Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: George Soros, Per Johansson, Neil Woodford, Highfields Capital, Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL), J.Jill Inc (JILL), and More

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Faced with Rising Far Right, Soros Foundations Look West (Reuters)
BERLIN (Reuters) – George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, best known for funding civil rights activists across Eastern Europe and the developing world, are increasingly turning their attention to affluent western Europe in response to the rise of the far right there. Officials at the hedge fund magnate and philanthropist’s charity, which disburses around a billion dollars a year, said the nationalist right’s recent electoral successes were triggering the same contraction in the space for independent activism that had earlier been seen in Eastern Europe.

This Hedge Fund Is Up 74% and 35% Per Annum Since Inception (Guru Focus)
The Atlantic Absolute Return Fund has smashed the returns of hedge fund peers. 2018 was a pretty miserable year for the hedge fund industry. According to data supplied by eVestment, hedge funds ended 2018 in the red with an average performance of -4.86%. This was a sharp turnaround from 2017, when the hedge fund industry produced the best performance since 2013, with an aggregate gain of 8.9%, following a positive return of 5.4% in 2016. Following the dismal end to 2018, when markets around the world collapsed, hedge funds rebounded strongly during the first quarter of 2019. Data show that hedge funds added 5.7% on average during the first quarter of 2019, the best start to a year since 2006.

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Highfields Spinoff Solel Partners to Start Trading Later This Year (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Solel Partners is expected to start trading with more than $400 million in capital later this year, after the new hedge fund received commitments from pensions, endowments and the founders’ former boss, who ran hedge fund Highfields Capital, two people familiar with the matter said. Boston-based Solel, which is being launched by Craig Peskin and Peter Fleiss, will be the first, and likely the largest spinoff, from Highfields, a $12 billion fund that stopped managing money for outside clients last year.

Neil Woodford Urged to Find Other Ways to Return Billions to Clients (The Guardian)
Investment group Hargreaves Lansdown has urged investment manager Neil Woodford to look for alternative ways to return billions of pounds to clients trapped in his suspended flagship fund. In an online post addressed to Hargreaves customers, the chief executive, Chris Hill, said he was angry the situation was still unresolved and pledged to ratchet up the pressure on Woodford’s investment house.

Billion-Dollar Swedish Hedge Fund Happy With Stocks Blowing Up (Bloomberg)
Short sellers are getting paid as investors are losing their tolerance for failure. “The environment for shorting has improved a lot this year and last year,” said Per Johansson, chief investment officer at Stockholm-based Bodenholm Capital AB. “There are more stocks that blow up when they have problem.”

Hedge Fund Manager John Paulson Shutters London Office (CityAM.com)
Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made billions of dollars by betting against subprime mortgages before the financial crash, has reportedly closed his London business. Orkun Kilic, the last remaining partner in the London office, has left the firm according to a filing to Companies House. A Paulson & Co spokesperson told the Financial Times: “The Paulson European Fund represented a small amount of our AUM. The UK and Western Europe will continue to be an important part of our investment focus”.

Australian Hedge Fund Bags 74% Gain on Millennials and Iron (Bloomberg)
Millennials’ shopping habits have helped fuel hefty gains at an Australian hedge fund this year. Regal Funds Management Pty’s Atlantic Absolute Return Fund shot up 74% through May, boosted by winning bets on buy-now, pay-later service Zip Co., and iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., according to its newsletter.

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