SAC Capital’s embattled founder Steven Cohen
told clients on a conference call on Wednesday that his $14
billion hedge fund firm received a Wells Notice from the
Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with trading
of the stocks of two pharmaceutical companies. This means the
SEC staff may recommend bringing civil charges against the
firm. Cohen himself told clients on the call he acted
appropriately when he traded the stocks four years ago. Mathew
Martoma, a former trader at SAC unit CR Intrinsic Investors,
was arrested last week on insider trading charges relating to
the two stocks. Prosecutors charge that the trading was illegal
and netted $276 million and helped the firm avoid losses.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital
Management is raising money for a publicly-traded fund.
The activist hedge fund manager received $2.2 billion in
commitments for the fund, mostly from existing investors who
are switching over. The fund is slated to be listed on the
London Stock Exchange. Other managers who have created similar
funds include Brevan Howard Asset Management and Third Point.
These funds are often launched as a source of permanent
capital, which is especially critical to an investor like
Ackman, who makes only a handful of investments and then
frequently takes activist positions.
Ken Griffin’s Citadel disclosed it owns 6.1
percent of Zillow, the online real estate company. The stock
climbed 4.22 percent, to close at $26.40 on the news. This is
near the bottom of its 52-week range of $21.22 to $46.86. In
recent days, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has been making
positive pronouncements about the real estate market and the
company’s recent purchase of HotPads. "We are
clearly in a recovery," he said of the real estate market,
while stressing it is not a strong rebound. "Home shoppers are
U.K.-based Stratton Street Capital LLP is passing around the
hat to Asian investors to raise money for its $215 million Renminbi Bond
Fund. The fund’s strategy is to buy
dollar-denominated investment-grade bonds and use currency
forwards to hedge investments in the Chinese yuan. The fund is
up 23 percent this year.