Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Philip Falcone, George Soros, Bill Ackman, Impala Asset Management, AbbVie Inc (ABBV), Range Resources Corp. (RRC), and More

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Activist Investor Makes New Push for HC2 Board to Remove Chief Falcone: Letter (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – An activist investor is stepping up calls for the board of HC2 Holdings Inc (HCHC.N) to remove Chief Executive and Chairman Philip Falcone as the former hedge fund manager faces mounting legal and financial troubles. MG Capital, run by former Third Point executive Michael Gorzynski, said for the second time in two months that it wants Falcone out. Gorzynski asked lead independent director Wayne Barr in a letter seen by Reuters a “to facilitate the removal of Mr. Falcone.”

Billionaire Investor Bill Ackman Asked Trump for an Infrastructure Boom After Betting $500 Million on a Real Estate Developer (Business Insider)
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman called on President Donald Trump to launch “the biggest infrastructure program of all time” to counteract the coronavirus slowdown in a tweet on Sunday. Ackman’s Pershing Square hedge fund raised its stake in Howard Hughes, a real estate developer, by $500 million on Friday. Howard Hughes stands to benefit from an infrastructure boom as it could shore up real estate prices, boost the value of its developments by improving their accessibility, and lead to more funding from special districts. Ackman defended himself last week against accusations that he sounded the alarm on the novel coronavirus in order to tank markets, as his fund’s hedges made a $2.6 billion profit during the sell-off.

Billionaires from Bill Gates to George Soros are Donating Millions to Help Alleviate the Coronavirus Crisis – But It May Not Go Where It’s Needed Most (Business Insider)
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, former hedge fund manager George Soros, and Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-Shing have collectively pledged over $100 billion towards various efforts to help alleviate the coronavirus outbreak. Depending on where and to whom they pay out the funds, these donations might not help the patients and healthcare workers who need them the most, Fortune’s Eamon Barrett reported. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 741,000 people and killed nearly 35,100, including over 2,500 reported deaths in the United States.

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Time to Put the Foot on the Accelerator? (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – The economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are causing ripple effects across the globe. “Unfortunately, most countries are not as well positioned as Norway and the Nordics, with trustworthy governments and solid economies,” argues the team at Oslo-based asset manager CARN Capital. “The debate of how to deal with this virus from a political perspective is increasingly including the cost to society and economic loss of a continued lockdown,” highlights the CARN team in a recent update to investors. “These are truly difficult decisions.” The consequences of the lockdown, however, will not be as severe in the Nordics relative to other nations and areas, according to CARN Capital.

Hedge Funds Mark Last Pre-COVID-19 Quarter With Few Launches, Many, Many Liquidations (Deal Breaker)
The numbers are in for the fourth quarter – the number of hedge fund launches and liquidations, that is – and they are, uh, well, frankly: grim. Just 89 new hedge funds opened in the last three months of 2019, and 480 for the year, the lowest totals since 2019 and 2000, respectively, until, we presume, the numbers for this pandemic-infected quarter and the next come out. Suffice it to say that those births were far outnumbered by deaths, with nearly 200 hedge funds closing their doors in the quarter, a number that sure looks likely to rise as more hedge funds catch the alternative investments equivalent of COVID-19 and die.

Harley-Davidson Grants Board Seat to Investor Impala (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) said on Monday it would hand one board seat to Impala Asset Management in a settlement just days after the investor began pressing to replace two directors at America’s oldest and best-known motorcycle maker. An Impala representative will join the board after the company’s annual meeting, which was held in May last year, and before July 31. Impala, which owns roughly 2% of Harley’s stock, nominated two directors two weeks ago as the $2.8 billion hedge fund wanted the iconic American brand to return to its roots after focusing on electric motorcycles and concentrate on its core riders.

Hedge Fund Millennium Rebounds in March, Erases Losses (Bloomberg)
Losses at Izzy Englander’s $40 billion hedge fund were erased this past week as markets rebounded following unprecedented aid from the U.S. government. Millennium Management finished last week down 67 basis point for the month, compared with a decline of 5.1% a week earlier, according to a person familiar with the matter. That fund is now up 17 basis points for the year. Millennium Management and most other firms struggled in the first three weeks of March as the effects of the spreading coronavirus virtually halted the global economy and seized up markets from stocks to bonds to commodities.

Long Volatility and Tail Risk Strategies Outshined Their Peers as Equities and Oil Slumped in February (Hedge Week)
Hedge fund managers were down 1.70 per cent in February as the development of the COVID-19 outbreak outside of Mainland China weighed on risk assets throughout the month, according to Eurekahedge. More than 90 per cent of the hedge fund managers were able to outperform the global equity market during the month, exemplifying the downside protection afforded by hedged strategies as opposed to long-only portfolios. The CBOE Eurekahedge Long Volatility Hedge Fund Index and the CBOE Eurekahedge Tail Risk Hedge Fund Index returned 8.60 per cent and 14.05 per cent respectively in February. The two strategies are known to provide crisis alpha and tail risk protection for institutional portfolios.

Institutional Investor Cancels Hedge Fund Industry Awards Dinner (Institutional Investor)
Owing to concerns over the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, Institutional Investor has made the difficult decision to cancel its 19th annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards gala dinner that had been scheduled to take place on June 25. However, the winners of this year’s hedge fund manager categories will still be announced online in June.

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