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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: David Gerstenhaber, Bill Ackman, Visium Asset Management, Citadel LLC, Egerton Capital, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc (RARE), II-VI, Inc. (IIVI), and More

Judge Tosses Hedge Fund Visium’s Lawsuit Against Portfolio Manager’s Widow (The Wall Street Journal)
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a hedge fund against the widow of one of the fund’s employees. Visium Asset Management LP filed the complaint last year in New York Supreme Court under a new name, VA Management LP. The firm sought more than $100 million it paid to money manager Sanjay Valvani from 2007 through 2016, among other fees. It said in its complaint that “it would be fundamentally unfair for Valvani’s past illegal activity and his violation of his fiduciary duties to be permitted to perpetuate a super luxurious…

Former Och-Ziff Exec named CEO of Association for Digital Asset Markets (Hedge Week)
The Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) has appointed Jeffrey Blockinger as its first Chief Executive Officer. Blockinger plans to broaden and deepen ADAM’s role in fostering fair and efficient digital asset markets where participants can transact with confidence. Blockinger, an alternative investment fund industry veteran, is widely-respected for his advocacy with regulators and other key market participants on behalf of entrepreneurial asset managers. He has more than 20 years of experience structuring investment advisers, investment funds and broker-dealers while protecting their firms from legal risk.

For Investors, Now is Not the Time to ‘Be a Hero,’ David Gerstenhaber Says (CNBC)
Hedge fund manager David Gerstenhaber said on Thursday that he thinks markets are fully valued but said investors shouldn’t make big bets. Gerstenhaber, who is one of the so-called Tiger Cubs that worked under famous hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, said on “Squawk Box” that the market has not factored in the longer-term damage from the pandemic. The economic shock from the pandemic has created a “substantive swatch of long-term unemployed people,” and that will become more visible and cause a larger hit to the economy as government support programs expire, he said.

Insider Trading Wall Street Trader Panic

Luis Louro / shutterstock.com

Citadel Just Poached Two Sigma’s Data Chief for Its tech Team — and it’s the Latest Sign of How Aggressively the $30 Billion Firm is Pursuing Top Talent from Wall Street and Silicon Valley (Business Insider)
Ken Griffin modeled Citadel after Goldman Sachs’ old-school analyst program. And, just like Goldman, when employees leave Citadel, they have a leg up in the industry. While Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson remains the gold standard for hedge-fund networks, the hedge funds with connections to Griffin’s Citadel are growing in both number and prominence.

Hedge Funds Load Up on Royal Mail Short Bets in Rocky Year for the Stock (FNLondon.com)
Hedge funds are boosting their short bets on Royal Mail, which has suffered a series of setbacks this year culminating in the shock departure of the chief executive. Some big name asset managers have also piled in. BlackRock and Pictet joined hedge funds Egerton Capital and Adelphi Capital in building up short bets against Royal Mail, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s register of short positions. The regulator follows many European watchdogs in disclosing positions that make up more than 0.5% of a listed company’s outstanding shares.

Hedge Fund That Shorted China’s Luckin Early Is Betting on Worse to Come (Bloomberg)
One of the first hedge funds to wager against Luckin Coffee Inc. is betting the stock’s 93% plunge this year has further to go. Inventio Capital Management (Hong Kong) Ltd., led by Soros Fund Management LLC alumnus Wang Dawei, started shorting Luckin after its initial public offering in May 2019, adding to the position in April after the company became embroiled in an accounting scandal, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The fund is still short after Luckin’s 36% tumble on Wednesday, the person said.

These are the 10 Stock Holdings in Billionaire Investor Bill Ackman’s Market-Beating Portfolio (Business Insider)
Bill Ackman has had quite a year. Following an astonishing 58% return in 2019, he continued to handily beat the market in 2020 even as it was roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of the first quarter, which includes the months of January through March, Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings had a net gain of 3.3%, solidly beating the S&P 500’s 20% loss during the same period. It wasn’t a totally smooth ride for Ackman. He considered liquidating the portfolio, he told investors in a letter, amid the coronavirus-induced market meltdown. Instead, he decided on a large credit-hedging strategy that turned a $27 million investment into $2.6 billion.

University of Vermont Invests $15 million in Hedge Funds (Pensions&Investments)
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, Burlington, made two new direct hedge fund investments totaling $15 million for its $499 million endowment pool. The university’s investment subcommittee approved a direct investment of $10 million in Baupost Value Partners IV, a hedge fund managed by Baupost Group, and $5 million to Overlook Partners Fund, a hedge fund managed by Overlook Investments Group, recently released minutes of its April 15 meeting show.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc (RARE) CFO & Executive Vice President Shalini Sharp Sold $2.1 million of Shares (Guru Focus)
CFO & Executive Vice President of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., Shalini Sharp, sold 29,113 shares of RARE on 05/19/2020 at an average price of $73.33 a share. The total sale was $2.1 million. Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc is biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged identification, acquisition, development and commercialization of novel products for treatment of rare & ultra-rare diseases, with a focus on debilitating genetic diseases.

Thursday 5/21 Insider Buying Report: AXLA, FRG (Nasdaq.com)
On Monday, Axcella Health’s Director, David R. Epstein, made a $237,500 purchase of AXLA, buying 50,000 shares at a cost of $4.75 each. Axcella Health is trading up about 20.9% on the day Thursday. Before this latest buy, Epstein purchased AXLA at 7 other times during the past year, for a total investment of $396,973 at an average of $6.49 per share. And at Franchise Group, there was insider buying on Monday, by Director Patrick A. Cozza who bought 10,000 shares for a cost of $14.05 each, for a total investment of $140,500. This purchase marks the first one filed by Cozza in the past twelve months. Franchise Group is trading up about 8.3% on the day Thursday. So far Cozza is in the green, up about 12.5% on their buy based on today’s trading high of $15.80.

The President of II-VI (NASDAQ: IIVI) is Selling Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Yesterday, the President of II-VI (IIVI), BASHAW WALTER ROBERT II, sold shares of IIVI for $502.5K. In addition to BASHAW WALTER ROBERT II, one other IIVI executive reported Sell trades in the last month. Based on II-VI’s latest earnings report for the quarter ending March 31, the company posted quarterly revenue of $627 million and quarterly net profit of $5.92 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $342 million and had a net profit of $24.64 million. The company has a one-year high of $48.68 and a one-year low of $19.00.

CMA Fights Stockbroker in Row Over KenolKobil Insider Trading (BusinessDailyAfrica.com)
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) wants an appeal filed by former head of one of Kenya’s biggest stockbrokers to overturn his punishment over the KenolKobil insider trading case dismissed. The regulator wants the appeal by Andre DeSimone, who left his position as chief executive of Kestrel Capital in April last year after the insider trading allegations, to be declared time barred. The regulator says that the law requires that a demand for an appeal be done within 15 days, arguing that Mr DeSimone is fighting the punishment more than nine months after it was meted out.

JPMorgan Warns on Insider Trading Risk in Fast-Moving CLO Market (NewsMax.com)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is warning clients tempted to bet on bonds backed by loans to business and consumers that they may face trading counterparties benefitting from insider knowledge. The bank’s securitized products sales team told clients in an email last month seen by Bloomberg News it has received increased interest from originators and sponsors of securitizations, as well as managers of collateralized loan obligations, in buying securities from their own deals.

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