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Hedgie playing hooky (NYPost)
Dan Loeb can’t take the heat. The billionaire hedge-fund manager pulled out of a panel discussion at a national conference of institutional investors today in Washington to avoid getting quizzed by teacher union bosses about his stance on their public pension plans. Loeb’s decision to skip out came the same day The Post reported that several pension-plan trustees planned to press him to explain his position at the conference. Loeb is involved with StudentsFirst, an education-reform group that wants to eliminate defined-benefit pensions for teachers. Loeb is on the board of the group’s New York chapter and has donated $75,000 to the cause.
During fraud trial, MICG investors say they didn’t know how hedge fund worked (DailyPress)
One after another, former MICG Investment Management LLC investors said they didn’t understand what they were getting into when they put money into a highly touted hedge fund run by the firm’s CEO Jeffrey A. Martinovich. Over the course of three days of testimony this week during Martinovich’s federal fraud trial, witnesses for the prosecution said they didn’t understand how the MICG Venture Strategies hedge fund worked, weren’t aware of its risks and didn’t realize how hard it would be to pull their money out. “I didn’t really know what a hedge fund was; I was busy practicing medicine,” said Thomas Stiles, an 82-year-old Newport News orthopedic surgeon, who was nearing retirement when he put $100,000 into the Venture fund.
How Billionaires Become Billionaires (UncommonWisdomDaily)
In the era of the Federal Reserve’s zero-interest-rate policy, everyone is looking for yield… even billionaire hedge fund managers. And since it’s the time of year when hedge funds and other institutional investors are required to file their 13-Fs with the SEC — detailing all their major stock holdings — we thought we’d check out the dividend stocks that these large fund managers are carrying in their portfolios. Here are a few that billionaire Kerr Neilson’s Platinum Management owned at the end of last quarter: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)… When most investors think tech stocks, they think growth plays like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). But there are many tech stocks that pay outstanding dividends today. Microsoft is one of those companies and is currently paying a yield of 3.2%. Platinum Management currently holds 13 million shares of the company.
Energy Hedge Funds Caught Out in the Cold (WSJ)
The unusually cold spring from Dubuque, Iowa, to Rochester, N.Y., has served as a punishing reminder to some hedge funds of how volatile energy markets can be. Natural gas, the main heating fuel for homes in the Midwest and Northeast, rallied to its highest levels since July 2011 as U.S. fuel supplies shrunk in recent months. The price surge has brought risky trades known as the “widow maker” back into vogue, as traders try to profit from the bigger price swings in gas prices created by low supplies. Recent volatility doesn’t compare with the wild moves that brought down hedge fund Amaranth Advisors LLC in 2006. But for the first time in years, traders are being squeezed by the popular, seasonal wager among veteran traders that gas supplies will become more plentiful as the weather warms up.
Putin turns up heat on hedge fund boss Bill Browder (TheTimes)
The Kremlin has escalated its battle with Bill Browder by announcing that it will seek the arrest of the outspoken hedge fund manager in a new case. Mr Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital, was a prominent foreign investor in Russia during the early years after the fall of communism, but he was barred from the country seven years ago amid allegations of tax fraud. The American-born investor is now based in Britain, where he has been a critic of President Putin’s administration. He has lobbied fiercely recently for restrictions on travel to the United States and Britain by Russian.
Hedge fund manager pleads guilty to Ponzi scheme (Union-Bulletin)
A Portland hedge-fund manager pleaded guilty Tuesday to 17 counts of mail and wire fraud in a Ponzi scheme he orchestrated in Oregon, Washington and other states. Yusaf Jawed, 44, is scheduled to be sentenced June 21. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors and the defense will recommend 6 1/2 years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allan Garten said. Jawed has also agreed to forfeit $6.4 million in ill-gotten gains and make restitution to investors, if possible. “No one expects the $6.4 million will ever be paid by him,” Michael Esler, an attorney representing defrauded investors, told The Oregonian newspaper last week.