Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

A beautiful spring day in the NYC metro area. Let’s Go Mets! Here’s this weekend’s stories courtesy of Sam Forgione.

 

From The New York Times

Jennifer Medina reports that California’s economy is either booming and busting, depending on which city you’re in.

From The Nation

William Greider has some suggestions on how the Federal Reserve can work with politicians to improve the housing crisis.

From Foreign Affairs:

Blake Clayton argues speculators in the oil market should be thanked and not criticized for keeping the industry in balance.

From Institutional Investor:

Julie Segal writes about an Iowan retirement money manager’s foray into emerging markets.

UF Weekend Reads

Don’t get pranked tomorrow. Remember, it’s April Fool’s Day. Here are the latest Weekend Reads as selected by Sam Forgione.

 

From Fortune:

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer’s hardball approach has benefited Republican candidates as his fund battles in court with nation’s that have defaulted on their debt.

From The Guardian:

Zoe Williams writes about how Stephanie Flanders, the BBC economics editor and a former speechwriter for Tim Geithner, relishes bad news.

UF’s Weekend Reads

Here is the latest edition of Weekend Reads courtesy of Sam Forgione. Enjoy.

 

From Barron’s:

The managers of hedge fund Cassiopeia are teaching a lesson or two on trading volatility.

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Matthew Philips addresses regulatory efforts to catch up with the glitch mob known as high-frequency traders.

From CFO:

The committee that regulates auditing practices may lend an ear to to alternative suggestions to plan for companies to rotate auditors.

UF’s Weekend Reads

Here is Sam Forgione’s suggested weekend reads. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. The calendar says March but it feels like mid-May in NYC.

 

From Dealbook:

Recent graduates are becoming disenchanted with Wall Street careers. Kevin Roose interviews a college grad, a recruiter, professor, and former Goldman employee support to make his point.

From Fortune:

Mina Kimes takes a look at James J. Wang, the head of the small and wildly successful OceanStone Fund, who she describes as being spectrally mysterious.

At Hedge Fund Gala, Hedge Funds MIA

By Katya Wachtel

The classic Wall Street haunt Cipriani, where Hedge Fund Cares held its annual children charity gala on Thursday night, was noticeably devoid of any people who work for hedge funds.

Instead, the room was filled with those who help keep hedge funds running; there was a ton of guests from the Big Four accounting firms, in particular KPMG, as well as  law firms, tax groups, and service providers like Citco and BTIG LLC. There were some hedge fund firms represented of course, including Fortress Investment Group and Tudor Investment Corp.

It seemed odd though, in light of the charity’s name, there were not more traders and portfolio managers in tow.

Gordon Gekko’s Perfect Hedge

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

It’s not every day a public service announcement, much less one for the FBI, makes national headlines. Then again, it’s not every day that Michael Douglas reprises his Gordon Gekko role to make a pitch for informants to come forward and help law enforcement smoke out insider traders.

The ad, which has been featured on network newscasts and was heavily touted on the front-page of The Wall Street Journal, highlights the task at hand for the likes of David Chaves, a senior agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“It’s gone viral,” says Chaves, who is one of the masterminds behind “Perfect Hedge,” the long-running undercover operation that has helped federal prosecutors secure the convictions of more than 50 people on insider trading charges.

Hedge funds try to hook up with pension funds

by Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Katya Wachtel

In investing, as in life,  it is critical to find the right partner.

On Tuesday in Boca Raton, big hedge funds including Tudor Investment Corp., Marathon Asset Management and York Capital, as well as smaller rivals like Voltan Capital Management and Titan Capital Group crowded into a large conference room for the hedge fund industry’s version of speed dating.

Seated at tiny round tables, the managers (who are in Florida for the GAIM USA investor conference) eagerly awaited visits from potential investors like state pension funds from Wisconsin and North Carolina, and fund of funds firms like Rock Creek Group.

Every few minutes a bell tolled telling the roughly 50 investors there to move on to the next date. The ratio was about two managers for every investor. Time was of the essence as managers rattled off their skills.

Hedge fund faithful descend on Boca Raton

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Katya Wachtel

Balmy temperatures and sunny skies greeted hedge fund industry managers, investors and lawyers as they gathered in Boca Raton, Florida, for 2012′s first prominent industry conference.

Despite clear skies overhead, the mood was decidedly grimmer at the GAIM 2012 USA meeting, held at the swanky Boca Raton Resort and Club, as the industry faces dramatic regulatory changes after having ended 2011 on a losing note.

As managers drifted between sessions that promised “unique insights” from top traders about where to make money to how regulation will affect the industry, many quietly shared tales of woe about last year’s losses, when the average fund lost 5 percent. Top investors conceded that times would be tough in the months ahead but that hedge funds are still the way to go for pension funds and others that need to boost investment returns with strong performance.

For one Level Global founder, the party is over

By Katya Wachtel

For the two founders of FBI-raided and since-shuttered hedge fund firm Level Global, life could not be more different.

In early January, one co-founder, David Ganek,  sat court-side at Madison Square Garden as the Charlotte Bobcats pummeled the New York Knicks. Ganek appeared relaxed and jovial as he greeted familiar faces in the front row. The Knicks lost, but Ganek could still enjoy the Knicks home-base party.

For Level Global’s other founder, Anthony Chiasson, life is not as sweet.

On Wednesday Chiasson (who launched Level Global with Ganek in 2003) was charged with insider trading as part of the FBI’s sweeping “Operation Perfect Hedge” investigation. Ganek has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The new guy sitting at Steve Cohen’s side

By Matthew Goldstein

SAC Capital industrials trader Charles Simonian is getting a new job–one that’s very close to Steve Cohen.

The SAC Capital founder is moving Simonian onto his own small team of traders and analysts at the $14 billion firm, say sources. Simonian will work with Chandler Bocklage in overseeing trading in industrial sector stocks for the so-called Cohen Account–a portfolio that manages between $2 billion and $3 billion in gross exposure to the market. (Gross exposure includes the value of long and short positions).

The move comes as SAC Capital ended 2011 posting an 8 percent gain.

As previously reported on Reuters’ Unstructured Finance,  the top performer at Cohen’s fund was consumer products portfolio manager Gabriel Plotkin. His team of half-dozen traders and analysts manages about $1.2 billion of the firm’s money and has generated between $150 million and $200 million in trading profits.

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