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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Philip Falcone, Alan Howard, Ariel Investments, Elliott Management, Mcdonald’s Corp (MCD), Crown Holdings, Inc. (CCK), and More

Wall Street Billionaire’s Socialite Wife in Explosive Suit Name-dropping Alicia Keys (Fox Business)
Billionaire hedge fund boss Philip Falcone and his wife Lisa Falcone were hit with a federal lawsuit by a private chef who claimed they neglected to pay him in full and subjected the Filipino cook to workplace discrimination – including calling his black girlfriend a “chocolate-covered marshmallow,” court papers show. Lisa Falcone and her husband, the founder of Harbinger Capital Partners, reportedly hired Brian Villanueva in January 2019 and apparently agreed to pay him a $100,000 salary to shop for the Falcone’s groceries and cook their meals.

Billionaire Alan Howard’s Star Traders Put Hedge Fund Back on Track (Bloomberg)
In his investment firm’s darkest days, with performance sagging and billions of assets fleeing, Alan Howard was running out of options. So he turned to his top money managers for the fix. It took two years, but the bleeding has stopped. Investors are beginning to return and his Brevan Howard Asset Management is headed toward a third decade as one of Europe’s most durable hedge fund shops. In the biggest executive suite change since its 2002 founding, Howard last week relinquished his management role to turn his full attention back to the rates trading that made him a billionaire; he named Chief Risk Officer Aron Landy chief executive.

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Tonis Valing / Shutterstock.com

Interview: Ariel Investments’ Rupal Bhansali Answers Your Investing Questions, Part I (Forbes)
Rupal Bhansali is the chief investment officer for international and global equities at John RogersAriel Investments, a Chicago-based firm with $12.7 billion in assets under management. Heading up the Ariel Global Fund and Ariel International Fund, Bhansali began her buy-side career at Soros Fund Management over 20 years ago. She joined Ariel in 2001 and now manages approximately $7 billion in portfolios for both institutional and retail clients.

Nielsen to Split into Two Companies, Gets Backing from Investor Elliott (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Market research firm Nielsen Holdings Plc (NLSN.N) said on Thursday it would split into two publicly traded companies in a bid to boost shareholder value, a year after activist investor Elliott Management urged a sale of the company. Nielsen, best known for its television ratings that are used to determine advertising rates for TV commercials, started exploring options from September last year, a month after Elliott disclosed a 5.1% stake in the company.

New York’s ‘Billionaires’ Row’ Notches a $61 Million Deal (The Wall Street Journal)
The purchaser is tied to wealthy hardware entrepreneur Eric Smidt; other buyers in the building include hedge-fund executive Ken Griffin. A unit at 220 Central Park South, one of the new skyscrapers on New York’s “Billionaires’ Row,” has sold for $61 million. It is one of the largest transactions to have closed so far this year in the city. Records show the buyer is a limited liability company tied to Eric Smidt, a hardware entrepreneur who also owns a roughly 10-acre estate in Beverly Hills., Calif. The company, which closed on the unit in late September, shares a registered Los Angeles address with another company controlled by Mr. Smidt, records show.

Crispin Odey Makes a Killing on Britain’s Retail Apocalypse (Bloomberg)
As the e-commerce boom lays waste to bricks and mortar retailers, it was only a matter of time before Britain’s high street landlords were hobbled too. U.K. shopping center owner Intu Properties Plc is at the epicenter of this particular storm and is ill-equipped to cope because it has too much debt. A trading update this week confirmed that it’s in a very tight spot and raising equity is now considered “likely.” The stock dropped 24% over two trading sessions, swelling total losses over the past year to 84%. Hedge Fund Odey Asset Management and other short-sellers have made a killing here. Shareholders’ best hope of salvaging more value is that someone makes a takeover bid.

Accendo in Action (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Sweden-based Impact Coatings AB, which develops and commercializes innovative technology for industrial coatings, announced on October 29 that it will carry out a directed issue of 5.4 million new shares to Hyundai Motor Company and 3.9 million new shares to activist investor Accendo Capital, raising SEK 65 million. After the transaction, Hyundai and Accendo Capital will own 10.4 percent and 12.0 percent of the outstanding shares and votes, respectively. As an engaged investor, Accendo maintains a concentrated portfolio of Northern European small-cap companies. The fund has been invested in Impact Coatings since late 2017 and Accendo Senior Partner Mark H. Shay became chairman of the board in May of 2018. Prior to the transaction, Accendo owns 5.6 percent of shares and votes.

Feds Drop Case Against Ex-SAC Exec Ahead Of Trial (Law360.com)
Law360 (November 7, 2019, 12:41 PM EST) — Manhattan federal prosecutors have dropped insider trading charges against a former portfolio manager at SAC Capital who was headed to trial after getting his 2013 guilty plea vacated for falling short of the legal bar set out in the Second Circuit’s Newman decision. In a request filed Thursday, prosecutors dropped their case against Richard Lee, citing the fact that the evidence is now ten years old and that he has paid penalties to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “The government has determined that it is in the public interest to dismiss the charges pending against Lee,” prosecutors wrote in the…

U.S. Hedge Fund Takes £100MM Stake in Burford Capital (Litigation Finance Journal)
A U.S. hedge fund has taken a 5.2% stake in Burford Capital – investing £100MM into the world’s largest litigation funder – which places the fund squarely at odds with Muddy Waters, the investment firm that publicly shorted (and continues to short) Burford.

Crown Holdings Inc (CCK) EVP & COO Gerard H Gifford Sold $744,100 of Shares (Guru Focus)
EVP & COO of Crown Holdings Inc., Gerard H Gifford, sold 10,000 shares of CCK on 11/06/2019 at an average price of $74.41 a share. The total sale was $744,100. Crown Holdings Inc is one of the world’s largest producer of metal packaging products. The company manufactures beverage cans, metal food cans, and closures as well as aerosol cans. It operates mainly in US and Europe. Crown Holdings Inc has a market cap of $10.14 billion; its shares were traded at around $74.81 with a P/E ratio of 21.08 and P/S ratio of 0.88.

McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) Executives are Making Moves with Their Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Today, a Director at McDonald’s (MCD), John J. Mulligan, bought shares of MCD for $251.5K. Following John J. Mulligan’s last MCD Buy transaction on March 24, 2017, the stock climbed by 71.8%. Following this transaction John J. Mulligan’s holding in the company was increased by 81.25% to a total of $563.1K.

Bluelinx Holdings Inc (BXC) PRESIDENT AND CEO Mitchell B Lewis Bought $188,139 of Shares (Guru Focus)
PRESIDENT AND CEO of Bluelinx Holdings Inc., Mitchell B Lewis, bought 11,900 shares of BXC on 11/07/2019 at an average price of $15.81 a share. The total cost of this purchase was $188,139. BlueLinx Holdings Inc is a distributer of building products in the United States. The company operates through a network of warehouses, supplying products such as plywood, lumber, roofing and insulation. BlueLinx Holdings Inc has a market cap of $143.560 million; its shares were traded at around $15.33 with and P/S ratio of 0.05.

The EVP Human Resources & CHRO of Patrick Industries (NASDAQ: PATK) is Selling Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Yesterday, the EVP Human Resources & CHRO of Patrick Industries (PATK), Courtney Blosser, sold shares of PATK for $384.4K. Following Courtney Blosser’s last PATK Sell transaction on December 07, 2018, the stock climbed by 17.1%. In addition to Courtney Blosser, one other PATK executive reported Sell trades in the last month.