Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Steve Cohen, Bill Ackman, Laurion Capital, Alden Global Capital, Black Diamond Therapeutics Inc (BDTX), SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW), and More

Steve Cohen’s Deal to Buy the Mets Unlikely, M.L.B. Commissioner Says (The New York Times)
The potential sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager, is all but dead, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday. “My belief is there’s not going to be a transaction,” Manfred told reporters at an owners meeting in Orlando, Fla., though he held out hope that the deal could be resurrected. “My soothsaying isn’t great. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Cohen had been negotiating with the Wilpon family, which controls the Mets, since the middle of last year. The Mets and Cohen announced in December that they were negotiating a deal in which Cohen would become the team’s majority owner. He has owned a small share of the team since 2011.

Don’t Bet on This Top Wall Street Hedge Fund (LibertyThroughWealth.com)
One of Wall Street’s most high-profile hedge fund managers delivered an eye-popping 58.1% return last year. But, as Nicholas Vardy explains, his fund is not a safe bet for wealth creation. Bill Ackman is one of Wall Street’s most high-profile hedge fund managers. His company, Pershing Square Capital Management, once managed as much as $20 billion. Ackman boasts a personal fortune of $1.7 billion. Today, you can buy Ackman’s largest investment vehicle – Pershing Square Holdings (LSE: PSH) – with the click of a mouse. And once you hear about Pershing’s eye-popping 58.1% return in 2019, you may be tempted to do so.

Notorious Hedge Fund that Owns the Pioneer Press Buys Minnesota Media Group and Its 11 Newspapers (BringMeTheNews.com)
Alden Global Capital has been referred to as a hedge fund “vampire.” A hedge fund known for cutting editorial jobs at otherwise profitable newspapers has just acquired a Minnesota-based media group and its 11 community papers. Red Wing Publishing Co., also known as Big Fish Works, has been bought by MediaNews Group, a subsidiary of MNG Enterprises that is owned by the New York-based Alden Global Capital. Bring Me The News understands that the sale was officially completed on Wednesday, and comes after staff at Red Wing Publishing’s various outlets were asked to re-apply for their jobs in late January, with the new owners sending out offer letters shortly thereafter.

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A hedge fund betting against Tesla lost more in January than all of 2019 (Business Insider Australia)
Crispin Odey, who runs hedge fund Odey Asset Management, has been stung by Tesla’s searing rally that’s seen the stock double in 2020 alone. Odey still held a short bet against Tesla in late January,The Financial Times reported Wednesday. The Odey European fund that held the short bet was down 11.2% at the end of January, according to the report. During the whole month of January, Tesla shares gained 55%. That performance is much worse than the S&P 500, which was flat in January. It’s also worse than Odey’s fund performed in 2019, when it was down 10.1%, according to the report. In 2018, the fund gained 53%, The Financial Times reported.

Texas Employees Allocates $63.5 million to Alternatives (Pensions&Investments)
Texas Employees Retirement System, Austin, invested or committed a total of $63.5 million to two alternative investment strategies in January, a transaction report showed. Investment officers of the $29.1 billion pension fund invested $60 million in Laurion Capital, a quantitatively managed global relative-value hedge fund. The fund’s manager, Laurion Capital Management, is a new manager for ERS, which had about $1.3 billion invested in hedge funds as of Nov. 30. From the pension fund’s $4.1 billion private equity portfolio, an additional commitment of $3.5 million was made to CO20200110, a co-investment fund, for a total of $22 million, the report said.

Man Group Raises $500 Million for Hedge Fund Run by CIO Rattray (Bloomberg Quint)
(Bloomberg) — Man Group Plc’s chief investment officer Sandy Rattray is running money once again — and this time he has a 237-year reputation to protect. The firm has started a hedge fund managed by London-based Rattray and named it Man Group 1783 after the year the firm was founded, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The fund began trading this week with about $500 million, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A spokeswoman for the world’s biggest publicly-listed hedge fund firm declined to comment.

Responsible Investing at Brummer & Partners (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – On February 4, the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI) held the Nordic Institutional Investor Day in Helsinki, where managers, investors and others discussed various topics such as factor investing, alternative credit, responsible investments, among other things. In a panel discussion at the event, Ann-Sofie Odenberg, Head of Sustainability at Brummer & Partners, outlined her team’s objectives relating to responsible investments. Brummer & Partners is a founding partner of the SBAI, which was established in 2008 by alternative investment managers to develop and improve industry practices. The platform brings together managers, investors and other industry members to discuss areas of common concern and develop practical, industry-wide solutions.

Why Hedge Fund Managers Say They Avoid Sustainable Investing (MSN.com)
(Bloomberg) — Hedge funds, many of which have been slow to adopt environmental and social strategies, are pointing the finger elsewhere. Money managers are faulting inconsistent data and a shortage of expertise, according to a new report. About 63% of money managers cited a lack of quality and consistent sustainability data as the biggest challenge in making such decisions, according to the report Thursday from an industry consortium. Just 15% of hedge funds have incorporated environmental, social and governance matters, or ESG, in their investment strategies.

Tom Steyer Unveils Education Plan as He Surges in South Carolina Presidential Poll (Yahoo Finance)
Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer unveiled his education plan on Thursday, stressing the value of education to the economy. “Education is the cornerstone of a just, democratic, and prosperous society,” the billionaire hedge fund manager said in a statement. “For too long, we have underinvested in our children and legislated inequities into the system that rob American students of the skills needed to thrive as participants in our democracy, society, and economy.” Steyer’s plan comes amid a surge in the South Carolina primary polls, landing right behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. South Carolina’s primary will be held on Feb. 29.