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Paulson Buys Synthesis Energy

Hedge Fund Manager John Paulson Buys 10 million shares of Synthesis Energy Systems

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc., a development stage energy and gasification technology company, has secured investment from a hedge fund manager John Paulson.
Paulson bought 10 million shares of Synthesis Energy Systems on April 14, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. The holding represents 11.7% of the company’s shares outstanding.
Synthesis, a Houston-based technology company with a proprietary gasification technology, announced on April 14 that it agreed to a direct placement of 12 million common shares for $12 million to “certain accredited investors.” It did not name Paulson in the release, however.
Synthesis shares cost $1.08 at Friday’s close, up 14% year to date.
For its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, Synthesis reported $3.9 million in revenue, a drop from $5.9 million for the same period last year due to decreased methanol prices. It also experienced a net loss of $25.6 million, or $0.35 per share, compared to a loss of $1.4 million, or $0.02 per share, due to impaired assets. Synethesis ended the year with cash of $13.7 million.
Synethsis also announced in December that it had entered into a $105 million joint venture with three plants in China to convert coal to synthetic gas as the nation’s government seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 2025.
Source: GuruFocus.com

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U.S. Crude Prices Rise

Hedge Funds Interested in U.S. Crude Prices Rise

U.S. crude prices rise has sparked interests in hedge funds and other speculators, a sign of Wall Street confidence that the oil selloff that began 10 months ago may be nearing its end.
Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday showed the net long position in U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude held by money managers rose by 40,994 contracts to 276,051 in the week ended April 21.
Reuters charts of CFTC data show that is the highest level in nine months for net longs, or positive wagers, on WTI held by such money managers, who include hedge fund operators and speculators.
"This data is consistent with the price rally we've been seeing in oil," said John Kilduff, partner at New York-based energy hedge fund Again Capital. "Oil is back in favor and lots of folks are anxious to get in to what they see as a bottom to the market."
After worries about a global glut drove oil markets down 50 percent from last June, crude prices seem to have found their footing in recent weeks.
WTI's front-month contract surged from a six-year low of $42.03 a barrel in March to a 2015 high of $58.41 this week. It gained 27 percent over the past six weeks, rising about 20 percent in April alone.
Source: Reuters

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Google Boosts DE Shaw

Hedge Fund Firm DE Shaw Secures Investment from Google’s Eric Schmidt

DE Shaw, the big quantitative hedge fund firm founded by billionaire David Shaw, secured investment from Google’s billionaire chairman Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt’s family office, Hillspire LLC, scooped up the stake from the estate of Lehman Brothers, which purchased the stake for some $750 million before the investment bank failed in 2008, helping to spark the financial crisis. The Lehman Brothers estate had been trying to sell the stake for a while, but the passive nature of the stake and the maturity of DE Shaw made it a bit of a tough sell. The financial terms of Schmidt’s purchase were not disclosed in the announcement of the deal.
DE Shaw, which was founded in 1988, manages $36 billion. The firm’s funds have posted blended returns of 8.4% this year through the end of March. David Shaw no longer is involved in the day-to-day operations of the firm, but does play a role in its strategic direction. He spends most of his time as chief scientist at DE Shaw Research, which conducts computational biochemistry research.
Source: Forbes

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Alibaba’s Multibillion-Dollar Family Office

Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman is Forming a Multibillion-Dollar Family Office

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai is setting up a multibillion-dollar family office to invest the wealth created by the Chinese e-commerce giant’s $25 billion New York initial public offering, people with knowledge the matter told Wall Street Journal.
Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman, and other early Alibaba executives are setting up the office in Hong Kong with an eye to opening this summer, according to one of the people. Mr. Tsai controls a roughly $6.5 billion stake in Alibaba, based on the company’s prospectus. With the company’s shares now publicly traded and lockups expiring, he and the other executives are looking to diversify their wealth.
The new office marks the arrival on the global investment scene of a new generation of wealthy Chinese business executives who have cashed in on the country’s Internet boom. Entrepreneurs like Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, one of the wealthiest people in Asia, and smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc.’s Lei Jun, are bringing new ideas about how they want to use their wealth, often backing friends’ technology ventures and supporting a younger crop of investment managers. Asia’s previous generation of billionaires had typically made their fortunes in real estate or mining and focused on investments in other property companies or established global private-equity funds.
Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce company and its IPO has been a windfall for a number of big backers including Yahoo Inc. and Japan’s SoftBank Corp. Its New York-listing in September catapulted a number of early Alibaba executives to the top ranks of wealthy Chinese.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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John Corzine's Hedge Fund

Ex-Governor and U.S. Senator John Corzine Adds New Title to His Resume — Hedge Fund Owner

Former governor and U.S. Senator John Corzine is planning to launch own hedge fund in recent months, people familiar with the matter told WSJ.
The fund would start with cash from Mr. Corzine’s personal wealth and a handful of outside investors. Mr. Corzine said he had been speaking with about a half-dozen potential investors, and projected around $150 million in assets under management, one of the people said.
The plans are tentative and could evolve or fall apart in coming months. But a launch would mark an unlikely return to high finance for Mr. Corzine, the 68-year-old former Democratic U.S. senator and New Jersey governor who has stayed out of the limelight since commodities brokerage MF Global declared bankruptcy in 2011.
Mr. Corzine most likely wouldn’t be able to launch a fund until legal proceedings against him over MF Global have been resolved. Pretrial motions are expected to go at least until February of next year. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission in June 2013 filed civil charges against him and is still collecting evidence for a possible trial.
“Jon Corzine is not managing anybody’s money and has not asked a single investor to put money into a fund,” said Andrew Levander, a lawyer for Mr. Corzine. “He is gratified that others might want to invest with him.”
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Activist Hedge Fund Returns

Activist Hedge Funds Attract $3.9 in New Net Assets during Q1 2015

Following to hedge-fund research firm HFR, activist hedge funds attracted $3.9 billion in new net assets during Q1 2015, along with investment gains that brings the aggregate activist war chest to $127.5 billion.
That’s a record aggregate total, and nearly double where the industry was at the end of 2012, when it had $65.5 billion.
That growth in the quarter shows that the asset class continues to draw attention from investors even with their coffers so full.
To put the first-quarter gain into perspective: Last year there were $14.2 billion in net asset flows, which eclipsed the net flows added in aggregate over the previous decade – which was dragged down by $16.6 billion in outflows in 2008 and 2009.
This year has started out on pace to top that. There was $3.5 billion added in the first quarter last year.
Still, 2015 would need a few more big quarters to top last year, when the second quarter saw $5.9 billion in inflows and the fourth quarter saw $4.1 billion, the two highest three-month totals in HFR’s records.
Activism remains a relatively tiny space compared to the broader hedge fund industry where there is $2.94 trillion in total assets, according to HFR.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Hedge Fund Blackstone Earnings

Hedge Fund Blackstone Group Earnings Jump Nearly 160%

A $300 billion hedge fund Blackstone Group announced that rose nearly 160 percent during First Quarter 2015 Results and that their economic net income.
“Blackstone again broke all of our asset and earnings records in the first quarter.” Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Realization activity continued to accelerate while, at the same time, we’ve been raising and investing funds at an unprecedented rate, creating the basis for future value.”
“Our limited partners entrusted us with $30 billion of new capital in the quarter and $77 billion over the last twelve months, shattering our own record for the alternative asset management industry, and driving our Total Assets Under Management to $310 billion, up 14% year over year.”
Source: HedgeCo.net

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Citadel’s New Advisor

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to Work with Citadel

The former Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke has been appointed by Citadel, a global hedge fund firm founded by Kenneth C. Griffin, as an Adviser.
Now he has signed on to advise one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds.
Mr. Bernanke will become a senior adviser to Citadel, the $25 billion hedge fund founded by the billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. He will offer his analysis of global economic and financial issues to Citadel’s investment committees. He will also meet with Citadel’s investors around the globe.
It is the latest and most prominent move by a Washington insider through the revolving door into the financial industry. Investors are increasingly looking for guidance on how to navigate an uncertain economic environment in the aftermath of the financial crisis and are willing to pay top dollar to former officials like Mr. Bernanke.
Mr. Bernanke joins a long parade of colleagues and peers to Wall Street and investment firms. After stepping down, Mr. Bernanke’s predecessor, Alan Greenspan, was recruited as a consultant for Deutsche Bank, the bond investment firm Pacific Investment Management Company and the hedge fund Paulson & Company.
Source: New York Times

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Hedge Funds Assets Under Administration

Hedge Funds Assets Under Administration Increase 16.8% in 2014 Reports eVestment

According to study released by eVestment, alternative assets under administration in 2014 totaled $6.862 trillion, up 16.8 percent from comparing with year-to-date.
Private equity and real estate fund assets under administration, which eVestment combines, outgrew assets under hedge fund administration and hedge funds-of-funds administration on a percentage basis, although hedge fund assets under administration were almost three times that of private equity and real estate, the eVestment report showed.
Private equity and real estate AUA rose 23.7% in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, to a combined $1.58 trillion, while hedge fund AUA grew 15.5% to $4.222 trillion and hedge funds-of-funds AUA grew 11.9% to $902 billion.
State Street Alternative Investment Solutions retained the top spot in hedge fund and private equity-real estate assets under administration in 2014, though the latter category saw a slight decline compared to 2013. Hedge fund AUA at State Street totaled $772.2 billion, up 9% from the previous year; while private equity-real estate AUA totaled $422.6 billion, down 0.8%.
Second behind State Street in hedge fund AUA were Citco Fund Services, at $624 billion, up 8.3%; BNY Mellon Alternative Investment Services, $547.7 billion, up 17.9%; SS&C GlobeOp, $445 billion, a 5.7% increase; and Northern Trust, $300.4 billion, up 115.9%. Much of that gain was because Northern Trust last year began replicating middle- and back-office services for $140 billion in assets of Bridgewater Associates.
Source: Pensions & Investments

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Jaimi Goodfriend

Jaimi Goodfriend Joins Cohen's Point72 Training Program

Jaimi Goodfriend, a hedge fund industry veteran, has been appointed by Steve Cohen's $11 billion firm Point72 Asset Management to head a new training program designed to pass the billionaire investor's famous stock picking skills to a new generation as he rebuilds after an insider trading scandal.
The academy has accepted 15 undergraduates out of 1,300 applicants into an eight-week summer internship. It picked 15 college graduates from several hundred applicants for a longer program that will teach financial modeling, stock research, securities laws, ethics and compliance. The paid summer internship begins in June while the longer Academy class program commences in August.
"We compete with the major banks, private equity firms and Silicon Valley for the same people," said Point72 President Douglas Hayes. "The Academy will help us get first crack at the next generation of investor talent before they might go elsewhere."
Cohen is not expected to teach any classes. Still, he will have contact with trainees from his seat at the center of the trading floor, a firm spokesman said.
The first trainees, from schools including Yale, Columbia, and Cohen's alma mater the University of Pennsylvania, will be mentored by senior analysts and portfolio managers and are likely to be promoted into Point72's fulltime ranks after completing the program.
Source: Financial Times

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Biggest Gulf Hedge Fund

Zahra Group Reports Biggest Gulf Hedge Fund Launch for Five Years

Zahra Group, a Kuwait based private shareholding company, is launching a new $100 million global equities hedge fund targeting ethical investments, the biggest Gulf launch for five years.
The fund will invest using the principles of Islamic law, although trades will not be signed off by a cleric.
"The few (Sharia compliant) funds that exist are mostly real-estate focused and returns are usually in single digits ... When investors see the prospect of double-digit returns, their eyes light up," Husain Kothari said.
Kothari said he hoped his fund, Kothari Investment Partners, would appeal to a broader investment base, including ethical investors in Europe.
"They (ethical investors in the region) feel that they leave a lot of money on the table, as there just aren't avenues available to invest," he added.
Kothari, ex-chief financial officer of Kuwait Energy, said the fund was talking to wealthy regional individuals and family offices, and was likely to pass an original target of $50 million and hit $100 million ahead of a summer launch.
While global hedge fund assets are around $3 trillion, those based in the Middle East manage just $5 billion, data from Eurekahedge showed.
Source: Reuters

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Ackman Helps 3G Capital

Bill Ackman Helps 3G Capital to Bring Back Burger King

Bill Ackman, an American hedge fund manager and the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, a hedge fund management company, has helped a Brazilian multi-billion dollar global investment firm 3G Capital to bring back Burger King to the public markets in 2012.
Ackman co-founded a shell company in 2011 -- Justice Holdings -- which acquired 29% of Burger King from 3G in 2012, and subsequently became Burger King Worldwide.
Burger King Worldwide then became Restaurant Brands in December when it closed its acquisition of Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons. That acquisition was financed, in part, by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which invested in the deal through a combination of preferred shares and warrants.
3G's strategy with Restaurant Brands follows the same pattern it's used on several other consumer-facing food companies in recent years, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heinz, and Kraft. Each time, 3G has pushed for mergers to create enormous conglomerates -- and reaped financial rewards in the process. Buffett has participated in all of them.
Source: Motley Fool

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Giant Hedge Funds in PetSmart

PetSmart Draws Big Bets from Several Hedge Fund Giants

PetSmart Inc., the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets, has drawn big bets from several well-known hedge funds including Fortress Investment Group LLC and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC.
A hedge-fund investing strategy aimed at squeezing more money from corporate takeovers has its biggest test yet: PetSmart Inc.
The specialty retailer’s recent $8.25 billion buyout has drawn big bets from several well-known hedge funds, which bought shares on the brink of the deal’s closing in March and are laying the groundwork for a court battle over the $83-a-share buyout price, according to filings and people familiar with the matter.
The funds, including Fortress Investment Group LLC and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC, plan to avail themselves of a legal remedy known as “appraisal,” in which a judge determines the fair value of the stock. Little used until about a year ago, the strategy has surged in popularity, attracting ever-larger wagers from hedge funds hungry for returns. These funds typically buy shares just before a deal closes with the intention of seeking more in court.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Kern County Employees' CIO

Kern County’s CIO is Replacing Its Two Active Domestic Small-Cap Equity Managers

Peter Tirp, chief investment officer of Kern County Employees' Retirement Association, Bakersfield, California, announced that is planning to replace its two active domestic small-cap equity managers.
The $3.7 billion pension fund currently has its two managers, which run about $75 million each, on watch. Growth manager Columbia Management Investment Advisers is on watch for underperformance, and value manager Fisher Investments is on watch for style drift.
The pension fund's investment committee has approved due diligence visits with small-cap growth manager Geneva Capital Management and value managers AllianceBernstein (AB) and Silvercrest Asset Management, and a decision will be made within the next couple of months.
Columbia spokesman Carlos Melville and David Eckerly, Fisher group vice president, declined to comment.
Separately, the pension fund is narrowing its search for a credit-focused distressed hedge fund into which it will make an investment of about $17 million. Finalists are Centerbridge Partners, River Birch Capital and Southpaw Asset Management.
The pension fund created a target of 10% to direct hedge fund investments in July 2013 and this would be the 14th or 15th of 15 direct investments planned, depending on contract negotiations with prior managers.
Source: Pensions & Investments

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Simon Holmes

Simon Holmes Joins Chicago Hedge Fund Giant Citadel

Simon Holmes has been appointed by Citadel Securities, the market-making arm of Chicago hedge fund giant Citadel LLC, as senior swaps executive in Europe, as it looks to build its presence in off-exchange traded markets, according to the hedge fund firm announcement.
A Citadel spokesman said Simon Holmes joined Wednesday from ICAP PLC, where he was chief operating officer of the brokerage firm’s electronic interest-rate swaps trading platform in the U.S., called i-Swap.
Mr. Holmes assumes the role of chief operating officer for Citadel Securities’ fixed-income business, based in London, the spokesman said. He couldn't be reached, but his last day at ICAP was March 31.
Citadel has been plotting an entrance into the $700 trillion swaps market for years, sensing opportunity as traditional market makers at large banks are weighed down by a spate of new regulations curtailing their risk-taking.
Swaps are derivatives used to wager on a borrower’s likelihood of repaying its debts or to hedge against big swings in borrowing costs.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Stephen Kirk's Hedge Fund

Campden Square Capital is the Newest Hedge Fund of Stephen Kirk in London

Campden Square Capital, a new hedge fund, has been launched by Stephen Kirk, a former partner at hedge fund manager Lansdowne Partners, in London.
The fund manager, who officially left Lansdowne in December, was part of a team that managed the Lansdowne Global Financials Fund. The fund has produced an annualised rate of return of 10.4 percent since launch in 2004, according to data seen by Reuters.
The launch comes following a year when hedge funds in Europe shut down at the fastest-ever pace as rising costs, weak performance and a slowdown in the pace of new investment lead some embattled founders to bail out.
Investors pulled a net $13 billion out of European hedge funds in the second half of last year, having invested a net $35 billion in the first half and $64 billion in 2013, according to data from industry tracker Eurekahedge.
The trend has meant that only the top ranking fund managers are able to launch and get investors' backing.
While plans for Kirk's launch fund are still in development, two of the sources said he may already have commitments of more than $200 million, making it one of the larger fund launches in the region for 2015.
Source: Yahoo7 News

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Hong Kong Hedge Funds’ Assets Record

SFC Says Hong Kong Hedge Funds’ AUM Reach New Record

According to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong’s hedge fund assets under management reached a record high in 2014, despite fears that political clashes, between pro-democracy youth and the pro-Beijing establishment.
The SFC report shows that as of September 30, 2014, hedge fund assets under management (AUM) in Hong Kong reached US$120.9 billion, an increase of 39% from the amount reported in the previous survey in September 2012.
The report also shows that Hong Kong hedge fund managers mainly adopted an Asia- Pacific-focused equity long/short and multi-strategy. Additionally, overseas institutional investors made up the majority of the investor base.
The main finding of the report is that Hong Kong’s hedge fund industry has continued to grow. The number of hedge funds managed by SFC-licensed hedge fund managers in Hong Kong increased from 676 in 2012 to 778 as of September 30, 2014. The number of hedge fund managers increased from 348 in September 2012 to 401 in September 2014.
The 2014 total hedge fund AUM in Hong Kong surpassed its previous peak in 2008 and represented over 13 times the US$9.1 billion AUM in 2004, the earliest year covered by SFC surveys.
Source: Forex Magnates

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Dalio's Large Philanthropic Foundation

Ray Dalio is Building a Large Philanthropic Foundation

Ray Dalio, an American hedge fund manager and founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, is building a large philanthropic foundation.
According to the most recent public tax filing made by the Dalio Foundation, Dalio contributed $400 million to his foundation in 2013, pushing its total assets to $842 million. The foundation ended 2012 with $590 million in assets.
With an estimated net worth of $15.4 billion, Dalio is the second-wealthiest hedge fund manager. George Soros is the only hedge fund manager with a higher net worth.
In 2011, Dalio signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to get the world’s richest people to give a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. “We were lucky enough to have experienced the whole range of financial circumstances, from not having any money to having a lot. Fortunately that happened in the best order,” Dalio and his wife, Barbara, wrote in their Giving Pledge letter.
Source: Forbes

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Elliott Management Buys Axis

Sweden’s Axis Secures Investment from Hedge Fund Elliott Management

7.5% stake in Swedish surveillance camera maker Axis has been acquired by hedge fund Elliott Management, potentially raising pressure on Japan's Canon to raise its bid for the firm.
The stake was disclosed in a filing with Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority.
Canon's roughly $2.8 billion bid for Axis requires acceptance from shareholders with 90 percent of shares, meaning Elliott Management would need to team up with more owners to block the bid, or raise its stake above 10 percent.
Canon launched the bid to buy all Axis shares for 340 crowns apiece, a nearly 50 percent premium, in February.
Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its intentions.
Source: Reuters

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Northern Trust Hedge Fund

Northern Trust Hedge Fund Appoints David Burnett as Head of Services in Europe and EMEA

David Burnett has been appointed by Northern Trust as head of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), to support the continued momentum of Northern Trust’s hedge fund administration business.
Based in London, Burnett will lead Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services in EMEA, reporting to Peter Sanchez, global head of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services.
“Managing hedge funds amidst the challenges of today’s market environment requires the right combination of expertise, automation and controls,” said Peter Sanchez, global head of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services. “David has been instrumental in integrating Hedge Fund Services in EMEA and his invaluable experience will ensure we are best placed to continue providing outstanding client service using innovative technology.”
“Data management is critical to the success of our client’s ability to meet regulatory, investor, and operational requirements,” said Burnett. “Our technology delivers real-time, transparent and consolidated data which supports meeting the diverse range of stakeholder data requirements.”
Source: Business Wire

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Asia-Pacific Hedge Funds' Growth

Asia-Pacific Hedge Funds Record Strong Growth in 2014

During 2014, assets of the Asia-Pacific hedge funds reached a record $192.81 billion or a 21 percent increase from the $139.8 billion recorded at end 2013.
The figure is still higher than the previous industry high of $191bn that was seen in the pre-crisis heyday of 2007, according to the latest AsiaHedge Asset Survey.
"Asian hedge funds have delivered two solid years of outperformance in 2013 and 2014 – which has put Asia firmly back on investors’ radar screens. In particular, many of the Asian billion dollar funds brought in strong double digit returns in 2014, boosting investor confidence," commented Aradhna Dayal, editor of AsiaHedge and head of Asia for HedgeFund Intelligence.
The survey also found that China-focused strategies emerged as the largest hedge fund category in Asia last year, with assets at $32.88bn. It added that as much as 86% or $167bn of industry assets are now being managed out of Asia. Hong Kong is the biggest hub for these funds, with as much as $68bn of assets based in Hong Kong, way ahead of traditional hubs like New York and London.
Source: Opalesque

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World’s Largest Hedge Fund

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Manager Releases Two UCITS-Compliant Equity Funds

The world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund manager Man Group released two UCITS-compliant equity funds as it aims to attract retail investors.
The funds will be managed by Man Numeric, the Boston-based quantitative manager acquired by Man Group in September 2014.
Domiciled in Dublin, the Man Numeric Market Neutral Alternative fund and the Man Numeric Emerging Markets Equity fund are the first UCITS vehicles to be offered to the European market by the US fund manager, which has $16.7bn of assets under management.
Man Numeric’s co-heads of hedge fund strategies Greg Bond and Daniel Taylor will manage both funds.
Man Numeric president and chief executive Michael Even said: “We are delighted to launch these UCITS-compliant funds, offering investors in the European market access to two of our core alpha-generating strategies for the first time.”
The Man Numeric Market Neutral Alternative fund offers exposure to one of Man Numeric’s core strategies, the 14-year old Numeric Alternative Market Neutral Strategy, formerly known as Numeric Multi-Strategy Market Neutral Strategy.
The Man Numeric Emerging Markets Equity fund is based on the Numeric Emerging Markets Core Strategy, which launched in June 2013.
Source: Fundweb

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2015 Hedge Funds Strong Performance

Hedge Funds are Posting Strong Performance of 2.52% in 2015

According to Preqin, a leading source of data and intelligence for the alternative assets industry, hedge funds posted strong performance of 2.52 percent so far in 2015.
Hedge funds are outpacing stocks in 2015, various data trackers said; Brevan Howard’s largest hedge fund was up 3.6% this year after posting its first loss in 2014; Value Partners saw its net profit double last year on strong returns; APS Asset Management (APS) saw its China Alpha Fund return 4.71% in February (+7.27% YTD); and Blueshift Capital Group saw its main fund drop more than 8% last month.
One Oak Capital launched the Alpha Opportunities Fund that targets institutional investors, high net worth individuals and family offices; Gottex is preparing to launch its first low cost "risk premia" investment product; Polen Capital has launched a new global growth equity strategy fund to be managed by Julian Pick; Sandell Asset launched a new hedge fund-backed reinsurer in Bermuda; Asia Frontier Capital has announced the launch of the AFC Iraq Fund; multi-strategy asset manager CQS launched a new long-only Global Convertible Bond Fund; and Neuberger Berman has extended its liquid alternatives UCITS platform with the launch of the Neuberger Berman Global Long Short Equity Fund.
Source: Opalesque

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Oil Hedge Fund

Andurand Capital Posts Gains of 13.5% in February 2015

According to source familiar with the matter, Andurand Capital, an energy hedge fund, was up 13.5 percent at the end of February, as one of the world's most famous oil traders extended a winning run.
French fund manager Pierre Andurand, who made almost 50 percent last year betting on the oil crash, returned about 10 percent in January and 3 percent in February, the source said, as crude stabilised after hitting a six-year low near $45 a barrel.
Andurand, whose career included stints at Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs and commodities trading giant Vitol, made his name in 2008 when his BlueGold fund correctly called the spike and subsequent collapse in oil.
BlueGold shut at the end of 2011 as Andurand and co-founder Dennis Crema went their separate ways.
Since launching the new London-based fund in 2013, Andurand Capital has increased its assets under management to $450 million, the source said. That is up from $400 million at the start of 2015.
Speaking in December, Andurand said wild oil price swings would continue after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declined to cut production, choosing to compete to hold on to market share rather than trying to prop up the price.
Source: Reuters

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Neuberger Berman Buys Jana Partners

Neuberger Berman Buys 20% Stake in Hedge Fund Firm Jana Partners

Jana Partners LLC, a New York based hedge fund managed by Barry Rosenstein, has sold 20 percent in firm to Dyal Capital Partners, a unit of investment manager Neuberger Berman.
The deal, with Neuberger’s Dyal Capital Partners, values New York-based Jana at roughly $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Jana, which manages more than $11 billion, is known for buying stakes in companies and then seeking to work with management as it pushes for change.
Activists have long been Wall Street outsiders, criticized as brash speculators more interested in a quick profit than the long-term success of their corporate targets. But in recent years they have attracted large flows of money from institutions as some firms have dialed back the vitriol and delivered performance outpacing other hedge funds.
The stake sale gives Jana, one of the biggest activist funds, a stamp of approval from an established investment manager as well as more money to invest. The stake is passive, meaning Dyal won’t have a say in Jana’s operations, according to a Jana investor letter.
Source: Wall Street Journal

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European Equity Markets

Hedge Funds Rise 2.2% on European Central Bank’s Extension

Following to data provider BarclayHedge, the European Central Bank’s extension of aid to Greece and its new €1.1 trillion stimulus package rallied European equity markets helped pushed hedge funds to gain 2.2 percent in February.
It added that the quantitative easing also calmed down deflation fears on rising prices for oil and other commodities.
The Barclay Hedge Fund Index was up 2.14% year-to-date. "Risk factors were largely out of the limelight in February," says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.
All but one of Barclay’s 18 hedge fund indices had gains in February. The Healthcare & Biotechnology Index jumped 4.49%, equity long bias was up 4.02%, the Event Driven Index gained 3.57%, Pacific Rim Equities rose 2.81%, Distressed Securities added 2.18%, and European equities were up 2.09%.
The only losing hedge fund strategy in February was the Equity Short Bias Index, which dropped 3.70%. Equity short bias is down 3.70% year-to-date.
After two months in 2015, healthcare & biotechnology leads all hedge fund indices with a 6.81% gain. European equities are up 2.81%, equity long bias has gained 2.74%, global macro is up 2.71%, and the Event Driven Index has gained 2.49%.
Source: Opalesque

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One Oak Launches New Hedge Fund

One Oak Introduces Its New Hedge Fund Entitled Alpha Opportunities Fund

A new hedge fund that targets institutional investors, high net worth individuals and family offices entitled Alpha Opportunities Fund, has been launched by Oak Capital Management, LLC, according to South Carolina financial services firm’s announcement.
One Oak chief executive officer Steve DiTursi said, "We are excited about the fund launching and view it as a critical step in building our firm. The product is designed for institutional investors, high net worth individuals and family offices seeking strategies with investment grade quality assets, higher liquidity and the mitigation of interest rate risk."
He explained that One Oak’s expertise employs a highly disciplined relative value long-short credit strategy. The fund seeks to exploit short-term trading opportunities in the investment grade corporate bond market.
"Given the size and scope of the corporate bond market, many opportunities arise that offer the possibility for above market rates of return from fixed income, particularly as it relates to trading volume segmentation" said Joe Scellato, One Oak’s chief investment officer. He commented further, "Our strategy has caught the attention of investors as we seek to manage the residual interest rate risk in our positions and the portfolio, as is practical."
Source: Opalesque

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