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 back."
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