Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Howard Marks, BlueMountain Capital, Intrexon Corp (XON), Square Inc (SQ), and More

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Billionaire Investor Howard Marks Says ‘Unrealistic’ Investors Are Getting Desperate (Business Insider)
Howard Marks, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Oaktree Capital, says investors are taking on uncharacteristic levels of risk as returns dry up. He says traders are also being driven by a fear of missing out, which he calls “one of the more powerful reasons for investor aggressiveness, and also one of the most dangerous.” Howard Marks thinks investors are being pushed to extreme means to make money in this market. In his year-end 2017 memo, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Oaktree Capital lamented the lack of potential returns across a wide range of asset classes, which he says has traders behaving in uncharacteristic fashion.

Scaramucci Considers Return to SkyBridge, Scraps Vegas SALT Conference in 2018 (Bloomberg)
Anthony Scaramucci said he’d like to have a role again in the future of SkyBridge Capital, the fund-of-hedge-funds firm he founded, and scrapped plans to hold his flagship SALT conference in Las Vegas this year. “If the sale goes through I would like to — and I’ve talked to the HNA people about — retaining some equity in the firm and being active in terms of trying to help the firm’s growth and prosperity,” he said Wednesday on Bloomberg TV from Davos, Switzerland. Scaramucci last year agreed to sell his stake in SkyBridge to a group including an American subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co.

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Larry Fink Joins Ray Dalio in Warning Against Sitting in Cash (Bloomberg)
Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., is urging investors around the world to stop keeping money in cash as stock markets reach new highs. There’s too much savings on the sidelines of financial markets in countries from the U.S. to China despite the stock market rally, Fink said Thursday at the World Economic Forum. “We don’t talk about the pool of money that is still sitting here,” Fink said during a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos, Switzerland. “Our financial markets are up three times since the financial crisis.” On Wednesday, money manager Ray Dalio also warned investors on holding high levels of cash. Dalio, who founded hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, said the current economic environment is good for stocks but bad for bond investors.

BlueMountain Loses Senior Investment Adviser, Senior Trader (Reuters)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – More executives have departed BlueMountain Capital Management as the hedge fund posted disappointing results last year, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The latest to leave the $22 billion firm were Derek Smith, a partner and senior investment adviser who has been with BlueMountain since 2008, and Dave Gibbs, a senior credit trader at the firm since October 2004. Both left in December. “Like any company, BlueMountain undergoes changes in the make-up of its team that reflect the needs of investors and market dynamics,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “The result is that the firm remains nimble, responsive and well-positioned to continue to thrive,” he added.

Billionaire Steven Cohen Ramps Up GOP Donations Amid Hedge Fund Comeback (Fox Business)
The inner circle of Republican mega donors now includes a prominent hedge fund manager who has been known to shy away from publicity, preferring instead to sprinkle his donations among both Democrats and Republicans. Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, who after years of toiling with the government during its crackdown on insider trading, is on the verge of making a big splash and return to public fund business, while shoveling wads of cash into PACs controlled by the Republican Party, according to campaign finance records reviewed by FOX Business.

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