Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Jim Chanos, Bill Ackman, Starboard Value, Valiant Capital Management, Highland Capital Management, Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc (SHO), Mistras Group Inc (MG), and More

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Chanos Says He is Still ‘Maximum Short’ Tesla Even with Drop in Last Month (CNBC)
Founder of hedge fund Kynikos Associates and well-known short seller Jim Chanos said on Thursday that he is still betting against Tesla, even after the electric automaker’s stock fell dramatically in the past month. “We are still basically maximum short Tesla. It’s still one of my favorite positions,” Chanos told CNBC’s “Halftime Report.” “Nothing’s changed in my viewpoint here … It will lose money this year.”

Ackman’s Hedge Fund Posts 11% Gain in March After Recovery Bet (Bloomberg)
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management gained 11.1% in March after making a $2.5 billion “recovery bet” on the U.S. economy. Pershing Square, which runs $7.3 billion and has long bets on 10 stocks, is up 3.3% for the year, according to a public document posted on its website. The S&P 500 Index fell 12.5% in March and is down more than 20% in 2020. The hedge fund billionaire increased his wagers in portfolio companies including Lowe’s Cos., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., he said in a Bloomberg Television interview on March 23.

This Hedge Fund Saw Risks of Coronavirus Early. Now It’s Up 36% (The Wall Street Journal)
Chris Hansen saw it coming. Mr. Hansen, who runs San Francisco hedge fund Valiant Capital Management, had an early conviction the novel coronavirus would wreak havoc on the global economy. Mr. Hansen and his team homed in early on the risks the virus posed and placed wagers accordingly, said people familiar with the firm.

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Multi-Strategy Hedge Funds Outperformed Peers as Market Plunged (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Multi-strategy hedge funds – those that bet on a broad array of markets using teams of traders, leverage and centralized risk management – have flourished as stocks ended their worst three months since the 2008 financial crisis. Balyasny Asset Management, which invests $6 billion, ended the quarter with a 4.8% gain in its main fund after returning 3.7% in March, an investor said. Verition Fund Management’s Verition Multi-Strategy Fund returned 4.5% for the year to date after a 3.75% gain in March, according to preliminary figures from an investor. And Cinctive Capital Management is up 3.25% in 2020 after a roughly 1.5% gain in March, an investor said.

Starboard Moves Ahead With GCP Proxy Fight Despite Outbreak (Bloomberg)
Starboard Value is pushing ahead with its second proxy fight since the outbreak of the coronavirus, arguing its board nominees for GCP Applied Technologies Inc. would be better able to navigate the company through the crisis. The New York-based hedge fund run by Jeff Smith, which owns 9% of GCP, has nominated eight directors to take control of the chemical maker’s board. It plans to push ahead with the fight because it believes its slate of directors have the right skills to turn around the company, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

Nothing Can Stop This Hedge Fund Soap Opera (Institutional Investor)
Hedge funds that play in the rough-and-tumble world of distressed debt are accustomed to using the court system to achieve their ends. These battles often get ugly. For firms in this world – which seek to buy the equity and debt of companies that are in dire financial straits and then turn those companies around – the playbook often involves suing to recover assets, doing battle with other creditors, and taking control of the companies post-bankruptcy. But even by the standards of exceptionally litigious investment firms, Highland Capital Management stands in a class by itself.

Hedge Fund’s Big Short Shows Why Demand for Alt-Data Is Surging (Bloomberg)
Before the coronavirus sent stock markets tumbling at the fastest pace since the 2008 financial crisis, Dymon Asia Capital (Singapore) Pte sensed trouble. The hedge fund firm was combining information on past outbreaks with a raft of so-called alternative data, including Google searches in the U.S. and daily readings from China on everything from road congestion to flight schedules and test-kit availability. The numbers convinced Dymon to take short positions against the S&P 500 and an index of Chinese stocks in Hong Kong, trades that would become its biggest money makers in February and March.

Event Driven Credit Hedge Fund Ironshield Targets Dislocations with New Launch (Hedge Week)
Ironshield Capital Management, the London-based long/short event driven hedge fund that trades stressed and distressed European corporate credit, has launched its Ironshield Credit Fund on the MontLake UCITS Platform, with the aim of capitalising on recent credit market dislocations. The strategy, managed by Ironshield CIO and managing partner David Nazar, targets high absolute returns by trading event driven, stressed and distressed European high yield credits across the capital structure and ratings spectrum. Nazar – who managed proprietary credit portfolios for Deutsche Bank and Bank of America before founding Ironshield in 2007 – said the fund’s UCITS format launches as the prevailing investment landscape is “reset” by the volatility spike.

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