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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Ken Griffin, Tom Steyer, Elliott Management Corp, Thor Industries, Inc. (THO), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL), and More

Here’s How the Biggest Hedge Fund Managers Did in the First-Half (Bloomberg)
It’s been the best start to a year for hedge funds in a decade, and the returns for the biggest multi-strategy money managers are in. Ken Griffin, who runs the $30 billion hedge-fund firm Citadel, is beating his largest rivals, gaining 13.6% in the first six months of the year in his flagship funds, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Those funds, Kensington and Wellington, are market neutral — so their bullish wagers are matched by bearish ones. All five of the strategies that feed into them made money over the period, said the person.

Elliott Outspends Rivals as Corporate Activism Turns to Germany (Reuters)
FRANKFURT/BOSTON (Reuters) – Elliott Management Corp has invested more than rivals in its push for corporate change so far this year and there has been an increasing focus among activist investors on German companies. Elliott, Paul Singer’s $35 billion hedge fund, committed $3.4 billion in new capital in the first six months of 2019, data on the sector compiled by Lazard show, outpacing Carl Icahn who spent $2.8 billion. Elliott has investments in pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer and software firm SAP, reflecting the rise in activism directed at corporate Germany.

Insider Trading Wall Street Trader Panic

Luis Louro / shutterstock.com

Steyer Kicks Off Spending on National TV Ads: Campaign Update (Bloomberg)
Billionaire Tom Steyer is on a roll. Two days after announcing his presidential candidacy, he has already spent $1.4 million on TV ads in the key first nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The ads also will run nationally on CNN and MSNBC for two weeks. Steyer, 62, hinted at a run a 2020 run early this year, but showed up in Des Moines, Iowa, in January only to announce he had decided against it. The hedge fund manager, who has been focused on impeaching President Donald Trump, announced his candidacy in a video message on Monday.

Emerging Manager Parplus Partners Argues Investors Should Only Pay Fees When Funds Outperform (Opalesque.com)
Should investors only pay fund managers when they outperform? One emerging hedge fund manager says yes. Parplus Partners, a New York-based hedge fund manager, argues that investors should only pay fees when funds beat the market. “We think investors should only have to pay if we’re providing a service. That service is beating the S&P500,” says Parplus founder and CEO Jim Carney. Investors in Parplus only pay fees when the firm’s flagship fund beats the S&P500. Parplus invests long on S&P 500 index positions, with a small portion of the fund’s portfolio set aside for volatility trading through VIX options and VIX ETFs.

Hedge Funds Gain on Tech and Quant Exposures (Hedge Week)
Hedge funds posted strong, broad-based gains in June, with multiple and varied drivers of performance leading advances across a wide range of strategies. The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index gained +2.6 per cent for the month, the strongest month since January, increasing the Index Value to 14,408, a record level. The June gain recovers the decline from the prior month and brings 2019 performance to +7.6 per cent. The HFRI 500 Fund Weighted Composite Index, an investible index of 500 leading hedge funds, returned +1.9 per cent for June. Liquid Alternatives also advanced in June, as the HFRI-I Liquid Alternative UCITS Index added +1.3 per cent for the month, led by the HFRI-I Liquid Alternative UCITS Relative Value Index which returned +1.55 per cent.

2019 Preqin Markets in Focus: Alternative Assets in Europe (Preqin)
At €1.62tn, the European alternative assets market is the second largest in the world, representing an increasingly diverse ecosystem of over 6,300 fund managers and 3,000 institutional investors. Although hedge funds took a knock in 2018 in the face of great geopolitical uncertainty, other alternative asset classes are moving from strength to strength in Europe. High distributions and attractive returns across many private capital strategies are ensuring a consistent flow of capital into the market, and the dynamics of the industry are continuously evolving as a result. Preqin forecasts a near-doubling of global alternatives assets under management over the next four years, and all the evidence suggests that the European market will play a huge part in driving this growth.

Anchorage Capital Group Selects Northern Trust for Hedge Fund Administration (Hedge Week)
Northern Trust has been appointed by Anchorage Capital Group, a New York-based investment adviser, as its strategic partner for hedge fund administration. “Northern Trust’s strong commitment to client service, collaboration and efficiency, combined with their leading-edge technology, make them the ideal partner for our administration needs,” says Natalie Birrell, Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Anchorage Capital Group.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Made a Fake Driveway in a Manhattan Sidewalk as a Way to Get 24 Hour Free Street Parking (BoingBoing.net)
Noam Gottesman, a businessman worth $2.7 billion, added a curb cut to a public sidewalk in Manhattan’s West Village and posted “No Parking” and “Active Driveway” warnings, even though there is no driveway. Anyone who parks there gets confronted by Gottesman’s hired hands who warn the parker that their car will be ticketed and towed. For some Gottesman seems to think he deserves to use public space as his own private parking spot. New York’s Department of Buildings says Gottesman does not have permission to have a curb cut, but Gottesman’s lawyer says Gottesman has the right to the curb cut.

Six Years After Crackdown, U.S. Set for Another Insider Trading Trial (Bloomberg)
Six years after his case was hailed as the centerpiece of an insider-trading crackdown against SAC Capital Advisors LP, prosecutors said Wednesday they’re ready to take a former fund manager to trial, just weeks after a federal judge tossed his guilty plea. Richard S. Lee pleaded guilty in July 2013, days before then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara unveiled a sweeping indictment that alleged SAC Capital orchestrated a massive insider-trading scheme. Lee was one of at least eight SAC fund managers or analysts who were charged criminally in the government’s attack on illicit trading.

In First, Singapore Jails ‘Front-Runners’ for Insider Trading (Reuters)
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore convicted three people for “front-running” under insider trading laws on Wednesday, the central bank said, in the first case of its kind in the city-state. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said Leong Chee Wai, E Seck Peng Simon and Toh Chew Leong were convicted and sentenced to 36 months, 30 months and 20 months in prison. “This is the first case of front-running prosecuted as an insider trading offense in Singapore, which carries a more severe penalty,” the MAS said in a statement.

Insider Activity: Thor Industries (THO) Board Member Buys $202k in Stock (Investors Observer)
James L Ziemer, a member of the board of directors at Thor Industries (THO), bought 3,545 shares of the company’s common stock on Jul 8. At $57.23 per share, Ziemer paid a total of $202,880 for the new shares.

United States: Southern District Of New York Vacates Insider Trading Guilty Plea Based On Insufficient Personal Benefit Evidence Under United States v. Newman (Mondaq.com)
On June 21, 2019, in United States v. Lee,1 Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an order vacating the guilty plea of a former investment portfolio analyst, Richard Lee, to charges of insider trading based on confidential information obtained from an investment research firm that, in turn, received the information from company insiders. Judge Gardephe explained that, after Lee’s guilty plea in 2013, the Second Circuit clarified in United States v. Newman that a remote tippee such as Lee (that is, someone multiple steps removed for the source, or tipper, of the confidential information) only could be held liable for insider trading if (a) the tipper received a “personal benefit” for disclosing the confidential information and (b) the defendant knew that the information was confidential and the tipper received a personal benefit.

Wednesday 7/10 Insider Buying Report: THO, CLDB (Nasdaq.com)
At Thor Industries, a filing with the SEC revealed that on Monday, Director James L. Ziemer purchased 3,545 shares of THO, at a cost of $57.23 each, for a total investment of $202,880. Thor Industries is trading up about 0.6% on the day Wednesday. Before this latest buy, Ziemer made one other buy in the past twelve months, purchasing $408,700 shares for a cost of $81.74 each. And on Friday, Director Timothy K. Woofter bought $1,500 worth of Cortland Bancorp, buying 63 shares at a cost of $23.89 each. Before this latest buy, Woofter purchased CLDB at 8 other times during the past year, for a total cost of $13,454 at an average of $22.44 per share. Cortland Bancorp is trading trading flat on the day Wednesday.

A Major Shareholder at Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ: CBRL) is Selling Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Today, a Major Shareholder at Cracker Barrel (CBRL), Sardar Biglari, sold shares of CBRL for $25.72M. Based on Cracker Barrel’s latest earnings report for the quarter ending April 30, the company posted quarterly revenue of $740 million and quarterly net profit of $50.41 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $721 million and had a net profit of $48.75 million. CBRL’s market cap is $4.13B and the company has a P/E ratio of 18.81. Currently, Cracker Barrel has an average volume of 526.7K.

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