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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Daniel Och, Bill Ackman, Warlander Asset Management, FrontPoint Partners, Morphic Holding Inc (MORF), Acorn Energy Inc (ACFN), and More

How Trump’s Washington Helped a Hedge Fund Titan Move On From an African Bribery Scandal (Bloomberg)
The hedge fund firm founded by billionaire Daniel Och has finally put one of the industry’s biggest scandals behind it — quietly. Seizing on a business-friendly shift at the Securities and Exchange Commission during the Trump administration, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group Inc. has persuaded the regulator to lift a punitive sanction that was imposed on the firm in the wake of a multiyear investigation into bribery in Africa.

“I Really Feel Most Comfortable In Prison”: A Hedge Fund Ex-con Finds It’s Hard Coming Home to Greenwich (Vanity Fair)
In early 2006, before the indictment and the headlines, before he was abandoned by most of the people he knew, Joseph Skowron III and his wife, Cheryl, were living in a tidy three-bedroom ranch home in Greenwich, Connecticut. In the early 20th century, Greenwich attracted flocks of industrialists and their descendants-Rockefellers and Morgans, beneficiaries of Carnegie Steel—who built manor homes on generous acreages. Always prosperous, the town was in the midst of another boom, and Skowron, who goes by Chip, was a member of the town’s new elite, a partner in a hedge fund called FrontPoint Partners.

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Chad McDermott /

Pro Bankruptcy Briefing: Weatherford Files Prepack Bankruptcy | Hedge Fund Sues to Wipe Out Illinois Debt | Philadelphia Hospital Files for Bankruptcy (The Wall Street Journal)
Good day. The sustained slowdown in the U.S. oil industry has claimed another victim, with oil-field services company Weatherford International filing a prepack bankruptcy with a plan that erases some $6 billion in debt. Hedge fund Warlander Asset Management LP,borrowing a page from the Puerto Rico oversight board’s playbook, is suing Illinois officials in a bid to wipe out $14.3 billion in municipal bonds. And the owners of Philadelphia’s Hahnemann University Hospital filed for bankruptcy after a closure announcement triggered street protests and warnings from state health regulators.

Hedge Funds Back On The Road To Extinction (Deal Breaker)
There have been five great mass extinctions in Earth’s history. We may be living in (and causing!) the sixth. But natural extirpations take many forms. That of the possible Hedgefundocene extinction running alongside the Holocene has not been of the short, sharp end of existence, but more of a roller coaster, with periods of apparently unsustainable die-offs before a surprising spurt of survival. But in recent months, things have taken a turn for the worse. It’s been a long time since 200 hedge funds were born in any given quarter, while in the last nine quarters at least 200 have died in four. And the ratio is currently far below replacement level: 30 more passed on to eternity in the third quarter than entered the world. Just 111 blinked into a cold, unfeeling world in the fourth quarter, 215 exited.

Meet Innolab Capital’s AI-Driven Shock Absorber (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – A Danish alternative asset manager specializing in artificial intelligence, Innolab Capital, is planning the launch of a fully autonomous AI market-neutral fund in the second half of this year. From the Virum region a few kilometers north of central Copenhagen, Peter Smedegaard (pictured) designed beta-neutral Innolab Capital Alpha to act as a diversifying “shock absorber” to smooth out an investor’s ride. Using past price data for over 100 global liquid instruments across three legs or asset classes – equities, bonds and commodities, a deep learning algorithm developed by Smedegaard and his Innolab Capital team makes daily one-month-ahead predictions for all instruments.

U.K. Regulators Approve a Crypto Hedge Fund for First Time (Bloomberg)
Prime Factor Capital Ltd., a London-based hedge fund manager set up by former employees of BlackRock Inc. and RWE AG, became the first investment firm focused on cryptocurrencies to win the stamp of approval from U.K. regulators. The company said in a July 1 statement it will be regulated as a full-scope alternative investment fund manager under European Union rules. That will allow the firm to manage more than 100 million euros ($113 million) in assets and target institutional investors, the company said.

Fund Administrators See Growth in Private Markets, eVestment Says (
Private markets GPs continued to adopt third-party fund administration at a rapid clip, according to data from the latest eVestment Fund Administration Survey. The median respondent grew real assets AUA by +20.64% year-over-year and private equity and debt AUA by +11.35%. Participating firms reported private equity, hedge fund, real assets, funds of funds and liquid alternatives assets under administration of $10.00 trillion, an increase of +18.78% year-over-year. Private equity and private debt continue to lead overall growth in the industry. Among firms reporting yearend 2017 and year-end 2018 AUA, 17 out of 21 achieved net positive AUA growth year-over-year and the median private equity and debt administrator saw year over year growth of +11.35% compared to the +25.12% rate reported in the prior year’s survey.

CFTC Charges Hedge Fund with Violating Wheat Futures Speculative Position Limits (MondoVisione)
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and settling charges against Elephas Investment Management Ltd. (Elephas), a Hong Kong based hedge fund, for violating wheat futures speculative position limits. The Order requires Elephas to pay a $160,000 civil monetary penalty. The Order finds that on November 29, 2017, Elephas held a net long position in the Chicago Board of Trade’s December 2017 soft red winter wheat futures contract of more than 1,000 contracts in excess of the spot month speculative position limit established by the CFTC.

Bill Ackman’s Funds Post Record Gains (Institutional Investor)
Pershing Square scored big on the news of the possible Howard Hughes sale — pushing some funds above their high-water marks. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings has hit a record: it is up 45.3 percent for the first half of the year — which tops the full-year performance for any of his Pershing Square funds since the hedge fund firm’s launch in 2004. The publicly traded hedge fund gained 8 percent in…

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