Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Starboard Value LP, Elliott Management, JMP Group LLC (JMP), TJX Companies Inc (TJX), and More

Starboard No Longer Urging Investors to Vote Against Bristol-Celgene deal (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP said on Friday it will no longer urge shareholders to oppose Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s plans to buy Celgene Corp, even though it thinks the deal is too risky and will vote its own shares against it. On Friday Starboard announced its intention to withdraw its proxy solicitation to vote against the Celegene transaction.

Elliott Claims Victory as Vivendi Pulls Telecom Italia Vote (Bloomberg)
Vivendi SA abandoned an attempt to win back control of Telecom Italia SpA from allies of activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., signaling an end to a boardroom battle that has delayed an overhaul of the struggling phone company. Vivendi gave its support to Elliott-backed Chief Executive Officer Luigi Gubitosi at Telecom Italia’s annual shareholder meeting near Milan on Friday and withdrew a proposal to replace five directors aligned with the hedge fund after it became clear Vivendi would lose the vote.

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Hedge Fund Joins Agency in $9bn Nigeria Declare – Eire (Infosurhoy)
A hedge fund managed by VR Capital Group has taken a large stake in Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), an energy company that won a claim against Nigeria which is now worth $9bn. P&ID, a small energy company founded by two Irishmen, is trying to make Nigeria settle or allow the company to start seizing assets, according to a report from Bloomberg. Nigeria did not honour a deal allowing the small natural gas company to harvest hydrocarbons.

Hedge Funds Continue Recovery in February (HedgeWeek)
The global hedge fund industry continued its recovery in February, gaining 0.97 per cent on an equal-weighted basis, and 0.40 per cent on an asset-weighted basis. Roughly 75.5 per cent of the hedge fund managers tracked by Eurekahedge recorded positive returns over the first two months of the year. Hedge fund closure activities soared during the final quarter of 2018, as fund managers struggled to mitigate the losses incurred by the equity market sell-offs in October and December. Eurekahedge recorded 296 fund liquidations within the period.

Can Hedge Funds Be Socially Responsible? (Barron’s)
Is the hedge-fund world getting…woke? The hedge fund Pharo Management has returned the money it managed for Saudi Arabia’s central bank following the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Pharo, which oversees almost $10 billion, gave back the $300 million or so it was investing for the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, with Pharo’s founder Guillaume Fonkenell telling some investors that “the decision was made to uphold its principles due to concerns about Khashoggi’s death at the hands of government agents last year,” Bloomberg reported.

Women Running the Money? Rarely at Hedge Funds (Reuters)
LONDON (Reuters) – Generous salary and juicy bonus? Check. Client meetings at private members’ club? Check. Swanky Mayfair office? Check. Company maternity scheme? Maybe, we’ll get back to you. In the competition for talent, the hedge fund industry still has an edge over many other areas of finance, except, it would seem, when it comes to employing women. Women are in the minority across the financial industry when it comes to top jobs. A Reuters analysis of regulatory filings shows the proportion is especially low among British hedge funds, most of which are private and not bound by disclosure rules.