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HFObserver aggregates on a daily basis the most relevant news related to hedge funds/alternative investment firms and people moves.

Here is our news from approximately the last week.

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Former XP Partner Embraces ‘Quantamental’ in New Brazil Fund

Joao Braga helped steer one of the top Brazilian hedge funds in the past few years. At his new firm, Encore Asset Management, he’s hoping to pull it off again.

Only this time around, Braga, who succeeded in picking companies through old-school research, has embraced “quantamental” investing, a merger of computer and human-based decision making, he said in an interview. Encore hired quant analysts to develop machine-learning algorithms “to give our team an edge,” according to Braga.

“It’s something in the early days in Brazil, so I drew inspiration from asset managers abroad,” he said. “It should set us apart in the local industry...”

Virgin Atlantic Sells Jets to Pay Off Rescuer Davidson Kempner

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. sold two Boeing Co. 787 jetliners to fund the repayment of a loan from hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management that formed the basis of a hard-won rescue last year.

The planes were bought by Griffin Global Asset Management and Bain Capital Credit, Virgin Atlantic said in a statement Friday. The sale and leaseback deal, which allows the airline to go on operating the aircraft, raised $230 million...

New Hedge Fund Honest Capital Gains 88% With Bets on Cannabis, Others

Honest Capital LLC launched last year amid one of the most chaotic times in financial history, but its 88.4% returns far outpaced hedge fund peers and broad market indexes by focusing on smaller, less recognized stocks, according to a letter sent to investors this week.

Founder Shawn Badlani launched the San Francisco-based firm in May not long after stocks entered a brief free fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. He took in investor capital after Federal Reserve interventions and economic stimulus programs propped financial markets...

Point72 to Expand With Florida Offices as Managers Head South

Steve Cohen is looking to Florida for additional office space, joining the growing list of hedge fund managers opening outposts in the Sunshine State.

Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management will open an office at 360 Rosemary in West Palm Beach before the end of June, according to Tiffany Galvin-Cohen, a spokeswoman for the firm. It’s also scouting a location in Miami that it expects will be ready in the latter half of the year.

The firm is adding the offices to accommodate current and prospective employees who want to move south...

Jim and Nathaniel Simons Stand Down as Co-Chairs Of Renaissance

Renaissance Technologies founder Jim Simons has named the hedge fund’s chief executive Peter Brown as sole chairman, a position many expected to go to his son Nathaniel Simons, who was named a co-chair alongside his father last year.

Father and son will stand down as co-chairs but remain on the board as directors, according to regulatory filings on Thursday. The move indicates that the elder Mr Simons is stepping up preparations to hand over the firm he founded almost four decades ago to the next generation. Renaissance runs $60bn in assets...

PGIM Fixed Income corporates chief to retire after two decades in post

PGIM Fixed Income has announced that its head of corporates, Steven Kellner, will retire in April 2022.

Kellner joined the firm in 1986 and has been head of corporate bond strategies since 1999.

He will be succeeded by portfolio managers Terence Wheat and David Del Vecchio, who will become co-heads to lead the US investment grade corporate team...

Citadel just hired a new head of quantitative development from Goldman Sachs

It's bonus week at Goldman Sachs. Somewhat rudely, one of the firm's managing directors just quit before bonuses are paid.

Philippe Derimay, a former Goldman managing director and senior strat in the trading business, has joined Citadel in New York as head of quantitative development for the global fixed income business...


The World’s Biggest Short Selling Hedge Fund Is Scaling Back

Sophos Capital Management, the largest dedicated short selling firm in the world as recently as a year ago, is scaling back its hedge fund business, according to people familiar with the plans.

The move by founder Jim Carruthers — widely considered a legend in the business — comes as short sellers faced one of their worst years on record. Short-biased funds lost 47.59 percent through November, according to the HFRX Equity Hedge: Short Bias Index. This year isn't looking any better. The Goldman Sachs “most shorted” index of stocks was already up 13 percent in 2020 and more than 200 percent over the past year...

Hedge Fund Trader Faces Extradition to Belgium in Cum-Ex Probe

A veteran trader with links to Cum-Ex “mastermind” Sanjay Shah faces extradition to Belgium as criminal probes related to the controversial tax strategy expand throughout Europe.

Guenther Klar, who previously worked for Shah’s Solo Capital hedge fund, is being sought for questioning by Belgian prosecutors as part of an investigation into Cum-Ex trading. A London judge is scheduled to rule on the request Thursday...

SPAC Mania Gives Early Investors Steady Returns With Little Risk

Sudden excitement about the flurry of startups going public through so-called blank-check companies is enriching some of the biggest players in finance, particularly hedge funds.

The gains come through the unique rights given to early investors in special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, which look to acquire promising startups and take them public. As the vehicles become more popular, the hedge funds that invest in them early on, such as Magnetar Capital, Glazer Capital and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, can earn lofty returns without much risk...