Hedge Fund News: Richard Perry, Mitt Romney, Anthony Scaramucci

Hedge funds take bets against core euro zone bonds (Reuters)
Hedge funds are piling into bets against the bonds of core euro zone countries like Germany and France, signalling a growing fear that nations once considered safe havens could be dragged down by the crisis in peripheral states like Greece and Spain. After a buoyant first quarter for markets, when fears over the euro zone debt crisis receded thanks to a 1-trillion-euro cash boost from the European Central Bank, hedge funds have been quick to make sure they don’t miss out as concerns over the future of the single currency resurface.

SkyBridge To Close Hedge-Fund-Seeding Funds, Return Capital (WSJ)
SkyBridge Capital LLC is returning to investors capital from its two hedge-fund-seeding funds on lackluster performance. “We just thought results were mediocre so we gave people the chance to switch into a better-performing product or get their money back. It was pro-client and well received,” said SkyBridge founder and managing partner Anthony Scaramucci in an email. The two funds–SkyBridge I and II, managed $260 million assets or about 4% of the firm’s $6.4 billion assets.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS)

Ex-Goldman Trader Run-Symphony Seeks Money for Hedge Funds (Businessweek)
Symphony Financial Partners, co- founded by an ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) (GS) Group Inc. trader in 2003, is seeking $1 billion from investors after its Japan-focused hedge fund returned more than four times its peers. David Baran, co-chief executive officer of Tokyo-based Symphony, is targeting about $500 million in new allocations for the $200 million SFP Value Realization Fund, which invests in Japanese companies and works with management to prompt corporate actions such as share buybacks, he said. Symphony is also opening up the $21 million Sinfonietta fund, an Asia-focused macro fund, and looking to raise $400 million to $500 million from outside investors for it, he said.

SFC Associates Expands Hedge Fund Litigation Expertise with New Affiliates (PRWeb)
SFC Associates, a securities and financial litigation consultancy, has expanded its hedge fund-related litigation capabilities with the addition of three affiliates: Hugh Cohen, Leon Metzger and Daniel Strachman. The three respected experts join SFC Associates’ existing affiliates network and its professional staff — including founder and President Ezra Zask — to enhance the company’s position at the forefront of hedge fund-related litigation consulting services. SFC Associates’ expertise includes such areas as hedge fund valuation, suitability and due diligence, as well as other operational matters. Zask, who has been engaged with the hedge fund industry as a manager, consultant and litigation expert for more than 20 years, is the author of the forthcoming second edition of “All About Hedge Funds,” to be published by McGraw-Hill.

Hedge funds investing in Russia, India and Latin America lead first quarter gains as HFRI Emerging Markets Index returns 7.3% (Opalesque)
Emerging Markets hedge funds posted their strongest start to a calendar year since 2006 with the HFRI Emerging Markets (Total) Index posting an industry-leading gain of +7.3 percent in 1Q12, according to the latest HFR Emerging Markets Industry Report released today by HFR (Hedge Fund Research, Inc), the leading provider of data, indices and analysis of the global hedge fund industry. Total capital invested in Emerging Markets hedge funds soared to a record of $127.3 billion (802 billion RMB) to end 1Q12, an increase of nearly $10 billion since year-end 2011, eclipsing the previous AUM record of $123 billion set in 2Q11. This increase in capital was driven by performance-based gains, as net new capital flows from investors remained muted, with funds experiencing inflows totaling $3.1 billion, while those experiencing outflows totaled $3.4 billion, resulting in a modest net outflow of $365 million in 1Q12. New capital flows were concentrated in Emerging Asia and Russia/Eastern Europe, which received $500 million in net new capital combined.

Hedge fund leads rebellion at Kleinwort Benson parent (Citywire)
RHJ International is under pressure to spin off the likes of Kleinwort Benson after activist shareholders led by hedge fund firm Equilibria Capital Management called for a special dividend payment. RHJ, a private equity fund listed in Brussels, received a request from a group of shareholders representing around 3.4% of the firm’s share capital for ‘an extraordinary one-time dividend of €2.40’. The activists are demanding the dividend is paid by 12 July.

Hedge fund lied about its principals’ having ‘skin in the game’: SEC (Investmentnews)
The SEC has settled charges against investment adviser Quantek Asset Management LLC and two managers who told investors in two Latin American alternative investment funds that the executives had invested large portions of their own money in the funds between 2006 and 2008, regulators said. Quantek, lead executive Javier Guerra and operations director Ralph Patino, misled investors about their executives having “skin in the game” when investors were deciding whether to invest in the two Quantek Opportunity Funds, which grew to $1 billion in assets, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in an administrative complaint. Quantek’s executives never invested their own money in the funds, but investors were told in marketing materials and side letter agreements that they did, the complaint said.

Australian hedge fund managers setting up shop in Asia to target offshore investments (Opalesque)
Australian hedge funds have been setting up offices in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore over the past 12 months, with the primary aim of being closer to investors from North America and Europe travelling to Asia, claimed Chris Gosselin of Australian Fund Monitors during the recent Opalesque Australia Roundtable held in Melbourne. “Focusing on where your investors are is an important factor for a hedge fund manager in Australia,” Gosselin said. “Local managers have a choice of targeting retail, high net-worth or local or offshore institutional investors.”

Romney Super PAC Backed by Hedge Fund Billionaires (Hedgeco)
Forbes reports that at least 30 billionaires, 7.5% of the Forbes 400, have donated to the Mitt Romney-backing super PAC Restore Our Future, among them are some of the top hedge fund managers this year. According to Restore Our Future’s monthly report, the hedge fund donors include: – Louis Bacon who gave $500,000

Hedge-Fund Master Channels P.T. Barnum (Bloomberg)
Richard Perry is best known as a hedge-fund heavy, an event-driven investor who thrives on companies caught up in mergers and spinoffs or emerging from bankruptcy. He also has something in common with Steve Jobs, Estee Lauder and P.T. Barnum. “It’s all about sales,” the founder of New York hedge fund Perry Capital LLC says early on in “The Art of the Sale” by Philip Delves Broughton. “If I have sales, I can create profit.”

Marubeni To Buy Gavilon For Access To U.S. Grain Market (Bloomberg)
Marubeni Corp. (8002) agreed to buy Gavilon Group LLC, the third-largest U.S. grain merchandiser, for $3.6 billion in what would be the Japanese company’s biggest deal. The purchase will double its grain-trading capacity, Tokyo- based Marubeni said today in a statement. The company will use cash and loans to fund the deal and take on Gavilon’s $2 billion of debt, Chief Financial Officer Yukihiko Matsumura told reporters today in Tokyo.

Hedge Fund Got Most South Carolina Fees While Lagging On Returns (Bloomberg)
Mariner Investment Group LLC, a hedge fund founded by a former Bear Stearns Cos. fixed-income executive, charged South Carolina’s pension fund more than any other manager while delivering returns that trailed competitors. Mariner, started by William Michaelcheck, 65, got $38 million in fees from the South Carolina Retirement Systems in fiscal 2011, or 16 percent of all the compensation paid to the fund’s money managers, which totaled $239 million, according to pension officials.

Asia’s $90 mln hedge fund Novatera returns capital (Reuters)
Singapore-based Novatera Capital, which managed about $90 million in a long/short hedge fund betting on small-cap stocks in Asia, has returned capital to investors, the founder said on Wednesday. Robert Lewis said he finished returning all the money about two weeks ago. He is now teaching a class in value investing and working on some projects that do not involve managing people’s money.

Activist Investor Gets Indian Government’s Attention (WSJ)
Activist hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund Management LLP has gotten the attention of the Indian government, but it’s far from getting its wishes granted. Since earlier this year, TCI of the U.K. has been waging a battle for what it says are its rights as a minority shareholder in India’s largest coal-producer, Coal India Ltd. The U.K.-based fund alleges that Coal India has been engaging in practices that lower its profits and thus ultimately hurts its investors. TCI is Coal India’s second-largest shareholder, after the India government

A Hedge Fund Manager Just Sold This Super-Gorgeous Apartment For $24 Million (Businessinsider)
William Lawrence, the CEO of hedge fund Meridian Capital, has finally sold his apartment at 15 Central Park West after listing the home on the market twice, according to the New York Observer. Lawrence first put the apartment on the market with an asking price of $24 million in April 2011, but it was taken off the market after two months.