Preqin Releases Infographic on Hedge Fund Performance

September 28, 2014 Marcus Black In the News

A provider of comprehensive data and research on private equity, real estate, infrastructure funds, hedge funds and other alternative investments, Preqin recently released an infographic illustrating how the hedge fund industry has changed since the financial crisis of 2008.

Since the crisis there has been an increase in the number of hedge funds that have launched. This is despite increased regulation of the industry. In the last six years there has also been a rise in the amount of assets under management in the industry.

Take a look for yourself at this informative infograph.



2008 financial crisis, Hedge Funds, infograph,

Tiger’s Robertson Predicting Bursting Bubbles in Near Future

September 23, 2014 James Heinsman In the News

Speaking on a panel during the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit held last Monday, Julian Robertson, founder of Tiger Management, forewarned his audience that bubbles in the financial markets are about to burst.

Robertson, one of the hedge fund industry’s most successful managers explained that despite a recovering economy, one of the driving forces behind the recovery are smaller bubbles in the financial markets which are eventually going to “bite us.”

“The bubble will burst in a very bad way,” said Robertson.

During the panel discussion Robertson said he is most worried about the bond market. In order to give their economies a nudge governments have been buying bonds, which have caused interest rates to fall. Robertson explained that due to the low interest rates many investors have been forced into the stock market, and the large numbers of people investing in securities is creating a bubble.

Robertson pointed out that bubbles always burst. The reason bubbles form in the first place is because it is hard for investors to see why prices should ever go down. “The drop in 1987 come out to the blue,” Robertson said.


Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit, Julian Robertson, Tiger Management,

Investing in Star Appeal

September 15, 2014 Debbie Jacobs Company Spotlight

Some investors simply want more for their money than just more money. One way to get a nice return on investment while also rubbing shoulders with celebrities is through a firm called “Media Society.” Based in Los Angeles and launched in 2012, Media Society allows investors to be part of the thrill of Hollywood and also get as much as a 20 percent annualized return on their investment.

Wade Bradley is the CEO of this non-traditional investing platform. He was a commodities trader and venture capitalist until he got into the “investing with the stars” business. Helen Rosenberg is the company’s CFO, who used to work for Barry Diller at Universal Studios and Nielson. Bradley explained that Media Society covers the costs of production, and only will work with the best producers.

Production just finished on a film produced by Donna Gigliotti of “Shakespeare in Love” fame. The new film, “Big Stone Gap” features Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenna Elfman and Patrick Wilson. At the moment Media Society has a romantic comedy and horror movie in the pipeline to production. Investors can expect big names associated with this film as well.

Investors with Media Society are individuals with $2.5 million net worth or above. They can be financial industry executives, real estate developers, or even professionals from the health care sector. The minimum investment is $150,000, with a target of 30 to 60percent yield during a 36-month time frame.

Better than the return is the added bonus of getting to go to some major Hollywood events with the celebrities and other VIPs involved in the production of the films. Media Society lets its “members” hob-nob with the stars of the entertainment industry.


Helen Rosenberg, Media Society, Wade Bradley,

Hedge Fund Founder Rosenstein Joins Walgreens’ Board

September 9, 2014 Debbie Jacobs Company Spotlight

Jana Partners founder Rosenstein joining board of Walgreens

Jana Partners founder Rosenstein joining board of Walgreens

Walgreens, the country’s largest drugstore chain, named Barry Rosenstein, activist investor and founder of Jana Partners, to join their board of directors. Rosenstein will also get to pick one more director to join him on the board.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company is feeling pressure from their stockholders since they lowered their earnings forecast based on their recent merge with the giant health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots. AB runs the largest drugstore chain in the United Kingdom. Walgreens’ share price dropped since they lowered their earnings forecast a month ago. They also put on hold the decision to do an overseas reorganization which would have reduced their US tax obligation.

Walgreens stated that Jana Partners will be recommending another independent director who is not connected to either Jana or Walgreens. If another vacancy opens up on the board and Walgreens decides to fill the position, then Jana and Walrgeens must agree on the candidate.

Jana Funds have a 1.3 percent stake in Walgreens, about 12.5 million shares. If the holding falls below 6.3 million shares then, according to the agreement, Rosenstein will resign from the board.


Barry Rosenstein, Jana Partners, Walgreens,

Hedge Funds Falter as End-of-Summer Numbers Arrive

September 1, 2014 Marcus Black Hedge Fund News

Hedge funds seem to be showing a positively lackluster performance as summer winds down and Labor Day celebrations get underway.

Richard Perry

Richard Perry

A review of how some of the biggest names in hedge funds are doing shows the answer is “not too good” while, for comparison, the broader stock market arena is already surging with 8 percent gains.

•    David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, had an astounding year-in 2013-taking home $3.5 billion on a 42 percent upswing. This year is quite another story. So far his fund only posted a 2.3 percent gain through July, actually loosing 1 percent in July.
•    Richard Perry, founder of Perry Capital, is also in a bad position compared to last year. In 2013 Perry Partners gained 22 percent, but not even close this year. The fund fell 1.4 percent in August, showing a yearly gain of only 1.3 percent through August 22.
•    Trian Partners’ Nelson Peltz is doing a little better. As of August 22 his fund gained 6.6 percent, with an August gain of 1.9 percent. But compare that with a rise of 40 percent in 2013.
•    You might be wondering what ever happened to Jeff Altman and his Owl Creek fund? Last year’s performance was magical, gaining 48.6 percent. This year, not so much. What used to be among the top 2- hedge funds this year fell by 3 percent as of August 22, 2 of those percent in August alone.

Just a reminder that volatility is part and parcel of investing in hedge funds, and past performance is no guarantee of future gains, even for the best of them.


Appaloosa Management, David Tepper, Jeff Altman, Richard Perry, Trian Partners,

London Hedge Fund Execs Take Pay Cut in 2013

August 26, 2014 James Heinsman Hedge Fund News

London-based hedge fund executives saw their take home pay crumble as their base salaries and bonuses imploded in 2013. According to, a company which analyses salary levels, there has been a serious change in the volatility in what hedge fund professionals are paid, especially among the highest paid individuals.

Figures show that compensation packages have declined as much as half in 2013 compared with 2012. In 2012/2013 a managing director at a London-based hedge fund could expect a bonus of about £1,236,000. In 2013/2014 that number was slashed to £459,000. Added to the decimated base pay and managers are left with only £660,000, a decline of almost £1.

Despite this sharp reduction in take-home pay, hedge fund professionals still earn approximately triple what mid-level employees make. Vice presidents and directors of hedge funds today average about £226,000, compared to £307,000 two years ago. But this year is definitely better than last year, when the average person in that group said they took home £196,000.


Hedge fund salaries, London,

New Fund Named for Grandpa Melvin Plotkin to be Launched by Ex-SAC Employee

August 18, 2014 Ryan James Hedge Fund News

Gabriel Plotkin, former employee of Steven A. Cohen, is now in the process of raising as much as one billion dollars for his as-yet non-existent fund which he has decided to name after his grandfather, Melvin Plotkin.

Plotkin, who is 35, has not discussed the reasons for his decision to name the fund after his grandfather in public, but it is definitely and unusual way to name a new hedge fund.

Cohen named what became his wildly successful SAC fund after his own initials. Daniel Loeb, also a billionaire investor was inspired by his hobby, surfing, to name his fund Third Point. This name refers to a particular place in Malibu Beach where the waves break the highest.

Plotkin’s grandfather was a small-business owner, but is now deceased. Melvin Capital is expected to begin trading this coming year, and observers of the hedge fund sector are anticipating it’s launching with excitement. Plotkin has been one of SAC Capital’s most successful traders in recent years. At one point Mr. Plotkin and his management team focused on a portfolio made up mostly of consumer product stocks whose value totaled about $1.3 billion. This summer he has been toning down his trading and increasingly focusing on setting up his own firm.

Plotkin and Cohen will maintain their relationship, just not as employer and employee. Cohen has agreed to invest as much as $200 million in Melvin Capital. It is expected that when the new fund is ready to launch that he will take his team of assistant traders and analysts with him. It is not yet known where Melvin will set up home. We will have to just wait and see.


Gabriel Plotkin, Melvin Capital, SAC Capital, Steven A. Cohen,

Brevan Howard Announces First Monthly Profit in 2014

August 14, 2014 Ryan James Hedge Fund News

Struggling to avoid its first-ever loss year, Brevan Howard’s flagship hedge fund was able to announce its first black month during the 2014 financial year.

Run by manager Alan Howard, the $26.5 billion Master Fund posted a modest gain of 0.7 percent in July. The announcement was made in a letter to the fund’s investors and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The fund is one of the world’s largest, and has not posted a single profitable month during the past six months. The upward movement this month of the fund will reduce the year’s losses down to only 3.7 percent to July’s end.
Compared to other funds, Brevan is doing well. The average fund across all strategies lost 0.6 percent during July. However, most funds, on average, are still up by 2.5 percent as of July.

Investors, although possibly worried, can still feel good about their choices. In 2010, 2012 and 2013 the Master Fund rose by small amounts and in 2007 and 2008 the fund posted gains over 20 percent. The fund has never ended the year in the red.


Brevan Howard, Master Fund,

Poor Returns are Causing Public Pension Funds to Flee from Hedge Funds

July 29, 2014 James Heinsman Hedge Fund News

High fees and low returns are frightening some public pension funds away from hedge funds in recent days.

Among those having second thoughts about hedge funds are officials from America’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as Calpers. Analysts believe that Calpers stake in hedge funds will shrink by 40 percent, down to $3 billion this coming year. One spokesman refrained from commenting on the exact size of the downgrade, but did say that Calpers will be taking a “back-to-basics” approach to its investments.

The trend to get away from hedge funds has been building steam over the past few months and years. Officials who deal with pensions for Los Angeles’s police and fire department employees divested completely from hedge funds last year.  The decision was made after a 7-year investment of $500 million yielded a very disappointing 2 percent, explained Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions General Manager Ray Ciranna. Part of the low yield was attributed to the high fees paid to hedge fund managers. The hedge fund investment represented only 4 percent of the pension’s total portfolio, but the $15 million per year in fees paid to the hedge fund managers was 17 percent of the total fees paid by the pension fund.

“We were ready to move on,” Mr. Ciranna said.


Calpers, Hedge Funds, Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, Ray Ciranna,

Intercontinental Exchange Notes Bets on Oil Prices Down

July 21, 2014 Marcus Black Economic Barometer

Investors, hedge funds and other large speculators have cut their bets on higher prices for Brent crude oil by close to 25 percent during the week ending on July 15, according to an announcement made by ICE. Prices shrunk to their lowest point in three months.

ICE declared that managers lowered their net long futures and options positions in Brent crude to 151,981 down from 201,568. Prices fell to a three-month low of $104.39 per barrel, crashing from $115 a barrel in the middle of June.

Bets are off on Brent crude oil

Bets are off on Brent crude oil

The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) showed the same behaviors. Last week big investors shut down almost $6 billion worth of bullish bets, re-expressing the largest four-week fund exodus in history.


Brent Crude Oil, Hedge Funds, ICE, NYMEX,

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