Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: John Rogers, Paul Singer, Harris Associates LP, Vermillion, Inc. (VRML), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Planet Fitness Inc (PLNT), and More

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John Rogers: Bridging the Wealth Gap (ThinkAdvisor.com)
Think about this when you hear the term “wealth gap”: A 2015 St. Louis Fed study found that between 1989 and 2013, even college-educated African Americans saw their wealth decline 55%. This was one part of John Rogers’ answer to my question about why he started an internship program at the University of Chicago that places under-resourced students into asset management and foundation positions. “I’ve been running Ariel for 35 years, and the wealth gap in the country between the majority community and the minority community has grown – it’s dramatic,” he explained, so he decided to “in a small way, to make a little dent in the problem.” Rogers is chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments, the asset management firm he founded in 1983 that has $13.2 billion in assets, offices in Chicago, New York and Sydney, Australia, and 99 employees.

Paul Singer’s Hedge Fund Lobbies Against Dell’s $22B Deal (TheJewishVoice.com)
Criticism about Michael Dell’s attempt to buy the VMware tracking stock for $22 billion came from Paul Singer’s Elliott Management this week. Reports say the hedge fund has communicated with the owners of the tracking stock, which is traded as Dell Technologies, with criticism of the deal, according to an article in the New York Post. “They made it clear they are against it,” one source commented. Another added, “There are certain aspects of the deal they say are pretty awful.” Singer is ensconced in the limelight. In a cover article titled Paul Singer, Doomsday Investor, The New Yorker noted that “In the press, Singer and similar investors have been compared to vultures, wolves, and hyenas. Bloomberg has called Singer “aggressive, tenacious and litigious to a fault,” anointing him “The World’s Most Feared Investor.”

Countries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the WorldCountries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the World


U.S. Hedge Fund Takes 3.1% Stake in Ryanair (MarketWatch)
U.S. hedge fund Harris Associates LP has taken a stake in European budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC RYA the airline disclosed Tuesday in a regulatory filing. Chicago-based Harris Associates has taken a 3.07% stake in Ryanair, the carrier said. The Irish carrier said Harris’s holdings reached 3% on Aug. 22. The stake was worth around $540 million at the time. Harris Associates describes itself as a value investor. It acquired stock in mining giant Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) in 2015 after shares tumbled. The fund this year disclosed that it had taken a 5.2% stake in Japanese medical-device maker Olympus Corp. (7733.TO), whose shares had underperformed.

Will Selling Micron (MU) and Apple (AAPL) Help Revive This Flailing Billion-Dollar Fund? (SmarterAnalyst.com)
Hedge fund legend David Einhorn is feeling the pressure right now. In the second quarter his Greenlight Capital fund ditched a large chunk of its Micron (NASDAQ:MU) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) holdings. The crucial question now is: Will these big bear moves bring the fund better luck going forward? Greenlight Capital is a “long-short value-oriented hedge fund.” The fund lost 5.4% in Q2, bringing its year-to-date loss to a whopping 18.3%. By contrast the market was up 2.6% in the first two quarters. Even Einhorn admitted to investors that “over the past three years, our results have been far worse than we could have imagined, and it’s been a bull market to boot.” Unsurprisingly, several investors have given up on the fund and sold out (details unknown).

Don’t Be An Investing Patsy (Forbes)
Poker players must have smiled when the great investor, Warren Buffett, quoted one of their aphorisms in a 1987 investor letter: “If you are sitting at a poker table for 30 minutes and can’t figure out who the patsy is, the patsy is you.” The book Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, written by New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar, and recommended to me by one of Framework’s members, a professional money manager, brings this message home in spades.

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