W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bullish, What Should You Do?

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) was in 17 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. WRB has experienced an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with WRB holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

In the financial world, there are tons of gauges shareholders can use to track the equity markets. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can outperform the market by a solid amount (see just how much).

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB)

Equally as beneficial, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to break down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of incentives for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if you know where to look (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a gander at the key action surrounding W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB).

Hedge fund activity in W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 31% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Eagle Capital Management, managed by Boykin Curry, holds the biggest position in W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB). Eagle Capital Management has a $410 million position in the stock, comprising 2.9% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jean-Marie Eveillard of First Eagle Investment Management, with a $237 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital and Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers have jumped into W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) headfirst. Carlson Capital, managed by Clint Carlson, initiated the biggest position in W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB). Carlson Capital had 7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments also made a $2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are David Harding’s Winton Capital Management, Gregory Fraser, Rudolph Kluiber, and Tim Krochuk’s GRT Capital Partners, and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

How have insiders been trading W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB)?

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, retail investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) is no exception.

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