Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Och-Ziff Capital Management, Elliot Management, Alan Howard, Transocean LTD (RIG), WSFS Financial Co. (WSFS), and More

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Och-Ziff to Shut European Hedge Fund as New CEO Shifts Focus (Bloomberg)
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC is shutting its European hedge fund as the firm refocuses on its main products under the new leadership of Robert Shafir, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The OZ Europe Master Fund, which has lagged the firm’s other multi-strategy funds this year and last, saw assets decline to $230 million from about $900 million two years earlier, according to one of the people and company filings. Investors are expected to transfer their capital into the flagship OZ Master Fund, which will execute the European strategies as part of its global multi-strategy portfolio, said the person. Och-Ziff is also weighing returning capital to investors in other smaller funds.

Elliott Seeks to Replace Telecom Italia Chair (MarketWatch)
Activist fund Elliott Management moved to replace some of Telecom Italia SpA’s (TIT.MI) board members, including the company’s chairman, in a management shake-up after the fund accumulated a stake in the Italian company. Telecom Italia said Thursday that Elliott has requested some changes to the shareholders’ meeting agenda, including proposing the replacement of Chairman and Vivendi SA (VIV.FR) CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine.

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Hedge-Fund Billionaire Buying Bitcoin Is Cautionary Tale (Bloomberg)
Bitcoin continues to redefine the word volatility. The cryptocurrency is down more than 50 percent from its December peak; but that still leaves it up more than 600 percent from its value a year ago. On Thursday, it dipped below $8,000, marking a decline of more than a third this month alone. Its fellow digital currencies including Ripple and Ethereum have inflicted similar losses on holders — or hodlers, as crypto-fanatics call the ever-bullish aficionados who grin and bear their losses in expectation of a renewed rally. The renewed slide comes after my Bloomberg News colleagues Alastair Marsh and Nishant Kumar reported on Wednesday that billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard made “sizable personal investments” in cryptocurrencies and associated technology last year. Some of his fellow partners at Brevan Howard Asset Management have also put their own money into the new-fangled structures, they reported.

Top Wall Street Quant Cliff Asness Bets Higher in Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) (SmarterAnalyst.com)
Cliff Asness did not make his way to becoming a 51-year-old quant wizard and billionaire without knowing the ins and outs of alternative strategies. When it comes to conventional trading, Asness cares less about beating out the market and more about delivering a strong average return in this alternative arena. Applied Quantitative Research (AQR) Capital Management sprang to life back in 1998 thanks to Asness, along with co-founders David Kabiller, John Liew, and Robert Krail; and this hedge fund is a billionaire-making machine. Asness stands with the tallest fortune at $3 billion- and it seems that he now believes Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could bolster his net worth.

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