Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: David Harding, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Jana Partners, GAMCO Investors, Anterix Inc (ATEX), County Bancorp Inc (ICBK), and More

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Warren Buffett, Now 89, on a Lifelong Success Factor that Few Other Billionaires are Willing to Credit (CNBC)
Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett turned 89 on Friday, but the best birthday present he ever received came long ago, before he made his first penny — before he was even born. It didn’t come wrapped; it doesn’t even take a physical form. And it is a factor that few of the world’s richest people will ever credit for playing a big role in their success: luck. Of course Buffett’s made a lot of money — for those who like playing around with numbers, like Buffett does, his fortune works out to millions of dollars per each day of his life. But even with some of Berkshire Hathaway’s most recent big bets paying off, like Apple, Berkshire is trailing the the S&P 500 again this year, with the return on Berkshire shares pretty much flat.

GAMCO Investors Appoints MD of Active ETF Business (Hedge Week)
GAMCO Investors has named Dennis J DeCore as a Managing Director to lead Gabelli Funds’ ETF business. Gabelli Funds is a licensee of the Precidian Investments ActiveShares, a non-transparent, actively managed ETF which was recently approved by the SEC. Gabelli Funds expects that ActiveShares will be a significant offering to investors in the future. DeCore has over 44 years of brokerage and asset management experience. Prior to joining Gabelli Funds in 2014, he was a Managing Director at Mitsubishi Securities where he executed share repurchases for large banking clients as well as implemented equity strategies for the firm’s proprietary account.

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Jana Partners Takes 9% Stake in Bloomin’ Brands (The Wall Street Journal)
Activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC has taken a 9% stake in Bloomin’ Brands Inc. and plans to push for changes at the parent company of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain. Jana said in a Friday securities filing that it believes the shares of Bloomin’ are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity. The fund said it intends to have discussions with company management and its board regarding a sale, divestitures, capital allocation, operations and board composition.

Ray Dalio Warns of ‘Serious Problems’ and a Bond ‘Blow-off’ as a Repeat of the Late 1930s Looms (CNBC)
Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio is worried that the current landscape is starting to resemble Depression-era conditions that could hammer investors. In a LinkedIn post on Thursday, the billionaire Bridgewater Associates founder said high levels of debt and central banks’ ineffectiveness are two of the key factors that need watching. The U.S.-China conflict is adding to the problems as an existing power battles an emerging one. “If/when there is an economic downturn, that will produce serious problems in ways that are analogous to the ways that the confluence of those three influences produced serious problems in the late 1930s,” Dalio wrote.

Layoffs Watch ’18: David Harding Is Getting Paid (Deal Breaker)
Last year was a rough one for Winton Capital. Profit plunged 43% as net revenue dropped 27%. Assets under management fell almost $5 billion. Its offices in San Francisco and Oxford were shuttered, and 86 employees got their walking papers. On the other hand, Winton Group, still managed to hand its owners £67million in dividends during 2018 – just over half of which went to Harding. This was slightly higher than the £58million it shared out in 2017. And already this year the company has paid its owners another £12.5million, putting a further £7million in Harding’s pocket…. The average annual salary at Winton went up from £201,291 in 2017 to £204,078 last year.

Q2 2019 Hedge Fund Asset Flows (Preqin.com)
For the fifth consecutive quarter, hedge funds have recorded net outflows, losing $25.3bn in Q2 2019. In spite of this, hedge fund assets under management (AUM) have grown by 4.4% since the end of 2018. As seen in our Q2 2019 Hedge Fund Asset Flows factsheet, only credit strategies and multi-strategy hedge funds generated inflows in Q2, as niche strategies took a particular hit and lost $6.7bn in net withdrawals. Significant withdrawals continued in North America in Q2, and only hedge funds in Rest of World recorded inflows, where continued investor interest has helped increase AUM to $48.2bn.

Billionaire-Backed Hedge Fund Eyeing Cryptocurrency Investments (BTCManager.com)
Elwood Asset Management, a hedge fund owned by billionaire Alan Howard of Brevan Howard Asset Management, is planning to launch a platform to design a cryptocurrency portfolio for institutional investors looking to gain exposure to the rapidly growing asset class, as reported by Financial Times, August 30, 2019. The goal of such a platform is to allow investors to delegate due diligence to Elwood and lower their risk of wealth loss in a hyper volatile asset class.

Citadel’s Quiet Drug Fix (Institutional Investor)
When you think of hedge fund firms that invest in private companies, technology-oriented firms like Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management come to mind, right? And when it comes to biopharmaceutical companies, Perceptive Advisors and Deerfield Management are known investors. Meanwhile, hedge fund titan Ken Griffin’s Citadel has stayed below th…

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