Hedge Fund News, Jim Rogers, Warren Buffett, John Paulson…

Hedge Fund Assets May Hit $2.1 Trln In 2012-Survey (Reuters)

Hedge fund assets under management could reach $2.13 trillion at the end of the year, as investors put more cash into the industry and managers report positive returns, a survey conducted by Credit Suisse showed on Monday. The survey, which covered more than 600 institutional investors representing $1.04 trillion of hedge fund assets, found that investors expect their hedge fund portfolios to return 8.6 percent in 2012, down from 11 percent last year.

Jim Rogers Happy To Sit Out Equity Bull Run (Reuters Hedge World)

And one more from Jim Rogers’ Reuters Insider interview last week with Axel Threlfall. In this installment, Rogers argues that stocks could well go even higher due to central bank stimulus, but he refuses to buy into it.

Warren Buffett Chose a Favorite, Not a Successor (Businessweek)

The news was intended to comfort anyone who cares to imagine Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) without its octogenerian leader at the helm. Warren Buffett has finally—finally!—found someone to replace him as chief executive officer. But that announcement, disclosed in Buffett’s annual shareholder letter on Feb. 25, has turned out to be something of a non-event. If anything, it’s arguably worse: a notice that could foster more confusion and ill will than if he’d said nothing at all.

Warren Buffett

Hedge Fund 3 Degrees Loses Challenge to Regulator’s Order (Bloomberg)

3 Degrees Asset Management, asked by Singapore’s financial regulator to shutter its operations following allegations that founder Moe Ibrahim diverted assets, lost its legal bid to challenge the order. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will work with 3 Degrees on the next steps for the withdrawal of its exempt fund manager status, the regulator said today in an e-mailed response to queries.

Fortress Profit Falls 60% on Decline in Hedge Fund Fees (Bloomberg)

Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG), the asset manager formerly run by Daniel Mudd, said fourth-quarter profit fell 60 percent as hedge fund fees declined. Pretax distributable earnings, which exclude some compensation costs and other items, were $50 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with $125 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. That fell short of 10 cents, the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Investor Cash to Move Into Hedge-Fund Portfolios (Bloomberg)

Anita Nemes, global head of capital introduction at Deutsche Bank AG, talks about the outlook for the hedge-fund industry. She speaks with Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move.”

Douglas’s Gordon Gekko Is FBI’s Latest Insider-Trading Crusader (Bloomberg)

Gordon Gekko, the character played by actor Michael Douglas in the movie “Wall Street,” is the newest weapon in the FBI’s arsenal to combat insider trading, part of a law-enforcement initiative agents say will continue for at least five more years.

Insider Targets Expanding (WSJ)

Federal authorities are seeking to build insider-trading cases against roughly 120 individuals on and off Wall Street in an expanding criminal insider-trading investigation that has shaken the financial and corporate worlds. The disclosure—the first time authorities have quantified the number of people under scrutiny—comes on the heels of a string of successful prosecutions of insider trading. Since late 2009, prosecutors have charged 66 individuals at hedge funds and other companies with insider trading and won 57 convictions or guilty pleas.

Hedge Fund Managers Must Prove Performance And Transparency Mettle Or Suffer Reputational Risk, Says SEI Study (Hedge Week)

With significant dollars poised to flow into hedge funds in 2012, managers must address investor transparency and liquidity concerns to take advantage of new funding opportunities, according to the fifth annual global study released today by SEI, in collaboration with Greenwich Associates.

Hedge-fund Managers Still Bullish On S&P 500 (Barrons)

Hedge funds have shown an uncanny inability to play the market correctly over the past year. But, for what it’s worth, they’re still feeling quite positive on stocks. Here’s TrimTabs Investment Research over the weekend:

Play Hedge Funds’ Stock Picks, Not Their Strategies (Barrons)

Hedge funds can’t keep up with the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index this year, but their favorite stocks are doing quite well — suggesting an advantage for investors who play pilotfish to Wall Street’s sharks.

AngloGold CEO on John Paulson, Gold Prices (Bloomberg)

Mark Cutifani, chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., talks about shareholder and hedge fund manager John Paulson. Cuftani also discusses mining costs and the outlook for gold prices. He speaks with Adam Johnson at the BMO Capital Global Markets Metals and Mining Conference in Hollywood, Florida, on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” Bloomberg’s Mark Crumpton also speaks.

Paulson: More Likely the Euro ‘Falls Apart’ (Barrons)

You might turn this accusation around on hedge-fund manager John Paulson of Paulson & Co., whose own investment efforts have seen a fair amount of falling apart lately. But for what it’s worth, the guy who made billions accurately predicting this decade’s housing-market disaster now says he’s joining those who think that the euro could fall apart, adding that he’s paring his equity exposure just in case.

Dodgers Suitors Down To Seven, League’s OK Needed (Thomson Reuters)

Hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen, St Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and a group that includes media executive Leo Hindery and Los Angeles investor Tom Barrick are among seven parties who advanced to the next round of bids for the Los Angeles Dodgers, two people with knowledge of the bidding said on Monday. The seven remaining bidders, which also include Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan Casden and a group led by Roy Disney’s one-time financial advisor Stanley Gold, will now be vetted by Major League Baseball.

Highfields Calls for Ouster of CoreLogic’s Management (Deal Book)

A war has been started between CoreLogic and the data analytics company’s biggest shareholder, Highfields Capital Management. Less than a day after CoreLogic said it had ended a strategic review that included exploring a sale of the company, Highfields called for new management and new directors, citing a litany of missteps that it said had cost shareholders.

Hedge Funds Mop Up Mandates As Fund Of Funds Lose Ground: Towers Watson (HFM Week)

The number of alternative asset mandates awarded by Towers Watson’s clients worldwide to direct fund managers increased in most asset classes in 2011, continuing a five-year trend, the company said in a statement Monday. Last year the number of hedge fund mandates awarded to direct fund managers was nearly three times higher than via fund of funds, which have fallen by two-thirds – by number of mandates – during the past five years, detailed the $2trn assets under advisory firm.

Soros Buys Google, Cuts Interoil (Market Watch)

George Soros , otherwise known as the “Man Who Broke the Bank of England” and one of the most influential people in hedge funds, has the distinction of having one of the best performance records of any investment fund. His picks returned an average of 30.5% per year between 1969 and 2000, when Soros closed his fund to outsiders and effectively retired. At that rate, $1,000 invested in 1969 would have turned into $4 million by 2000. In 2007, after the liquidity crunch, Soros came back from retirement. He managed to generate a 32% return for the year. Then, in 2008, which was one of the worst years in history for many hedge funds, Soros managed to return 8% — and his numbers just keep getting better. Soros went on to return 29% in 2009.

Here’s The Stunningly Simple Reason Why Hedge Fund Hiring Focuses So Much On Personality (Business Insider)

Although hedge funds and investment banks both occupy the financial sphere, we’ve heard very different tales about the interview experience to get into the respective types of firms.

Hedge Fund Admins Say AUA Up For P.E. Funds, SMA (FINalternatives)

Hedge fund administrators polled by eVestment|HFN in Q4 2011 reported an increase in assets under administration in separately managed accounts and private equity funds, but declines in AUA in single-manager hedge funds, funds of funds and UCITS funds.

Hedge Connection Names New CEO As Vioni departs To Join Cerberus (FINalternatives)

Hedge Connection, a marketplace that brings together hedge fund managers and qualified investors, has named co-founder Rob Arthurs as chief executive officer. Arthurs is taking over from co-founder Lisa Vioni, who has accepted a position as managing director in the investor relations group of Cerberus Capital Management, where she will initially focus on communicating Cerberus’ distressed mortgage investment strategies with existing and potential investors.

Hedge Fund Health Insurance Costs Rise At Slower Rate In 2011 (FINalternatives)

Hedge fund health insurance costs were up in 2011, but not as much as they were in 2010, according to the latest research from the SKCG Group.

Long-Time Singapore Sovereign Exec. To Launch Hedge Fund (FINalternatives)

After a career at a Singapore sovereign wealth fund, Aje Saigal will continue to manage the city-state’s money—at his own hedge fund.

Prosecutors Say Khan, Motey Could Testify Against Whitman (FINalternatives)

Prosecutors yesterday laid out part of their plan of attack against hedge fund manager Doug Whitman, who is accused of insider-trading.

Two Sigma Raises $100M For New Fund (FINalternatives)

Quantitative hedge fund shop Two Sigma Investments is celebrating a milestone for a new fund launched last year.

EIM’s Busson, Actress Thurman Expecting (FINalternatives)

Hedge fund manager Arpad Busson is set to become a father for the third time—his girlfriend, actress Uma Thurman, is pregnant.

Michael Douglas Warns Fund Managers Against Insider Trading (HFN)

Hollywood star Michael Douglas, known for his Oscar-winning turn as corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the 1988 movie “Wall Street,” has a new role with a touch of irony.

Leon Cooperman Leaving Country if Democrats Win Congress (Value Walk )

Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors chairman & CEO, discusses why he thinks Treasury bonds are a bad bet for investors; investing in dividend-yielding stocks; the direction of commodities; and his strategy for the foreseeable future.

Passport Capital’s Confused Strategy Leads To Negative Alpha In 2011 (Value Walk)

In the outgoing year Passport’s main fund “Passport Global” recorded double digit losses of 18.4%. The fund posted negative alpha of11.5% and 20.5% from its benchmark indices MSCI AC world and S&P 500, respectively. The fund played with its long/short strategy mainly in equities with exposure in materials, energy and other diversified stocks. Despite of vast diversification and combination of long and short, the fund was unable to produce positive alpha on either side.

Hedge Fund Group Och-Ziff Reports Net Loss For 2011 (Opalesque)

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has published its SEC Form 10-K filing of 27th February, reflecting its results for 2011. The firm had made a GAAP Net Loss for the fourth quarter and full year to December 31 2011 of $137.0m, or $1.17 per basic and diluted Class A Share, and $419.0m, or $4.07 per basic and diluted Class A Share, respectively. The Company also declared a $0.04 per share cash dividend on its Class A Shares for the 2011 fourth quarter.

Hedge Fund Kaizen Fundamental Value Up 13.2% In January (Opalesque)

The Kaizen Fundamental Value Fund, which is managed by the Nassau-based Magnum Fund Management Ltd has announced it gained +13.2% in January compared to the S&P 500 which was up +4.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average at +3.5%, and Nasdaq which climbed +8.1% during the same month. The fund has gained +53.5% since its inception in February 2003 versus +16.5% for the S&P 500, +33.2% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and +36.1% for Nasdaq.

New Hedge Funds Focus On Equities (Opalesque)

Seward & Kissel, the US-based law firm that helped create the first hedge fund over 60 years ago, has made its first study of New Hedge Funds in the U.S. The Seward & Kissel 2011 New Hedge Fund Study, takes a look at newly launched hedge funds sponsored by U.S. based managers entering the market for the first time in 2011. I spoke with Steven Nadel, partner in the Investment Management group, about the study and its findings.

Hedge Fund People Moves: Four Senior Hires At Rule Financial (Hedge Co. Net)

Today Rule Financial, the independent provider of business consultancy, IT consultancy and hedge fund IT services announced an increase in sales and a number of senior hires to support its growing business.

5 Simple Hedge Strategies for Volatile Times (Forbes)

Given the wild ride investors have faced since 2007, many are searching for ways to mitigate risk and keep volatile market forces from wreaking havoc on their finances. Many such strategies have typically been either stunningly complex or locked within the domain of billionaires and mammoth institutions. Alternative investments (through an endowment-styled approach), forward contracts, swaps, options, derivatives and futures are among the weapons in a hedge fund’s arsenal.

Complete Transcript of Warren Buffett on CNBC 27 February 2012 (My Investing Notebook)

Tuesday 7atSeven: panicked buying (Abnormal Returns)

HFMWeek Daily Snapshot – 28 February (HFM Week)

SEC Form D filings for Feb. 27, 2012 (Reuters Hedge World)

MF Global Wire Transfers Scrutinized, Corzine Testimony In Doubt, Rambourgs New Fund And More (Reuters Hedge World)

Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: February 28 (Zero Hedge)

Pre-Market Morning Report: 28 February 2012 (Value Walk)

Siren Exclusive: Reid To Move On Jobs Bills Today – Did Quayle Copy Himes’ Small Bank Bill? – S&P Puts Greece In Selective Default – Corporate Tax Battle Heats Up (Politico)

Morning Read: Default Rally, Homebuilder Caution (Barrons)

Stuff We Missed: Monday, February 27th (CNBC)

Hot Links: The United States of Europe (The Reformed Broker)

Notes on the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Part 2 (Aleph Blog)

Morning News: February 28, 2012 (Crossing Wall Street)

10 Tuesday AM Reads (The Big Picture)