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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Eddie Lampert, Starboard Value LP, Elliott Management, Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG), The Medicines Company (MDCO), and More

Elliott’s U.K. Fixer-Upper Gets Another Lift (Bloomberg)
For a company owner, a clean sale is usually preferable to the rigmarole of going public. But Elliott Management Corp.’s decision to sell shares in Charter Court Financial Services Group Plc in 2017, rather than find a buyer at any price, looks to have been vindicated: the U.K. specialist lender is close to pairing up with rival OneSavings Bank Plc at a much higher valuation.

Investor Paul Shiverick Is Selling His $21 Million Palm Beach Mansion (Bloomberg)
For years, Paul Shiverick, co-founder of the hedge fund management firm Seminole Management Co., vacationed in Palm Beach, Fla., with his wife Betsy, a former currency trader. By 2013, “Our kids were all out of the house, and so we started spending more time down here, then decided to make this our permanent home,” he says.

Countries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the WorldCountries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the World

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GCP Applied Technologies Nears Board Deal with Starboard: Sources (Reuters)
(Reuters) – U.S. construction and building materials supplier GCP Applied Technologies Inc is nearing a deal over the composition of its board with activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The agreement would come after Starboard amassed a 4.6 percent stake in GCP and put forward five nominees to stand for election to the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s nine-member board of directors. GCP has agreed to appoint at least two of Starboard’s nominees to its board, the sources said. If the negotiations are concluded successfully, the agreement could be announced this week, the sources added.

Hedge Funds Continue Comeback from 2018 (HedgeWeek)
Hedge funds returned an average of +1.27 per cent in February, according to the just-released eVestment February 2019 hedge fund return data, building on a strong January to bring year-to-date (YTD) performance to +4.55 per cent. The contrast to 2018’s average industry performance of -5.05 per cent is stark and demonstrates the industry’s effort to shake off last year’s challenges. The first two months of 2019 offered up the industry’s best returns to start a year since 2012, when average returns were at +5.78 per cent through February of that year. The big winners for the month were China-focused hedge funds, returning an average of +7.17 per cent in February, bringing YTD 2019 returns to +14.17 per cent, compared to -16.63 per cent returns for China-focussed funds in 2018.

Column: Sears Bankruptcy Reorganization Lets Eddie Lampert Save $2 billion on Taxes (ChicagoTribune)
Back when it was a retail powerhouse, Sears used to say it was “Where America Shops for Value.” Now, as a pathetic remnant of a once-great company prepares to emerge from bankruptcy, its new slogan should be “Where Eddie Lampert Shops for Tax Savings.” Why do I say this? Because according to an analysis by tax expert Bob Willens of Robert Willens LLC, Sears’ bankruptcy reorganization is set up in a way that will allow Lampert, a hedge-fund operator who is Sears’ principal creditor and its former controlling shareholder, to save about $2 billion of income taxes.

$18 Billion Hedge Fund CQS is Pushing Into the US as Its New CEO Looks to a New Strategy (Business Insider)
A multibillion-dollar London-based hedge fund wants to expand its presence in the United States, and it thinks customized strategies built for specific investors is the way to do it. CQS, an $18 billion hedge fund manager founded by a billionaire who was knighted by the Queen, named a new CEO, Xavier Rolet, at the end of last year. The firm had been run by Sir Michael Hintze for its first two decades of existence.

Interserve Attacks Hedge Fund Coltrane Over Rescue (Standard.co.uk)
Coltrane, the US hedge fund threatening to scupper a rescue of struggling outsourcer Interserve this week, has rebuffed board attempts to engage with it since December by refusing to sign confidentiality agreements, the Standard understands. Interserve, which employs 68,000 people and is led by chief executive Debbie White, saw its shares fall another 9%, or 1.3p, to 13.3p today as it races to avert a Carillion-style collapse.

Insider Buying At Hartford, Weight Watchers, Selling At Boeing, Salesforce (Forbes)
Back in 1810, a group of businessmen in Hartford, Connecticut formed a fire insurance company for their mutual protection. Today Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. It sells property and casualty insurance, group life and health insurance, and mutual funds. I suspect that many people wouldn’t invest in Hartford because they think of it as old and stodgy. Don’t tell that to Christopher Swift, the CEO. He bought $499,530 of his company’s stock in January. With his wife and affiliated trusts, he controls 208,188 shares, worth just over $10 million as of Friday.

Insider Weekends: Founder Of Entercom Communications Starts Buying Again (SeekingAlpha)
Insider buying decreased significantly last week with insiders purchasing $158.33 million of stock compared to $314.42 million in the week prior. Selling on the other hand increased with insiders selling $3.8 billion of stock last week compared to $2.09 billion in the week prior. A large part of this increase in selling was on account of selling by insiders of Americold Realty Trust (NYSE:COLD) to the tune of $1.29 billion in a secondary offering.

Insider Buys Of The Week: Arconic, CenturyLink, Hain Celestial and More (Benzinga)
Conventional wisdom says insiders and 10 percent owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. So insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, particularly during periods of uncertainty. Here’s a look at a few notable insider purchases reported in the past week. Arconic: Pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, chief executive and board chair, John Plant, scooped up a total of 105,000 Arconic Inc ARNC 2.03% shares last week.

In the Lull Between Earnings Seasons, Keep an Eye on Insider Selling (Real Money)
Even though the December-quarter earnings season is only really winding down now, we have just over three weeks until the current quarter comes to an end. Soon after, the March-quarter earnings season begins. Generally speaking, such lulls see investors triangulating what was learned over the last several weeks with the latest information and other cues to prepare for what’s likely ahead. As we’ve talked about in recent Roundups, a growing concern is U.S.-China trade talks may not live up to the expectations being set by the White House.

Select Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:SLCT) Insider Trading Activity – COO Sold 14,380 Shares of Stock (MarketExclusive)
Insider Trading Activity For Select Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:SLCT): Lynn H Johnson , COO of Select Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:SLCT) reportedly Sold 14,380 shares of the company’s stock at an average price of 11.59 for a total transaction amount of $166,664.20.

Monday 3/11 Insider Buying Report: MDCO, STBA (Nasdaq.com)
Bargain hunters are wise to pay careful attention to insider buying, because although there are many various reasons for an insider to sell a stock, presumably the only reason they would use their hard-earned cash to make a purchase, is that they expect to make money. Today we look at two noteworthy recent insider buys. On Wednesday, Medicines (MDCO)’s Director, Alexander J. Denner, made a $6.18M purchase of MDCO, buying 248,100 shares at a cost of $24.91 a piece. So far Denner is in the green, up about 3.0% on their purchase based on today’s trading high of $25.65. Medicines is trading up about 0.3% on the day Monday. Before this latest buy, Denner bought MDCO at 4 other times during the past year, for a total cost of $32.84M at an average of $22.40 per share.

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