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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Eric Mandelblatt, George Soros, Valinor Management, Westbeck Capital Management, Cigna Corp (CI), Cannae Holdings Inc (CNNE), and More

Top Investment Professionals Exiting Soroban (HFAlert.com)
Two key stock analysts are on their way out of Eric Mandelblatt’s Soroban Capital, whose only hedge fund has been experiencing losses. Asish Doshi’s plans are unknown, but Albert Satija will become a portfolio manager at Citadel later this year. Their exits follow an 11% loss for Soroban’s $8 billion Soroban Opportunities Fund over the first five months of 2020, a showing that underperformed a 5% decline in the S&P 500 Index. But the vehicle gained 45% last year, beating a 29% rise that marked the S&P 500’s best return since 2013. Soroban had elevated Doshi and Satija, along with Brent Greenfield and Mark Rogers, to work alongside Mandelblatt on its investment-leadership team in 2018. Those moves accompanied several changes at the New York firm that included the exit of co-founder Gaurav Kapadia.

$2.5 Billion Tiger Cub Valinor Management is Closing — it’s the First Multi-Billion-Dollar Hedge Fund to Wind Down Since the Pandemic Started (Business Insider)
Valinor Management, a New York-based hedge fund created by an alumnus of the prestigious Tiger Management, is winding down its fund, Business Insider has learned. The New York-based firm oversaw $2.5 billion in assets on behalf of six clients, according to its last regulatory filing at the end of March. Valinor sent an email to vendors on Tuesday evening notifying them it “has determined to begin the process of winding up its business operations and liquidating the funds’ portfolios.” The firm declined to comment through a spokesperson.

Why Would a Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Rush to Buy a Bubble? (The Street)
A common view among market timers right now is that the speculative bubble action is a sign that a market top is forming. It is a typical contrarian argument based on the logic that when buyers are excessively undisciplined there can’t be that much buying power left and the market is likely to top. Market bubbles always end badly eventually but from the perspective of an aggressive trader that really isn’t the issue. The issue is how to make the most money possible while you can. Recently, hedge fund titan George Soros commented, “When I see a bubble forming, I rush to buy, adding fuel to the fire.” Soros does the direct opposite of what many market timers are advising right now. He embraces the speculative action and even tries to increase its intensity.

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Hedge Fund Shorts on UK Equities Jump 25% in 2020 – Reports (Investmentweek.co.uk)
Several high-profile hedge fund managers including Odey, Citadel, Lansdowne Partners, Marshall Wace and Millennium have added net short positions in FTSE 100 stocks to their portfolios during the first five months of 2020, according to a report by the Financial Times (FT), with short positions in UK firms having reached 1,569 among hedge funds during the first five months of the year. The data, which was given to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by ETF firm GraniteShares, found this was a 25% increase compared to the same period – between 2 January and 25 May – last year. The minimum threshold for disclosing net short positions is 0.1%, although this was only reduced from 0.2% in April, meaning some smaller short positions may not have been included in the research.

Oil Hedge Fund Westbeck Bullish on Further Energy Price Recovery After Volatile Markets Sends Returns Soaring (Hedge Week)
Westbeck Capital Management, the London-based long/short energy specialist hedge fund, is positioning for a continued recovery in oil and oil equities after making bumper returns amid frenzied markets during the first six months of the year. The Westbeck Energy Opportunity Fund has generated a remarkable 76 per cent year to date, having gained more than 11 per cent in the first few weeks of June, which followed a 5.6 per cent return in May.

Sanity Checking Momentum and Trend (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – In February 2020 Finnish asset manager Northern Star Partners launched a new fund, NS Quant, to capture positive and negative price trends early across several asset classes. The period since has been a somewhat challenging environment for many trend-followers. Judging from its 16.2 percent-gain gross of fees since its inception in February through the end of May, NS Quant is obviously doing something right – and different. “Classifying NS Quant as a trend-follower is hard and inaccurate because there is more to it,” says Kenneth Barner-Rasmussen, who previously had worked at Man Group’s discretionary investment engine Man GLG.

Global Hedge Fund Industry AUM Declines by $204.7bn in May 2020 YTD (Opalesque.com)
The global hedge fund industry AUM has declined by $204.7 billion as of May 2020 year-to-date. Net outflows for Q1 stood at $85.9 billion, which compares to the $94.7 billion of net outflows in Q4 2018, said Eurekahedge Report. The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gained 2.03% in May, recouping some of the losses it suffered in the first quarter, supported by the robust performance of the underlying global equity market as seen by the 4.32% return of the MSCI AC World Index over the same month. According to the report, the Eurekahedge North American Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index gained 3.88% in May, driven by the strong performance of US equities. The tech-heavy NASDAQ gained 6.75% – recording its new all-time high in May, while the S&P 500 ended the month up 4.53%.