Major Hedge Fund to Open Australia Branch

The London-based hedge fund Caxton Associates will be opening an office in Sydney, Australia, according to the Financial Times. The hedge fund, which manages $US9 billion, is aiming to expand its place in the Asia-Pacific Market. Caxton, which was established in 1963, has a specialty in trading bonds, currencies, rates and stocks as a way to profit from global macroeconomic variability. The fund has seen a 6.56 percent return on its flagship fund this year, as compared to 5.3 percent return among macroeconomics-focused hedge funds.

Caxton has already sent one of its senior portfolio managers to head the new Australian branch.

Hedge Funds Care UK Annual Gala

Great Britain’s fifth annual Hedge Funds Care charity event was held Thursday, December 2, at the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London. The fundraising gala included a live auction conducted by Lord Jeffrey Archer, with items that included a signed Status Quo guitar, a Barbados vacation and a luxury tailoring package.

“The charity continues to receive great support from hedge fund managers and service providers alike and our fundraising events represent a great opportunity for market participants to get together and raise significant sums of money that make a meaningful impact in the treatment and prevention of child abuse in the UK,” announced Hedge Funds Care UK chairman Robert Mirksy.
Hedge Funds Care was established in 1998 with the goal of fundraising from within the hedge fund industry for protection of children from abuse and neglect. The alliance has dispensed over $24 million towards this cause.

Change in Executive at Abax Global Capital

Abax Global Capital announced this week that is co-founder, Chris Hsu, had resigned as CEO due to differences of outlook regarding the direction of the company. President and co-founder Donald Yang has assumed Hsu’s responsibilities at Abax.

“What we can confirm is that Chris Hsu is no longer the CEO of Abax. Donald Yang has assumed Chris’ responsibilities,” a company spokesman said. “There were differing views on the direction of the business,” the spokesman explained.

The Hong Kong-based hedge fund was launched in 2007 with approximately $300 million worth of assets under its management.

The Potential of Chinese Investment for Hedge Funds

The chairman of the Hong Kong and China chapter of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) stated that Chinese institutional investors will provided a greater source of capital for hedge funds.

“Over time, China will invest more overseas,” Lee stated. “among their overseas investments, we hope they will consider hedge funds as one of their components.”

The head of this major alternative investing trade union explained that while the past has seen only small hedge fund investments by Chinese investors, his organization is aiming to reverse this trend and help to facilitate greater hedge fund participation.

“We want to work with them overtime,” Lee said. “It’s not an imminent thing.”

AIMA has now translated its global hedge fund guide, “AIMA’s Roadmap to Hedge Funds,” into Chinese, to help explain the funds and to better inform its Chinese-speaking readers about the hedge fund industry.

Hedge Funds May Buy Conergy Debt

The Financial Times Deutschland reported Friday that a group of hedge funds that includes York Capital and Sothic Capital have consented in principle to buy the debt that is owed by the struggling company Conergy (CGYG.DE). This purchase could eventually lead to these hedge funds owning a controlling stake in the German solar equipment company.

The Financial Times Deutschland did not name the sources of its report.

Conergy’s losses have been increasing in recent years due to its difficulties after attempts to expand into the renewable energy industry. Last week, the company said that it had re-entered discussions with banks after an independent review concluded that it must restructure its balance sheet. The group of hedge funds under discussion has already gained control of at least 25% of the company.

Evolution Capital Management Has Expanded Into Sports

The hedge fund owns the Tokyo Apaches, a team of professional Japanese basketball. Now, Evolution Capital has enlisted the aid of members of the American sports community to provide guidance for their newest member of the Basketball Japan League. This includes former NFL fullback Chris Hetherington, who became the team’s president immediately after the hedge fund completed the purchase of the team in June. Hetherington has brought several American players to join their Japanese counterparts on the team.

American Hedge Fund Sues Former Soccer Club Owner

George-Gillett.htmlThe U.S. hedge fund Mill Financial LLC has filed suit against George Gillett, the former owner of the English Premier League’s Liverpool soccer club. Mill contends, in a lawsuit naming Gillett and twelve affiliates, that of the $70 million which the former soccer club owner’s company had borrowed in January 2008, only $431,000 had been repaid.

The case is identified as Mill Financial LLC vs. Gillett et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652055/2010.
In 2007, Gillet, who is also a former owner of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens team, along with fellow private equity executive Tom Hicks, bought the Liverpool soccer club for 218.9 million pounds, but fans disapproved of the fact that they overloaded the club with excessive debt.

Crime Fighting at the FBI

The FBI is about to launch an unprecedented onslaught of criminal and civil charges related to insider trading against major Wall Street investment bankers, hedge fund traders, mutual fund traders, consultants and analysts.

The culmination of the three years of FBI investigations will expose a culture of pervasive insider trading in U.S. financial markets, including new ways non-public information is passed to traders through experts tied to specific industries or companies,” unnamed federal authorities were quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal.

The authorities also stated that this investigation’s impact on the financial industry would “eclipse” the effect of any previous such probes, particularly because they are now focusing on the many insider-trading rings who are reaping millions of dollars in illegal profits.

United Kingdom Sees Major Hedge Fund Firm Increase

The third quarter of this year saw more hedge funds established in the UK than during any period since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings in September 2008 and the concomitant fall in world credit markets. During the three months of the quarter, 28 new hedge funds registered with the UK’s Financial Services Authority. This addition brought to 65 the number of new firms registered so far this year, more than the total for all of 2009.

Results such as these indicate that the United Kingdom’s higher taxes and stricter regulations are not preventing hedge fund managers from striking out on their own. The increase also reflects the fact that net inflows have returned to the industry after a two-year hiatus. Specifically, industry net inflows exceeded $42 billion during the first nine months of 2010, according to Hedge Fund Research.

The Golden Bubble

Gold is “the ultimate bubble,” financier George Soros has declared this year on numerous occasions. “I called gold the ultimate bubble which means it may go higher,” Soros explained at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York this September, “but it’s certainly not safe and it’s not going to last forever.”

Whether gold is or is not a bubble remains to be seen. What is clear so far is that gold rose sharply in 2010, with the SPDR trust up 23% by this point in the year. Spot gold reached a record high of $1,424.10 (not adjusted for inflation) in the earlier part of November.

On the other hand, gold had its largest one-day drop in four-and-a-half months on November 12th; even from its recent high, the precious metal would still need to nearly double in price (after including inflation) to reach its 1980 record.