Billionaire George Soros visits Vietnam (VietnamNet)
Appearing at a famous restaurant in Hanoi on the evening of December 26, the legendary billionaire casually dressed in a dark suit with a white shirt. Many people realized George Soros, who is known as one of the wisest investors, did not miss the opportunity to take photos with him. As one of the people who took photos with the 82-year-old billionaire that evening, Alpha Books CEO Nguyen Canh Binh wrote onhis facebook: “Tonight I accidentally and fortunately met and talked for two hours with George Soros.” During the meal, the 12th richest American told many stories about famous people in the United States as President Obama and billionaire Warren Buffett.
Porsche faces more VW lawsuits after court win (Reuters)
Porsche SE shares surged on Friday after it won a dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit by 26 hedge funds, one of several legal actions over its purchase of shares in Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker. Posche shares were trading 6.3 percent higher at 1009 GMT, but analysts warned the German company’s triumph in court hinged on a legal formality rather than the substance of the case. On Thursday, a five-justice panel of the New York State appeals court in Manhattan found Porsche had established that the state was the wrong place in which to bring the lawsuit.
Blackstone sticking with SAC despite insider trading probe (LiveMint)
One of hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen’s largest outside investors, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, appears inclined to keep its money with his SAC Capital Advisors LP, even as the US government scrutinizes the fund in its ongoing insider trading probe. Three people familiar with the matter said the asset management arm of The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), which has $550 million invested with SAC Capital, is in no rush to redeem money from the Stamford, Connecticut-based hedge fund. Blackstone has had at least three discussions with the $14 billion hedge fund’s executives about the insider trading investigation and talked to its own investors, which include state pension funds, endowments and wealthy individuals.
Why You Should Be Skeptical About Hedge Fund Managers (DailyFinance)
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Simple Alternatives Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary; Continued Growth in Assets Under Management (Sys-Con)
Simple Alternatives, LLC, a pioneer in the mutual hedge fund of fund space, celebrates their third anniversary since inception. “Three years ago we embarked on a vision that there’s a better way for investors to gain access to a diverse portfolio of premium hedge fund managers,” said James K. Dilworth CEO and founder of Simple Alternatives. “Our goal was to deliver the benefits of hedge fund strategies with daily liquidity, and better transparency.(1) Simple Alternatives dedicated pursuit of this vision and early acceptance by independent advisors has made access to institutional-caliber alternative investment strategies attainable for more investors.”
Houston energy hedge fund raised $7.6M from certain investors (BizJournals)
RVI Partners LP, a Houston energy hedge fund that trades commodities, has raised $7.62 million from certain investors since it launched in March 2011, documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show. The hedge fund indicated in the filing that its base of investors who invested funds directly into the fund has increased from 15 at the time it launched to 27 as of Dec. 26. But overall, the hedge fund has $73 million in assets under management and managed fund accounts, which typically come from larger institutional investors, said Wayne Penello, an executive with the hedge fund.
Shanghai to limit QDLP program to $3-5bn according to sources (Opalesque)
The Shanghai government launched an initiative called “Qualified Domestic Limited Partner” or QDLP this summer. This pilot program, according to law firm Kaye Scholer LLP, is to allow foreign asset managers to set up wholly owned subsidiaries in China to raise RMB (renminbi) funds through private placement for investment in international capital markets. This program is still pending approval. Clark Song, Managing Director of the recently-launched Shanghai Hedge Fund Association, today reports that sources had said the Financial Services Office of Shanghai (FSO) had applied around $3-5 billion for the QDLP program.
Tesla Co-Founder Elon Musk Pays $17 Million for a Bel Air Home (WSJ)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) +0.30% co-founder Elon Musk has bought the Bel Air estate he’s been renting for the past three years for $17 million. The 20,248-square-foot home has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, five fireplaces, a wine cellar that holds 1,000 bottles of wine and a two-story library. The property overlooks Bel-Air Country Club and includes a lighted tennis court, five garages, a pool and spa, gym and guest quarters. The home, which was owned by Mitch Julis, co-founder of hedge fund Canyon Capital Advisors, was put on the market in 2008 for $27 million. Mr. Musk, who also co-founded PayPal and founded SpaceX, started renting the property in 2009. The home was built in 1990.
Hedge Fund Mergers & Acquisitions: Arthur J. Gallagher Buys The Eriksen Group (HedgeCo)
International hedge fund brokerage and risk management company Arthur J. Gallagher has acquired central US retirement consulting firm Eriksen Group. Eriksen is a retirement consulting firm that provides ongoing and project-based retirement consulting services to their clients throughout the Central United States. Their consulting services include plan design, fiduciary governance, plan benchmarking, investment policy statement development, fee benchmarking, provider selection and management, and investment monitoring.
Madoff: Doomed Hedge Fund Magnate Speaks Out (HedgeCo)
The master of manipulation, Bernie Madoff, second only to Charles Ponzi himself, sent out a Christmas memo claiming that “Insider trading… has been present in the market forever, but rarely been prosecuted.” “Markets have always focused on the speed with which information becomes available…. The more secret this information. The more valuable this information is to those that can obtain it. Therein lies the problem. It is naive to think that there will be no leakage of this information.” Madoff said in a letter to CNBC.
Home, sweet hedge (NYPost)
For many Americans, the housing market is just starting to recover, but it’s been the hottest strategy for hedge funds all year long. Hedge funds that invest in mortgage-backed securities gained 13.9 percent through November to make them the industry’s best-performing strategy, according to the Absolute Return index. These top players did even better: * Deepak Narula’s $1.4 billion Metacapital Management could be the top-performing hedge fund firm of the year. It gained 38 percent through November. Narula’s fund, which he launched in 2001 after leaving Lehman Brothers, largely invests in mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and other agencies. Metacapital took off this year after the Obama administration made it easier for underwater homeowners to refinance those mortgages.