Westgate Capital Management LLC James Nicholson Fraud

Westgate Capital

Westgate Capital Management Fraud

Below please find information on Westgate Capital Management LLC and James M. Nicholson who has been accused of a $900M fraud.

Resource #1: (3.9.09) A week after he was arrested and charged with securities fraud, four investors have sued hedge fund manager James Nicholson.

Nicholson, who ran Pearl River, N.Y.-based Westgate Capital Management, has been hit with a $1.5 million racketeering lawsuit, filed Wednesday by four residents of Rockland County, N.Y.

Nicholson has been accused by prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission with misrepresenting the value of 11 hedge funds he ran, as well as using sales materials to boast of investment successes that, according to authorities, are entirely fictitious. source

Resource #2: The vigilance of Madoff-wary investors has helped bring about the arrest of another part-time Palm Beach resident, the manager of an unregistered hedge fund accused of swindling an estimated $900 million from clients since 2004.

The FBI on Wednesday arrested James M. Nicholson, 42, owner of a penthouse in the Dunster House condominium complex, on charges of securities fraud and bank fraud. Also on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a federal complaint against Nicholson and his company, Westgate Capital Management LLC of Pearl River, N.Y., seeking relief for the fraud and an injunction to stop it.

A telephone call to Nicholson's primary residence in Saddle River, N.J., was not returned by press time. A telephone line listed for Nicholson's multi-million dollar Dunster House penthouse was disconnected.

According to the complaint, the fraud includes providing prospective investors with materially false and misleading sales material and oral statements about returns, concealing Westgate's true financial condition through a fictitious accounting firm called Havener and Havener, and providing investors with fake audited financial statements from the fake firm. source

Resource #3: Hedge fund manager James Nicholson, founder and president of New York-based Westgate Capital Management, has been arrested and charged with bank and securities fraud.

He is accused of falsifying returns and creating a ‘virtual' accounting company to certify financial statements that overstated assets by millions of dollars.

Nicholson is alleged to have engaged in a scheme to defraud investors since 2004. Investors may have invested at least $100 million in funds managed by Westgate over the past five years on the basis of fraudulent claims, investigators said. source

Read about other fraud cases and general information on hedge fund regulations and compliance within our: Hedge Fund Regulation Corner | Compliance & Law Notes

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Hedge Fund Investor Relations and Marketing Job

Hedge Fund Position

VP Marketing & Investor Relations

The following is a hedge fund job listing straight from our Hedge Fund Marketing & Sales Jobs section of HedgeFundBlogger.com:

Join a team of seasoned pros who are committed to delivering excellent performance and complete transparency to investors, year after year. The founder has tapped his friends, family, and network and wants you to help him market the firm to outside HNW individuals and family offices, taking it to a whole new level.

Ranked in the top 10 of all hedge funds with more than $15M in assets by hedgefund.net, this fund is very attractive to investors! With a return of 14% last year and 17% for 10 months of 2007, few funds have performed better. The secret is the firm's expertise in pricing, buying, and collecting on performing prime consumer receivables - the hottest new space in alternative investments.

The firm currently has $25M in investor funds and would like to get $500M in the next 5-10 years. The firm has a track record of almost 2 yrs. If you join us, you should be comfortable marketing a fund of that size and track record.

The ideal candidate will have a significant book of HNW and FO investors who are interested in allocating now to a great opportunity.

The firm is located near Lake Tahoe in Reno, NV. Relocation is desired but we'll consider telecommute for an excellent candidate if your investor base is somewhere else and you'd be more effective staying put.

Please send CV/resume in Word format

Contact info: Marc Goormastic at marcus@goormastic.com. Email only please.

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Jumpstart NYC Job Training Program | Bloomberg

Jumpstart NYC

Jumpstart NYC Job Training Program

Jumpstart NYC Job Training ProgramThe city of New York is looking to spend $45M this year to entice talent to stay in New York and help retrain them to work within other industries as wall street jobs within the city shrink by almost 50,000. Here is an article excerpt from CNN on this:
New York City plans to spend $45 million on job training and other programs to aid unemployed bankers and reinvigorate the city's business community.

The programs are ultimately aimed at helping the city retain its status as a global financial capital, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, amid the massive downsizing or collapse of many Wall Street staple firms.

Late last month, the mayor said the city could lose some 46,000 Wall Street jobs by the second quarter of 2010. source

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The Return of Risk, by Peter Curley

The Return of Risk

Below is a short guest post by Peter Curley of Nirvana Solutions:

Before the financial crisis the hedge fund industry was an industry fixated on returns. The industry claimed to have figured out a way to offer out-sized and absolute returns, no matter the market conditions. The crisis and the subsequent blow-up of hundreds of funds has reacquainted everyone with return's alter ego - risk. In this new world, investors are now demanding an intimate knowledge of the type and level of risk involved in generating returns. Managers that hope to raise capital in this environment will need to demonstrate that they have given as much thought to risk mitigation as they have to generating alpha. The following are the major types of risk and how a hedge fund can manage them:

1 - Portfolio Risk - The recent market volatility exposed some of the drawbacks of the legacy technology used by many hedge funds to understand their portfolio risk. Managers were forced to navigate the markets with systems that could only offer outdated views (typically end-of-day reports) of risk and return. These legacy portfolio management systems struggle with real-time reporting because they pre-date the advent of the FIX (Financial Information Exchange) protocol and therefore cannot not display the real-time impact of executions on a fund's risk and return profile. This lack of real-time transparency can no longer be tolerated. Newer, real-time portfolio management systems place the FIX protocol at the center of their activities and ensure that a manager has an execution-by-execution real-time view of risk and return.

2 - Counter-Party Risk - The demise of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, abruptly brought the subject of counter-party risk to center stage. Overnight multiple prime broker relationships have become a prerequisite for all funds no matter the size. To attract (or retain) assets a fund must now demonstrate that they have diversified their counter-party risk. The operational complexity (and cost) involved in building a multi-prime infrastructure should not be underestimated (see "A Guide to Overcoming the Operational Challenge of Multi-Prime" by Peter Curley, Nirvana Solutions, October 2008). At the very heart of this complexity is the requirement to collect and aggregate the disparate cash, position, and transaction information, across multiple custodians. Additionally, the infrastructure must be flexible enough to support new, in vogue, risk-reducing structures, such as tri-party arrangements and separately managed accounts.

3 - Operational Risk - Anecdotal evidence suggests that investors' operational due diligence has become increasingly more stringent since the crisis. A fund must show that they have acquired a formalized middle and back-office functionality. Investors need to feel that the inner workings of the fund are completely transparent and that any area where there is potential for conflict, such as valuation or administration, is handled by an independent third-party. Any suggestion that a manager is relying too heavily on unproven processes or unsuitable infrastructure, such as Microsoft Excel, will result in the investor simply moving on to the next investment opportunity.

The renewed interest in risk mitigation comes at a time when funds are already under intense pressure dealing with redemptions and poor performance. For many funds the added burden of these new requirements will necessitate that they give a serious look at the outsourcing options available to them. Fortunately, a number of service providers, including the mini-primes and fund administrators, are in the process of creating new outsourced multi-prime service platforms that can meet these new requirements in a cost-effective manager.

Article contributed by Peter Curley of Nirvana Solutions.

Peter is a founding managing partner at Nirvana Solutions. His areas of responsibility include managing all of Nirvana's marketing activities as well heading their west coast sales team.

Prior to joining Nirvana Solutions, Peter was the product manager for Advent Software's order managment system (OMS), Moxy. He oversaw all the product marketing activities for Moxy, which is used worldwide by over 800 firms. He had a special emphasis on trading and hedge funds and has authored a number of articles and whitepapers on these subjects.

After business school Peter joined IBM's Strategy and Change group as a strategy consultant. He was attached to IBM's Financial Services arm and completed a number of strategy assignments at major Wall Street firms as well as smaller start-ups.

Peter began his career as a registered representive at Charles Schwab and was a team lead for the introduction of Schwab's innovative e.Schwab electronic brokerage offering. He later was involved in the development of Schwab's active trader application, Velocity, which was merged with CyberTrader.

Peter holds a bachelor's degree in economics from University College Dublin, a Master's from University of Exeter and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

email: peter.curley@nirvanasolutions.com View Peter Curley's profile on LinkedIn

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Mutual Fund Performance in 2009 and 2010

Mutual Funds

Mutual Fund Performance in 2009

Mutual Fund Performance in 2009 and 2010I just read a Reuters article claiming that mutual funds may be gaining ground on hedge funds. While mutual funds may have gained market share over the last few months as institutional investors may re-position more actively than retail investors I believe hedge funds will come out ahead once we are a year into a more "normal" market environment. Does anyone have a direct comparison graphs of mutual vs. hedge fund performance or a pie chart on market share?

Here is an excerpt from the article mentioned above:

Hedge funds have gained a increasing share of the investment pie in recent years but the trend could could be reversing, judging by separate comments made by UBS and Deutsche Bank on Tuesday.

Timothy Bell, global head of hedge funds advisory at UBS Wealth Management, said hedge fund assets could fall further to $1.2 trillion this quarter from $1.4 trillion at the end of 2008 and $1.93 trillion at their peak in mid-2008. source

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Steven Walsh & Paul Greenwood Futures Fraud Case

Futures Fraud Case

Steven Walsh & Paul Greenwood Fraud

Steven Walsh & Paul Greenwood Futures Fraud CaseYet another fraud case uncovered last week, details on this futures fraud case are below:

Two New York residents were charged yesterday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after allegedly misappropriating at least $553 million of client’s funds.

Stephen Walsh of Sands Point, NY and Paul Greenwood of North Salem, NY are being hit with futures fraud in connection with their companies, which include Westridge Capital Management Inc., WG Trading Investors, LP, and WGIA, LLC.

“Defendants treated investor money– some of which came from a public pension fund– as their own piggy bank to lavish themselves with expensive gifts,” said Stephen J. Obie, Acting Director of Enforcement for the CFTC.

According to the complaint, Walsh and Greenwood took approximately $1.3 billion from investors in their entities since 1996. The men allegedly told their clients that all of the funds would be employed in a single investment strategy of index arbitrage. source

Read about additional fraud cases and hedge fund regulations and compliance within our:
Hedge Fund Regulation Corner | Compliance & Law Notes

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Hedge Fund Investment Returns | 2009

Hedge Fund Returns

Hedge Fund Investment Returns

Hedge Fund Investment Returns | 2009Here is a short article excerpt from Bloomberg noting that hedge funds have just recently posted back to back positive returns over the past two months. This is the first time that this has happened in 8 months now - one of the first positive signs for the industry since early 2008. Here is a excerpt from the article:

Hedge funds posted their first back- to-back gain in eight months in January, rebounding from record losses in 2008 as North American managers benefited from betting stocks would fall, an industry report showed.

“I think what this is showing is that hedge funds have managed to shift their portfolios and they are effective in the current market conditions,” said Jennifer Carver, Hong Kong- based Asia chief executive officer at 3A SA, the alternative investment arm of Geneva-based Banque Syz & Co., that manages $3.5 billion worldwide. “We’re seeing a difference of what’s happening in the equity markets and bond markets and what’s happening in hedge funds, which is what should happen.” source

Read dozens of past articles regarding hedge fund returns within our Hedge Fund Performance Area.

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Prime Brokerage Business Information | PrimeBrokerageGuide.com

Prime Broker Info

Prime Brokerage Business Information

PrimeBrokerageGuide.com is the only website focused on providing educational content focused exclusively on the topic of prime brokerage. The website was started in early 2008 and now contains hundreds of industry articles and resources. Below please find a list of the top 20 most popular articles now posted to this niche website:
  1. What is Prime Brokerage?
  2. Prime Brokerage Business
  3. Prime Brokers Association
  4. Prime Brokerage New York
  5. Prime Brokerage & Hedge Fund Administration
  6. Prime Brokerage Chicago
  7. Prime Brokers
  8. Prime Brokerage Boston
  9. Prime Brokerage Assets
  10. Capital Introduction Team
  11. Understanding Prime Brokerage
  12. Prime Brokerage Rankings
  13. Rehypothication
  14. Hedge Fund Hotels
  15. Prime Brokerage Glossary Terms
  16. Derivatives Prime Brokerage
  17. Prime Brokerage Jobs
  18. Prime Brokerage for Small Funds
  19. Prime Brokerage Settlement
  20. Prime Brokerage Services

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Plenty of Good Apples : More Awareness Needed

Plenty of Good Apples

More Alternative Investment Awareness

I recently read a post on Hedge Lines about the alternative investment industry and how Portfolio.com has claimed that private equity firms add no value - only fees. Here are some quotes from that blog post:

"The entire spectrum of alternative asset management is under attack."

"The problem is that no one is talking about the good apples in the alternatives arena. No one is making the case that hedge funds and private equity are valuable, even important, vehicles for institutions, like pension funds, that should reasonably expect to make money even when the market is down. This should be an easy argument to make, but no one is actively taking it on."

The Hedge Fund Group (HFG) and HedgeFundBlogger.com are taking this on. Through this financial crisis we have been pointing out how hedge funds have outperformed the markets, how hundreds of new funds are being started right now, and we have also detailed how this diverse industry is as alive as ever.

What the industry needs is a more concerted effort to converse with the public, with government officials, with banks, and wealth management firms. There should be an easier channel for hedge fund manager communication directly with the public whether they are a potential investor or not.

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Prime Brokerage For Small Funds - The Squeeze

Prime Brokerage

Brokerage Services for Small Funds

prime brokerage for small fundsJust found an article from today within the WSJ which discusses how many banks and prime brokerage firms are cutting off services to some of their funds which they deem too small (under $200M) or exotic. This is due to necessary cost cutting, risk management and balance sheet clean up projects. Many large shops are segmenting clients into 2-5 lists with the smallest or most exotic funds being the first to be cut from their services such as custody or lending. While those within the industry know that this has been going on for some time now I don't believe the full force of it will be felt until Q3 or Q4 of 2009. Here is the WSJ article excerpt:
Brokerage firms are reducing financing and other services to hundreds of hedge funds, in a move that could accelerate the shakeout among these heavy-hitting investors.

Under financial pressure, securities firms are dividing their hedge-fund clients into lists of those they consider best able to weather the financial turmoil and those they're less sure of. The result is that more funds may have to merge, find other financing at higher cost or close. source

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Information on Multi-Family Offices | Family Offices Group.com

Multi-Family Offices

Top Article on Multi-Family Offices

Information on Multi-Family Offices | Family Offices Group.comMany hedge funds count family offices as one group of their investor base. As the number of family offices increase and larger institutions raise their AUM minimums this segment of the market becomes even more interesting to those in charge of managing or marketing hedge funds and private equity firms.

The Family Offices Group is a 4,000+ person networking group dedicated to the family office space. Joining this group costs nothing and our website http://FamilyOfficesGroup.com produces free weekly articles on the family office industry. Below please find the top 20 most popular articles to date from FamilyOfficesGroup.com:
  1. Family Office Jobs
  2. Philanthropic Giving
  3. Family Office Services
  4. Family Office Wealth Management
  5. Single Family Office
  6. Hedge Fund of Funds by Family Offices
  7. Family Office Marketing
  8. Family Office Industry
  9. Family Giving | Philanthropic Management
  10. Investing Book
  11. Financial Advisor Marketing
  12. Private Equity for Family Offices
  13. Family Office Example
  14. Starting a Single or Multi-Family Office
  15. Family Offices Message Board
  16. Private Banking and Wealth Management
  17. The Cost of Being Wealthy
  18. Jobs at Hedge Funds
  19. CHA Designation
  20. Family Office Consultants

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Switch Hedge Fund Service Providers | Contacts

Service Providers

Switch Hedge Fund Service Providers

Not getting the service you were promised upfront? Tired of minimum billing fees? Starting a hedge fund? Feeling pressure from board members to go the multi-prime brokerage route? Want to make sure you are receiving competitive pricing on your fund services?

Below are a number of hedge fund service providers which are hungry to grow their businesses and begin working with hedge fund clients of all sizes. Please see the lists below for professionals you may contact today about potentially working together:

Hedge Fund Attorneys and Law Firms

Hedge Fund Administrators

Hedge Fund Auditors

Prime Brokers

Investment Consultants
  • Learn more about FundAdvisor's services by clicking here

Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Investment Research
  • Learn more about The Merchant Forecast by clicking here

Hedge Fund Software Firms & Products

Hedge Fund Marketing & Public Relations

To help support HedgeFundBlogger.com and be included within our service provider directory and lists such as the one above please email us at Richard@HedgeFundGroup.org.

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Hedge Fund Survey of Investors & Industry

Hedge Fund Survey

Hedge Fund Survey of Investors

Preqin recently completed a survey while looked at the current investor confidence in hedge funds, demand for hedge funds from investors right now, and quality of information or transparency found within hedge funds today. Here are some interesting statistics:
  • There are more investors which are more confident in hedge funds now than there are investors that are less confident since the financial crisis began
  • Only 7% of investors are going to stop investing in hedge funds
  • Over 25% of hedge fund investors will increase their investments into hedge funds
  • Increased transparency and a fundamental understanding of the hedge fund's strategy have been rated as the most important change since the financial crisis began while risk management methods note as the least important change that should be made
Below please find charts and graphs from the Preqin newsletter, click on them to view a larger version.

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Prime Brokerage OTC Derivative Give Ups

OTC Derivatives

Prime Brokerage OTC Derivatives

Prime Brokerage OTC Derivative Give Ups(http://PrimeBrokerageGuide.com) A recent article by Alex Akesson noted that some large prime brokerage shops are now ending any OTC give up arrangements that their hedge fund clients had previously put into place. For many hedge funds these changes are happening right now - and for many more it will probably occur before the beginning of Q3 of 2009. Here is the article excerpt mentioned above:
Hedge funds of varying sizes report being given notice by prime brokers that OTC derivative give up arrangements will end - quickly. Funds ranging in size from $25M to $2.5B are being told new derivative trades "done away" will no longer be accepted near the end of the first quarter and that give up relationships will end completely in April.

‘Give up arrangements’ are where the executing broker writes trade tickets on behalf of both counterparties to the trade – provided hedge funds with three advantages: easier post-trade operations, cross margining and credit intermediation.

“Challenged by investors to provide increasing levels of transparency, independent validation and reporting frequency, funds would also have to find the operational bandwidth and capability to efficiently manage the complexities of OTC trade processing involving multiple instruments, high volumes and multiple counterparties." Hans Hufschmid, CEO of GlobeOp Financial Services commented, "And the February 28 deadline after which major dealers will not accept novation consents by email looms.” source

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Sir Allen Stanford Fraud Case SEC Charges

Sir Allen Stanford

Sir Allen Stanford Fraud Case | SEC

Below is a short video on Sir Allen Stanford who was just accused of fraud by the SEC. Below the video please see 5 additional resources on this unfolding case. If you are viewing this article via our daily hedge fund newsletter please click here to watch the embedded videos:

Resource #1:

Resource #2: The Securities and Exchange Commission charged R. Allen Stanford with an $8 billion fraud centered around the sale of certificates of deposit, saying the flamboyant businessman hoodwinked investors by promising high and seemingly safe returns.

As the SEC charges were made public Tuesday morning, U.S. marshals and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided Stanford offices in Houston.

The SEC said that Stanford Investment Bank sought to lull investors into thinking their investments were safe, providing assurances that the bank invested the money in liquid financial instruments that were monitored by a team of more than 20 analysts. source

Resource #3: The England & Wales Cricket Board yesterday suspended relations with Sir Allen Stanford after he was charged with what United States investigators allege is a "massive, ongoing fraud.

A Dallas Federal court was asked to freeze Stanford's assets and his company was put in the hand of receivers after the Securities and Exchange Commission took drastic action following days of intense speculation about his company as US Marshals raided Stanford's office in Houston in the early hours of the morning Stateside.

"We are alleging a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world," said Rose Romero, director of the SEC's Fort Worth office. source

Resource #4: We thought Bernie Madoff's world record in Ponzi-scheming would be safe for a while, maybe for all of time. But now comes the news that the SEC is investigating one R. Allen Stanford, a billionaire who runs a money-management firm out of tropical, tax-free St. Croix. To his moneyed clients, Stanford offers certificates of deposit that offer "unusually high and consistent returns" (double the market average, according to Business Week). Hmmm, where have we heard that phrase before? Oh, also: The company overseeing the firm's books is "a tiny accounting firm in Antigua" whose CEO recently died. Oh, dear. Stanford manages $51 billion, just nosing out the amount that Madoff had "under management." source

Resource #5:

Resource #6:

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