Man Appoints Hendricks, Raj Seeks Appeal, Powerball Controversy

Man Group Appoints Hendriks as Institutional Head (HFMWeek)

Man Group, the world’s largest listed fund manager, has appointed ex-Goldman Sachs man Ruud Hendriks as non-executive chairman of the firm’s Institutional Department. He starts in his new role today and has stepped down from his current position as non-executive director on the board. Hendriks previously worked in institutional sales at Goldman and Robeco, an international asset manager. Man’s chairman Jon Aisbitt said: “While we are sorry to see Ruud step down from the board, I am delighted that he has accepted this new advisory role. His extensive experience and relationships with institutional investors in Europe will bring significant value to Man and our clients.”
Raj Rajaratnam thinking
Raging Capital Took Activist Stake in Derma Sciences (InsiderMonkey)
Raging Capital filed on November 29th for its 13.5% activist stake in Derma Sciences, Inc. (DSCI). Raging Capital is one of DSCI’s insider. According to the filing, Raging Capital began to buy DSCI since late September and now has 1.46 million shares in DSCI. Raging Capital previously reported 513 thousand shares, or 8.3% passive stake in 2010. DSCI is now trading at $7.86, representing a 61% year to date return. In the second quarter, two hedge funds reported their position in DSCI. Peter Kolchinsky’s RA Capital Management boosted its position by 16 times and had 772 thousand shares in the stock. Brian Bares’ Bares Capital Management had a much smaller position, with 15 thousand shares.
Alternative Investment Group Adds Cadogan Vets To Team (FINAlternatives)
Southport, Conn.-based Alternative Investment Group, an alternative investment manager with $1.5 billion AUM, has hired former Cadogan employees Joel Gantcher and Samuel Sussman for its investment team. Gantcher joins as managing director, head of manager research and Sussman as managing director, head of investment strategy. The appointments take effect as of January 5, 2012 and both men will join the firm’s investment committee.
Three Hedge Fund Managers Win CT Powerball… or Did They? (InsiderMonkey)
News broke a few days ago that three hedge fund managers in Connecticut won a $254M Powerball drawing. All three work at Belpointe Capital. “While the stereotype may be a poor guy down on his luck who wins, the facts of the matter is: Everyone is equal when they play,” quipped Frank Farricker, Lottery Chairman, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. “These guys, they played one buck.”
Rajaratnam Seeks Delay in Reporting to Prison (Reuters)
Lawyers for multimillionaire hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam on Wednesday sought a delay of his prison sentence just five days before he was due to start serving 11 years for insider trading. A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York did not immediately rule on his request. The judges heard 25 minutes of oral arguments over whether Rajaratnam should be released on bail pending appeal of his criminal conviction. Rajaratnam, 54, lost a bid at trial to suppress the FBI’s secretly recorded telephone conversations, an investigative tool usually reserved for organized crime and drug cases. His lawyer argued that the government omitted information when seeking a judge’s approval in March 2008 for wiretaps under Title III, a federal statute that governs the use of wiretaps. “If there is a failure to do any of the requirements in Title III, it must be suppressed,” Patricia Millett, a lawyer for Rajaratnam, told the appeals court. “Title III suppression is broader not narrower” under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Rajaratnam, who is under house arrest at his Manhattan apartment, did not attend Wednesday’s arguments. He is set to report to prison on December 5. His appeal of his conviction on 11 criminal charges in May is also expected to focus on whether the government properly won permission to record his phone calls. The appeal process could take a year.
Hedge Funds Make Big on JP Morgan $JPM After Share Price Rises 8% (InsiderMonkey)
JP Morgan Chase (JPM) rose over 8% in trading on Wednesday as “the Federal Reserve and five central banks lowered interest rates on dollar swaps and China cut banks’ reserve requirements,” reports Bloomberg. JPM shares closed trading at $28.56 Tuesday and were trading at $30.91 at 3:55pm EST on Wednesday – a difference of $2.34 or 8.21%.
New Hedge Fund To Focus On Banking Sector M&A (FINAlternatives)
Mendon Capital founder Anton Schutz is joining forces with investment banker Mark Cohen and former People’s United Financial CEO Philip Sherringham to launch a hedge fund focused on banking industry M&A activity. The three hope to raise $500 million for the New Ground Capital fund which will hold anywhere from 25 to 50 companies in its portfolio. The founders say limited leverage should be necessary, given the current depressed valuations of bank stocks.
Michael Dell’s MSD Capital Reported 9.9% Activist Stake in $SCHS (InsiderMonkey)
Michael Dell’s MSD Capital filed amended 13D on November 28th for its 9.9% activist stake in School Specialty Inc. (SCHS). According to the filing, MSD Capital sold 900 thousand shares at $4.20 on November 23rd, and now has 1.88 million shares in SCHS. This is a 32.5% decrease in the firm’s position since it reported 2.78 million shares in SCHS at the end of the third quarter. During the third quarter, MSD Capital did not make change to its SCHS position. SCHS is now trading at $10.21, and has returned 4% in 2011.
Japan Banking Vets Ready Global Macro Hedge Fund (FINAlternatives)
A pair of former bankers are to launch a global macro hedge fund early next year. Masaru Koibuchi, formerly at Goldman Sachs, and Kazuho Suzuki, late of Mizuho Corporate Bank, have founded Edgebell Capital Co. in Tokyo. The firm’s maiden hedge fund, the Global Macro Strategy, will debut in February with ¥2 billion (US$26 million) in initial assets. Koibuchi, chief investment officer of the new firm, and Suzuki, chief operating officer, have managed the strategy since April under a limited offering. The fund returned 3.9% in its first five-and-a-half months of trading, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average plummeted 10%.
Columbus Avenue Opens Office In Tel Aviv (FINAlternatives)
Hedge fund administrator Columbus Avenue has opened what it says is Israel’s first full service admin firm in Tel Aviv under the name Tzur Management. “We are well positioned to deliver our expertise to the growing alternative investment business in Israel,” said CEO Joe Holman. “Columbus Avenue’s approach complements the innovation and technology Israel is known for.” Yitz Raab, former partner and CFO of KCPS & Company heads the new office which focuses on servicing hedge funds, private equity funds, fund of funds and managed account platforms.

Commerce Street Taps Highland Capital Vet As MD (FINAlternatives)

Dallas-based private equity and credit specialist Commerce Street Investment Advisor has hired Richard C. Jakob as a managing director. In his new post, Jakob will work with his former Highland Capital Management colleague Kurt Plumer, who joined CSIA earlier this year. Jakob comes to CSIA from Cedarview Capital Management, a registered investment advisor of below-investment grade assets, where he’d served as chief marketing officer. Prior to joining Cedarview, he was a managing director at NewOak Capital in New York.

Man Accused Of Trading On AKO Tips (FINAlternatives)

A former hedge fund trader who pleaded guilty to insider-trading last year made sure a friend profited from the illegal trading, a London jury heard yesterday. Anjam Ahmad, then of AKO Capital, told Rupinder Sindhu what shares the hedge fund was buying and selling on a given day. Ahmad pleaded guilty last spring to trading 22 different securities based on confidential information; AKO was not accused of any wrongdoing.

Texas Fund To Ditch Funds Of Funds (FINAlternatives)

A major Texas state endowment will quit funds of hedge funds in order to save money on fees. The $25.5 billion Texas Permanent School Fund plans to move its entire $2.5 billion hedge fund portfolio into direct investments, Hedge Fund Alert reports. According to chief investment officer Holland Timmins, such a move could save some $114 million over five years and would give it more flexibility to deal with underperforming managers. Texas Permanent currently has no direct hedge fund investments, with its entire hedge fund portfolio managed by five funds of funds.