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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: John Griffin, Jim Simons, Seth Klarman, Daniel Kamensky, Engaged Capital, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM), and More

Renaissance Says Quant Models Misfired During March Mayhem (Bloomberg)
For Jim Simons, history is repeating itself, at least when it comes to meltdowns in the quant fund world. Computer models at Renaissance Technologies, the firm founded by the mathematician and former codebreaker, misfired when volatility surged this year, contributing to a first-quarter loss at its largest hedge fund. The beta models, which help determine portfolio exposure at funds for outside investors, “in recent volatile markets have not performed as expected,” Renaissance said in a March 30 filing.

Activist hedge Fund Engaged to Give Director Fees to Corporate Employees (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist investor Engaged Capital will donate roughly $500,000 in fees its executives would have earned for serving on public companies’ boards this year to those corporations’ employees, the hedge fund’s founder Glenn Welling told Reuters. Traditionally corporate agitators including Engaged ask companies to do something for shareholders such as selling divisions, cutting costs, or buying back stock, to help boost the stock price.

Seth Klarman has a Rabid Following That’s Stuck with Him Through Thick and Thin. Here’s Why Fans of the Publicity-Shy Billionaire Investor are So Obsessed (Business Insider)
There are dozens of hedge-fund billionaires, hundreds of self-proclaimed value investors, and countless people willing to offer their opinions on, well, every topic possible. Yet the number of money managers with the dedicated following of Baupost Group founder Seth Klarman, the “Oracle of Boston” and one of the most famous value investors in the world, can be counted on a single hand, and include a who’s who of the industry – names like Ray Dalio, Howard Marks, Warren Buffett, and George Soros.

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Neiman Marcus Missed Bond Payment, Hedge Fund Says (RetailDive.com)
Dive Brief: Neiman failed to make a payment on a group of bonds this week, according to hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital, which is one of the department store chain’s debtholders and has sued Neiman previously. In a public letter, Marble Ridge’s Daniel Kamensky said that Neiman was now in default on its debt obligations and his fund would “take all necessary actions to protect its rights, including its right to seek all remedies, all of which are expressly preserved.” A Neiman spokesperson would not comment on the letter or Neiman’s payment status. The retailer is reportedly exploring a possible bankruptcy as the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted Neiman to temporarily close its stores, adds new pressures on its massive debt load.

Hedge Fund Billionaire John Griffin’s Private Jet Fled to New Zealand Hust as Coronavirus Hit the US (Business Insider)
Hedge fund billionaire John Griffin appears to have left his home in New York City for a New Zealand redoubt as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the United States, according to flight data reviewed by Business Insider. Griffin, who recently wound down his hedge fund, Blue Ridge Capital, and serves as chair of the Robin Hood Foundation, paid a record $77.1 million last year for a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. But he seems to have left it behind just eight months later as the pandemic threatened New York City.

Hedge Fund Hotshots Suffer Humbling Losses in Coronavirus Chaos (Bloomberg)
Some of the hedge fund industry’s biggest names made history in March — for all the wrong reasons. Firms run by Ray Dalio, Michael Hintze, Adam Levinson and others suffered their worst-ever losses last month, with some funds down as much as 40% as the coronavirus pandemic battered global markets. Overall, three out of four hedge funds lost money, according to preliminary data compiled by Bloomberg.

Man Group’s FUM Falls 11 per cent in Q1 Turbulence, But Absolute Return Funds Gain (Hedge Week)
Man Group suffered an 11 per cent drop in funds under management during the first quarter of 2020, though its absolute return hedge fund strategies generate positive returns during March’s market mayhem. The London-headquartered publicly-listed global hedge fund group saw its funds under management slide to USD104.2 billion during the three-month period ended 31 March, down from USD117.7 billon on 31 December 2019. The group, often considered a bellwether for the UK’s broader alternative asset management industry, attracted net inflows of USD500 million, but suffered negative FX and other movements of some USD3.3 billion, according to its first quarter trading statement.

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