Hedge Fund News: Crispin Odey, BlackRock, Inc. (BLK), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), UBS AG (NYSE:UBS), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS)

Hedge fund managers generate billions of returns in record start to year (Telegraph)
Hedge fund managers including Chris Hohn, Crispin Odey and Dan Loeb have each generated double-digit returns since the beginning of 2013. Although most of the high-rolling sector is still struggling to live up to its reputation – the latest Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) Hedge Fund Trend Monitor shows the average year-to-date returns are just 5pc – some of the stars have manage to notch up stellar returns. The smart money has been placed on large bets that action by central banks will continue to fuel stock markets, despite underlying economic problems. And managers have been richly rewarded as the FTSE 100 hit its highest level since 2000 last week; despite falls yesterday and late last week, Japan’s Nikkei has risen nearly 70pc since last November; and the Dow Jones has soared to a record high.

BlackRock, Inc. (BLK)

BlackRock hires UBS’s Whitestone for UK equity team (CityWire)
BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) has appointed Daniel Whitestone as a director in its UK small and mid cap equities team, led by Richard Plackett. Whitestone, who starts on 1 June, will work initially as an analyst for the BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) UK Emerging Companies Hedge fund, co-managed by Ralph Cox and Plackett. He joins from UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) where he was head of the UK small and mid cap sales desk. Prior to joining the bank in 2009, Whitestone worked in equity sales at Noble and Co from 2006. BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)’s UK small and mid cap team manages £4.8 billion of assets, including the £1.9 billion BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) UK Special Situations + fund and £0.9 billion UK Emerging Companies Hedge fund.

JPMorgan Hires Credit Suisse’s Leahy for New Asia Prime Services Role (WSJ)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) has hired a senior prime services banker for a new Asia-Pacific role from Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) +1.32%, as investment banks continue to build out their hedge funds businesses in the region. David Leahy joined the U.S. bank as managing director and head of Asia-Pacific prime services sales, according to an internal memo seen by The Wall Street Journal. He will be based in Hong Kong. A JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) Chase spokesman in Hong Kong confirmed the move. Mr. Leahy was previously head of hedge fund and institutional coverage for prime services in Europe, Middle East and Africa at Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS), based in London. He worked in Asia earlier as Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) First Boston’s head of hedge fund coverage for Asia.

Japanese hedge funds’ biggest concern is still capital raising (Opalesque)
The Japanese hedge fund industry is no different than the rest of the world in that the biggest problem is still asset gathering, said Rory Kennedy of Rogers Advisory in the latest 2013 Opalesque Japan Roundtable. “Just like everywhere else, the bigger funds have gathered more assets than the smaller funds even though academic research from across the world has found that smaller funds outperform the largest funds,” Kennedy told the panelists. The 2013 Opalesque Japan Roundtable was sponsored by Eurex and Taussig Capital and took place on April 24th in Tokyo. According to Kennedy, over the last couple of years, the biggest characteristic in Japanese hedge funds has been the lack of replacement for disappearing hedge funds. Globally, the hedge fund industry is known for its survival of the fittest nature. Every year, approximately 20% of hedge funds die and another 20% or so start up as new funds.

FoHFs begin recovery (Risk)
Despite painful outflows and changing investor preferences, the majority of funds of hedge funds (FoHFs) are finding ways to grow assets and revenues. A recent survey of FoHFs conducted by BNY Mellon and Casey Quirk Associates, released exclusively to Hedge Funds Review, offers some intriguing insights into the industry’s growth prospects. The bad news is FoHFs are still losing assets, with withdrawals in 2012 totalling $41.5 billion compared with inflows of only $30 billion. The reasons are clear: 70% of FoHFs responding to the survey blamed their struggles on big allocators moving to direct hedge fund investments with 43% saying it is the leading cause of outflows.

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