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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Paul Singer, Carl Icahn, Arquitos Capital, PBF Energy Inc (PBF), Moderna Inc (MRNA), and More

Breakingviews – Accord is within Reach for SoftBank and Elliott (Reuters)
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Masayoshi Son and Paul Singer see the world differently. The SoftBank boss touts a 300-year outlook, while the billionaire hedge fund impresario favours more immediate shareholder value. The results may ultimately be suboptimal, but the two men should be able to find common ground. Singer’s Elliott Management has built a near-3% stake in the $108 billion technology conglomerate. Son seems ready to give ground on governance, stating alongside quarterly results on Wednesday that he’s keen to improve disclosure at the colossal Vision Fund.

Xerox Mimics Icahn’s Pugnacity in Pursuit of HP (Bloomnberg)
As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of corporations being guided by corporate raiders, a.k.a. shareholder activists. They tend to rely on financial engineering to boost the stock price; cut back on “expenses” like customer service and research and development; and run for the exits when they see the roof caving in. But Xerox Holdings Corp. may be the exception. The company’s biggest shareholder is the activist of activists, 83-year-old Carl Icahn, who controls around 11% of the stock. The chairman, Keith Cozza, is the chief executive officer of Icahn Enterprises LP, Icahn’s holding company. One board member, Nicholas Graziano, is a portfolio manager with Icahn Capital LP, Icahn’s hedge fund. Another is John Christodoro, a former managing partner at Icahn Capital.

Hedge Fund Association Adds Two to Leadership Team (HedgeWeek)
The Hedge Fund Association (HFA), an international nonprofit trade and nonpartisan lobbying organisation, has appointed Josh Stone, Legal & Compliance Advisor, and Mark Shaw, UK Regional Co-Director, as board directors. “I am delighted to augment HFA’s global team with leaders who help drive our mission, including in the UK, a robust calendar of educational and networking events, and a new legal/compliance advisor to guide us in this key area,” says Mitch Ackles, HFA President. Nominations are now being accepted for HFA’s annual global board of directors election. Once the candidates are finalised voting by HFA members will commence in March of 2020. All HFA Directors are volunteers, elected by HFA’s members and serving for three-year terms. This year’s election will fill seven Board positions.

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Analyst Hub Names Former Point72 Head of European Compliance Corey McBride as Chief Compliance Officer (GlobeNewswire.com)
New York, Feb. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Analyst Hub, LLC, an independent research infrastructure platform company that provides talented sell-side analysts a path to owning their own enterprises, today announced it has expanded its executive leadership team with the addition of Corey McBride as Chief Compliance Officer. In this role, McBride is responsible for all compliance activities, including regulatory reporting, risk identification, prevention, monitoring, detection and resolution, including expansion to new regions, and for all ongoing support for Analyst Hub’s affiliate Independent Research Providers (IRPs). McBride is based in Analyst Hub’s New York headquarters and reports directly to founder and CEO Mike Kronenberg. McBride comes to Analyst Hub with more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently as Head of European Compliance for Point72 Asset Management.

Hedge Funds Lost 0.18% in January, Says BarclayHedge (Opalesque.com)
After a four-month winning run, the hedge fund industry had a downbeat start to the new year losing 0.18% in January, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was more or less break-even with a 0.04% loss in January. According to Backstop BarclayHedge, mixed economic indicators worldwide joined with global events during the month to stunt returns for many hedge fund sectors, resulting in a reversal from December’s 1.73% industry-wide return. “January was a challenging month for investors, marked as it was by the impact of U.S.-Iran tensions at the start of the month and the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus later in January,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.

Multi-Manager Push Gains Momentum (HFAlert.com)
Two former Lighthouse Investment executives are nearing the launch of a novel multi-manager program that has been more than two years in the making. Indications are that John FitzGibbon and Barry Timmins will start trading through their Alpha Paradigm Partners this year. While it’s unclear how much capital the Chicago operation will be running on day one, a source said its commitment pipeline grew at Context Summits’ “Miami 2020” conference on Jan. 29-31 in Miami Beach. Alpha Paradigm would run separate accounts, routing capital to a range of outside managers while adding hedges to those firm’s strategies to the specifications of each limited partner. For example, the firm has considered adjustments that could create market-neutral portfolios from the investments of long-bias or variable-net-exposure specialists.

This Small Korean Hedge Fund Reportedly Made a Killing from the Watershed ‘Parasite’ Oscar Win (CNBC)
The South Korean film “Parasite” shocked Hollywood by taking home the best picture Oscar, and the history-making triumph also means a huge windfall for a tiny hedge fund in the country. The Seoul-based Ryukyung PSG Asset Management’s hedge fund had invested around $500,000 in Bong Joon-ho’s dark comedy, and its Oscar win has pushed the fund’s return to 72% since its inception in 2018, according to Bloomberg News. Ryukyung did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

A Self-Taught Hedge Fund Manager Who’s Returned 16%-Plus Annually to Investors Since 2012 Shares His ‘Special Situation’ Strategy – and a Stock that Makes Up 39% of His Holdings (Business Insider)
Steven Kiel – the self-made founder and portfolio manager at Arquitos Capital – leverages a special situations approach to investing that features hyper-concentrated positions. He says he looks for companies in transition and to maximize specific situations while minimizing externalities. Kiel has returned 16.9% annually after fees to shareholders since Arquitos’ inception in 2012.

A Director at Landmark Bancorp (NASDAQ: LARK) is Selling Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Yesterday, a Director at Landmark Bancorp (LARK), Patrick Alexander, sold shares of LARK for $269.9K. In addition to Patrick Alexander, one other LARK executive reported Sell trades in the last month. Based on Landmark Bancorp’s latest earnings report for the quarter ending December 31, the company posted quarterly revenue of $13.5 million and quarterly net profit of $3.27 million.

Moderna Inc (MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel Sold $750,485 of Shares (Guru Focus)
CEO of Moderna Inc., Stephane Bancel, sold 33,134 shares of MRNA on 02/10/2020 at an average price of $22.65 a share. The total sale was $750,485. Moderna Inc has a market cap of $7.11 billion; its shares were traded at around $21.35 with and P/S ratio of 85.74. GuruFocus has detected 1 severe warning sign with Moderna Inc.

PBF Energy: Massive Insider Buying/Solid Yield (Seeking Alpha)
Today, we are going to revisit refiner PBF Energy (PBF). The shares have been weighed down by the plunge in energy prices so far in 2020 even though the company is impacted by the ‘crack spread,’ not the level of energy prices. In addition, Mexico’s richest man Carlos Slim continues to buy the shares hand over fist. Add in an over four percent dividend yield and more than reasonable valuations, this value stock was worth circling back on.

Wednesday 2/12 Insider Buying Report: STC, PFGC (Nasdaq.com)
As the saying goes, there are many possible reasons for an insider to sell a stock, but only one reason to buy — they expect to make money. So let’s look at two noteworthy recent insider buys. On Monday, Stewart Information Services’ Chief Executive Officer, Frederick H. Eppinger, made a $1.05M buy of STC, purchasing 26,423 shares at a cost of $39.89 each. So far Eppinger is in the green, up about 3.1% on their buy based on today’s trading high of $41.11. Stewart Information Services is trading up about 2.1% on the day Wednesday. Before this latest buy, Eppinger made one other buy in the past twelve months, purchasing $459,593 shares for a cost of $40.61 a piece.

Former Payday Boss Convicted of Insider Trading (Kotaku.co.uk)
The former CEO of Payday developer Starbreeze has been convicted of insider trading. According to Dagens Industry (translated via Google), Bo Andersson Klint and another manager sold shares in the company ahead of a period of financial difficulty in November 2018. The Swedish Crime Agency brought charges against Klint in September 2019, following the closure of a preliminary case in the wake of raids of Starbreeze’s offices in late 2018. According to the prosecutor, by selling his shares, Klint was able to reduce his losses by 1.3 million Swedish Krona (approximately £100,000). Following his conviction, Klint was made to forfeit 700,000 Krona (approximately £56,000), and fined a further 38,000 SEK (£3,000).

Top Berenberg Banker Cleared in Insider Trading Probe (FNLondon.com)
The managing partner of Germany’s oldest bank who was accused of insider trading by prosecutors in Hamburg last year has been cleared of any wrongdoing. Hendrik Riehmer, a prominent name in German banking circles, was investigated amid a probe into two acquaintances who gained €3.2m from trading the shares of shipping company Hapag-Lloyd. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that Riehmer had allegedly tipped off the pair about a share sale Berenberg was preparing.

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