Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Israel Englander, Starboard Value, Elliott Management, Empower Clinics Inc (EPWCF), Walt Disney Co (DIS), and More

World’s Top 10 Hedge Fund Managers Earn $20.1 Billion in 2020 (Reuters)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Millennium Management’s Israel Englander earned $3.8 billion last year, landing him the biggest payday of any hedge fund manager in 2020, showed data from Institutional Investor. Englander more than doubled his $1.5 billion payday in 2019 and made $2 billion more than the previous year’s rich list leaders Chris Hohn and Jim Simons, while making gains of 26% for his investors.

Elliott to Take Stake in Insurer Principal Financial (Bloomberg)
Principal Financial Group Inc. said it plans to launch a strategic review and appoint two new independent directors as part of a settlement agreement with activist investor Elliott Investment Management. The New York-based hedge fund has been pushing the company to explore selling or spinning off its more capital-intensive life insurance business to focus on its more profitable wealth management operations, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The company said in a statement Monday as part of the deal with Elliott it had struck a committee to initiate a strategic review of its business mix, capital management, and capital deployment options.

Starboard SPAC Nears $3.4 Billion Deal for Data-Center Company Cyxtera (The Wall Street Journal)
A special-purpose acquisition company backed by shareholder activist Starboard Value LP is nearing a deal to combine with data-center provider Cyxtera Technologies Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Starboard Value Acquisition Corp. is discussing a deal that would value Cyxtera at around $3.4 billion including debt, the people said. It could be finalized by Monday assuming the talks don’t fall apart, they said.

25 Highest-Paid Hedge Fund Managers Made $32 billion in 2020, a Record (CNBC)
The 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers made a record $32 billion in 2020, up more than 50% over 2019, according to Institutional Investor’s Rich List. A total of 15 hedge fund managers made $1 billion or more, compared with only eight in 2019. The big gains during the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the public debate over hedge funds in the wake of the GameStop controversy, is likely to draw criticism from lawmakers and the public over hedge fund pay and fairness in financial markets.

Hedge Funds Clash Over Tech Stocks: SEC Filings (Forbes)
Many well-known funds have filed their 13Fs within the last week or so, and it seems clear that tech stocks aren’t the be-all, end-all they were last year. Many hedge funds sold or reduced their tech names positions, while others bought and added to them. For example, there was a lot of action on Alphabet running in both directions. Prem Watsa‘s Fairfax Financial Holdings LPLA +1.9% added to its stake in Alphabet, as did Baupost, Adage Capital Partners, D1 Capital Partners, Maverick, Melvin Capital, Soros Fund, and Dorsey Asset Management.

Man GLG’s Flamand Urges Market Neutral Tilt as Inflation Risk Looms Amid Equities “Euphoria” (Hedge Week)
Inflation is the next big risk facing the nascent economic recovery, and equity investors should be “exceptionally selective” in their exposures, tilting portfolios towards market neutral strategies that will help avoid excessive beta risk, says Man Group’s Pierre-Henri Flamand. Flamand – CIO emeritus and senior investment adviser at Man GLG, the discretionary hedge fund unit of London-listed investment giant Man Group – believes UK, European and Asian markets now offer attractive relative value stockpicking opportunities away from the “equity euphoria” seen Stateside.