Corzine’s Loss May Be Soros’s Gain (WSJ)
Legendary Investor George Soros‘s family fund bought about $2 billion of European bonds formerly owned by MF Global Holdings Ltd., the very debt that helped force the securities firm to file for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31, according to people close to the matter. Under the direction of MF Global’s former chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, the firm accumulated $6.3 billion of short-term debt issued by various European nations, mostly from Italy, in a bid to boost trading profits. Over the summer, this debt led to nervousness by investors, regulators and ratings companies, resulting in the firm’s collapse just over a month. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
‘Oddball’ Hedge-Fund Friend Chose Stocks, Sidhu Tells Court (Bloomberg)
Rupinder Sidhu, who is accused of insider trading, said he had no idea stock tips from his “eccentric” friend at hedge fund AKO Capital LLP were based on confidential information. Prosecutors allege AKO trader Anjam Ahmad told Sidhu when the fund was about to place large buy or sell orders so Sidhu could benefit from the effect on the shares. The pair split profits of about 500,000 pounds ($783,500) from spread bets on companies including Julius Baer Group Ltd., Swatch Group AG (UHR) and Michael Page International Plc (MPI) between June and August 2009, the U.K. Financial Services Authority said in a London trial.
LA Dodgers Can Sell Media Rights In Blow To Fox (Reuters)
The judge overseeing the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy said he will allow the team to begin a multibillion-dollar sale of future rights to broadcast the bankrupt team’s games, dealing a blow to its current broadcaster, Fox Sports. Potential bidders include basketball legend Magic Johnson, hedge-fund titan Steven Cohen, media mogul Mark Cuban, California financier Ron Burkle and sports agent and Los Angeles businessman Dennis Gilbert, sources have said.
Polar Capital Aum Now At $4.28bn, CEO Expects Uncertain Conditions Will Constrain Future Industry Fund Flows (Opalesque)
Polar Capital Holdings plc, a specialist investment management company head-quartered in London that offers long-only and hedge fund products, has just announced its assets under management (AuM) had gone up 2% in the 3rd quarter (Q3), to $3.94bn on 30 September 2011. A year before that, the firm’s AuM stood at $3.1bn. And AuM as at 30 November are up by 8.6% to $4.28bn. The firm launched the North American Fund last month, and raised more than $75m for it. Richard Wilson, co-manager of new fund told FTAdvisor that the fund uses a bottom-up approach and that: “North America as a region has an unrivalled diversity of companies and, despite the tough economic environment, the number of attractive long-term investment candidates with both quality and value characteristics are plentiful.” Polar also recently established a European Market Neutral franchise.
SEC Announces National Seminar For Compliance Officers And Senior Personnel At Investment Management Firms (SEC)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the opening of registration for its national seminar to help chief compliance officers (CCOs) and other senior personnel at investment management firms enhance their compliance programs for the protection of investors. The event will be held on Jan. 31, 2012, at the SEC’s Washington D.C. headquarters, and will include panel discussions to analyze compliance and other significant issues being faced by investment advisers and registered investment companies.
Boston Man Indicted for Hedge Fund Fraud (HFN)
Boston-area resident Andrey Hicks, 27, was charged with five counts of wire fraud in connection with his alleged scheme that saw him bilk at least 10 investors including NBA player and Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband Kris Humphries, according to the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to the indictment, Hicks allegedly misrepresented that his hedge fund had approximately $1.2 billion dollars under management and earned a nearly 80% profit in trading in 2011; Ernst & Young served as the fund’s auditor; Credit Suisse served as the fund’s prime broker and custodian, and the fund was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
AIRAS And The SEC’s New API (HedgeCo.net)
Axiom Valuation has released a new platform for hedge funds to avoid the SEC’s new screening tool, Aberrational Performance Inquiry (API), which identifies possible fraudulent valuations and misreported returns by hedge fund managers reporting above benchmark returns.“For a hedge fund seeking to avoid being subject to the SEC’s API process, Axiom Valuation’s AIRAS capability can protect the fund from a possible SEC API by demonstrating through a quantitatively robust and empirically defensible report that the fund’s self-reported returns match the fund’s strategies.” The company said.
Pennsylvania State Employees Picks Acting Executive Director (Pensions & Investments)
David Durbin was named acting executive director of the $24 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, Harrisburg, confirmed spokeswoman Heather Tyler in an e-mail. Separately, the system committed $250 million each to hedge funds Tiger Management Advisors and Entrust Capital.
Harbinger Suspends Redemptions Before Liquidating Credit Fund (FINalternatives)
Harbinger Capital Management has ended redemptions from a distressed credit fund in advance of its liquidation. The New York-based firm told investors that it has “determined to suspend voluntary redemptions effective Dec. 30, 2011,” Dealbreaker reports. The firm said it would begin to liquidate the Credit Distressed BlueLine Fund in April. Harbinger said that the three-year-old fund’s onshore version has returned 106.44% over its life and the offshore version 112.94%. On the year, the funds are up 11.61% and 11.38%, respectively.