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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Warren Buffet, Point72 Asset Management, Farallon Capital Management, Optima Asset Management, ALX Oncology Holdings Inc (ALXO), VMware, Inc. (VMW), and More

Bill Ackman: ‘We are Long-Term Bullish on America’ But Betting Against High-Yield Companies (CNBC)
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman told CNBC on Wednesday he’s bullish on the U.S. and markets over the long term, but companies with a high debt will have a hard time surviving as the country struggles to reopen fully. “We are long-term bullish on America; We are long-term bullish on the markets,” Ackman said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “But I would say I’m cautious on markets over the next period of time. We have today a short position in a high-yield index. We are bearish on highly levered companies.”

U.S. Hedge Fund Farallon to Vote for Activist-Backed Toshiba Board Nominees (Reuters)
TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. hedge fund Farallon Capital Management said on Wednesday it would vote for nominees to Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) board that are backed by activist funds, intensifying a proxy fight involving the Japanese industrial conglomerate. Effissimo Capital Management, the top shareholder with a 15% stake, is calling for Toshiba to elect an Effissimo co-founder and two others as outside directors, while the 3D Opportunity Master Fund is seeking the election of two candidates it is nominating.

Cohen’s Point72 Faces Discrimination Claims From Female Staffers (Bloomberg)
Point72 Asset Management was named in two separate discrimination claims, including one from a former employee who was among the top-ranked women at Steve Cohen’s hedge fund firm. Sara Vavra, who departed as head of global macro in October, and Shannon Gitlin, who works in Point72’s investor relations department, filed grievances with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in recent months, according to court documents and interviews with members of the body. The agency was set up to prevent discrimination in areas including housing, employment and contract compliance.

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Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Lost a Years-Long Legal Battle Over Trade Secrets. Here are the 5 Slides at the Center of the Fight. (Business Insider)
Bridgewater‘s inner workings are an object of fascination within the finance industry and other fields, thanks to billionaire founder Ray Dalio‘s “radical transparency” concepts of being directly honest in the workplace and with coworkers. But the world’s biggest hedge fund is also known for strict confidentiality contracts with former employees, and recently unsealed documents from a yearslong legal battle with the small macro fund Tekmerion Capital Management show how aggressive the firm can be.

“A New Golden Age”: Why Industry Pioneer Dixon Boardman Believes Hedge Funds are Now the Place to Be (Hedge Week)
For Dixon Boardman, the CEO and founder of Optima Asset Management and renowned fund-of-hedge funds pioneer, the dramatic turbulence that shocked markets earlier this year is unlike anything ever seen during his three decades-plus of investing. Boardman – an industry trailblazer who launched Optima back in 1988 – believes the spiralling Q1 drop was more sudden and swift than even the epochal Wall Street Crash of 1929, while the sharp rebound that sent stocks soaring despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis was almost as remarkable.

McKinsey-Funded Manager Slashes Roster (HFAlert.com)
MIO Partners, a fund-of-funds operator that deploys capital for employees of consulting giant McKinsey & Co., is laying off more than 10% of its workforce. One source pegged the cuts as affecting at least 20 people across the New York shop’s operations, trading, technology, finance and data-analysis departments. Several junior employees were among those let go. MIO started the year with a staff of 194. The source said the reductions reflect plans by MIO to outsource more of its functions. He added that McKinsey also could be seeking to save money in response to the May settlement of a class-action lawsuit led by a former employee.

Shamrock Capital Raises New $400m Fund to Buy Content (Opalesque.com)
Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with a $1.9bn portfolio under management, announced the final closing of Shamrock Capital Content Fund II (SCCF II), with a total of $400 million in committed capital. SCCF II will be used to “continue investing in entertainment intellectual property rights”, said a company release. The capital behind Shamrock Capital Content Fund II has been raised from a mixture of pension funds, sovereign wealth, endowments and foundations, family offices, and financial institutions. Shamrock did not use a placement agent for SCCF II. Its first fund, which raised $250 million in 2016, now holds an interest in more than 800 films, 1,000 television episodes, and 5,000 music compositions.

Warren Buffett Isn’t Warning About Sky-High Stocks Because He ‘Doesn’t Want to Make People Mad,’ Veteran Investor Bill Smead Says (Business Insider)
Warren Buffett isn’t sounding the alarm on the stock market’s record rally because he’s worried about his legacy, veteran Berkshire Hathaway shareholder Bill Smead told Business Insider this week. “The action in the glam tech stocks, with the recent parabolic move up, looks like the kind of financial euphoria that Buffett has traditionally warned investors about,” the investment chief of Smead Capital Management said.