Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Crispin Odey, Paulson & Co., Renaissance Technologies, Discover Financial Services (DFS), Oritani Financial Corp. (ORIT), and More

Hedge Fund Bear Crispin Odey Made $18 Million Betting Against Wirecard (Bloomberg)
Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey’s winning run with his short-selling bets continued this week as wagers against digital payments company Wirecard AG paid off. Odey Asset Management made an estimated $18 million, at least on paper, on Wednesday when Wirecard shares were battered by allegations of executive fraud. In its largest disclosed short by value, the hedge fund reported a $131.8 million position as of Jan. 30 betting that Wirecard would drop, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Activist investor Paulson raises stake in Britain’s Premier Foods (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Paulson & Co., the hedge fund firm led by billionaire investor John Paulson, has upped its overall interest in Britain’s Premier Foods Plc to 11.9 percent, a regulatory filing reut.rs/2WyWn6J showed on Friday. The activist investor’s move comes a little over two months after the Bisto gravy and Oxo-cube maker said Chief Executive Officer Gavin Darby would be stepping down, following a shareholder revolt, led by activist hedge fund Oasis Management, that called for a management overhaul.

Covalis Capital's Returns, AUM and Holdings

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Bridgewater’s Self-Obsession Actually … Works? (Bloomberg)
Eileen Murray, the co-chief executive officer of Bridgewater Associates, spoke at a hedge fund conference this week, and someone in the audience had the nerve or naivety or lack of imagination to ask her about investments. This guy – presumably a hedge fund manager or allocator – had the chance to put a question to the co-head of the largest hedge fund in the world, and he wasted it on asking “what percentage of Bridgewater’s equity investments are in internet/technology companies.” As though anyone at Bridgewater would ever deign to talk about something so pedestrian as sector allocation of equity investments! Obviously she declined to answer.

Hedge Fund RenTech Created the Ultimate, Tax-Free IRA Account for Employees (Bloomberg)
Renaissance Technologies, the giant hedge fund founded by billionaire Jim Simons, looks like it has created the premier, tax-free retirement account for its employees. A deft maneuver back in 2012 enabled employees to invest in RenTech’s storied Medallion Fund via individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, which provide tax benefits for millions of ordinary Americans savers who are putting money aside for their golden years.

Einhorn’s Greenlight Soars 13% in Firm’s Best-Ever January (Bloomberg)
David Einhorn is starting the year on a high note as he looks to avoid a repeat of his hedge fund’s poor performance in 2018. Greenlight Capital’s main fund rose 13.4 percent to post the best January in its 23-year history, according to an investor update viewed by Bloomberg. Einhorn also beat the broader equity market and industry peers. The S&P 500 Index returned 8 percent with dividends, while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index, an early indicator of industry performance, climbed 1.7 percent through Jan. 29.