 13 five years ago. Prominent examples last year include Columbia Threadneedle and Schroders’ decision to support Coast Capital in demanding the removal First Group’s Chairman and; L&G’s opposition to Barrick Gold’s plans to buy out gold miner Acacia Mining.

Hedge Fund Marshall Wace is Shorting Denmark’s Largest Lender (DailyAlts.com)
A massive lawsuit and negative rates plague Danske Bank: Marshall Wace has taken a short position against Danske Bank. The Danish FSA said that the firm has a short position that reaches the threshold of 0.5% of issued shares. Paul Marshall’s hedge fund is the first to take a short position at or above that level. This is the threshold required for disclosure with Danish regulators. The position draws significant attention to events impacting the largest lender in Denmark. Reuters reported the position on Friday.

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