Friday, September 22, 2017

Hedge Fund Links ~ 9/22/17

Klarman's Baupost Group plans to return some investor money [Bloomberg]

Hugh Hendry closes hedge fund after 15 years [Bloomberg]

Conatus Capital to shut down [Bloomberg]

Bridgewater to launch fund in China [WSJ]

Hedge funds bet on bright future for metals [Reuters]

The man running California's lean, mean endowment machine [Bloomberg]

In private equity, illiquidity is a feature not a bug [Abnormal Returns]

Private assets are the new hedge funds [Bloomberg]

The next quant meltdown [ii alpha]

Wealthy families are cooling on hedge funds except in one area [Quartz]

How hedge funds are handling a possible disaster [Bloomberg]

False peace for markets? Trader is betting millions on it [NYTimes]

Thursday, September 21, 2017

8th Annual Sohn San Francisco Investment Conference

The 8th annual Sohn San Francisco Investment Conference is just around the corner on October 4th.  The event will feature top investment managers sharing their latest ideas to benefit charities.  The event is presented by the Excellence in Investing for Children's Causes Foundation, which has raised more than $1.2 million to support education and pediatric cancer care. 

This is the premier Bay Area investor event, so if you're in the area or nearby, don't miss it.  You can register for the conference by clicking here.

Conference Details

When: October 4th, 2017

Where: Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Sohn San Francisco Speakers List

- Mark Okada, Highland Capital Management

- Mick McGuire, Marcato Capital Management

- Carl Kawaja, Capital Group

- Christopher Lord, Criterion Capital

- Oleg Nodelman, EcoR1 Capital Fund

- Jeff Shen, BlackRock

- Nancy Davis, Quadratic Capital

- Glen Kacher, Light Street Capital

- Dan Morehead, Pantera Capital

- David Crane, Govern for California

Next Wave Sohn Speakers

Additionally, a group of emerging managers will share their ideas as a prelude to the main event.  Here's the list:

- Vineer Bhanshali, LongTail Alpha

- Marcelo Desio, Lucha Capital

- Gil Simon, SoMa Equity

- Seth Wunder, black-And-white Capital

The event's proceeds benefit Bay Area organizations that are focused on improving educational opportunities and life outcomes for underserved youth.  Additionally, a portion benefits the Sohn Conference Foundation with its efforts to treat and cure pediatric cancer.

For more information on the event and to register, please visit

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What We're Reading ~ 9/20/17

You need to do what others don't [Ian Cassel]

The case for stock buybacks [Harvard Business Review]

5 common mental errors that sway your decision making [James Clear]

Why is value investing so difficult? [Behavioural Investment]

Best Buy's secrets for thriving in the Amazon age [NYTimes]

Why augmented reality is about to take over your world [Buzzfeed]

What's the true total addressable market of search? [Value Venture]

Google Travel is worth $100 billion - even more than Priceline [Skift]

Profile of's founder [FT]

'Netflix for theaters' sending industry into a frenzy [NYPost]

When will self-driving cars make conventional cars worthless? [Quartz]

Why listen to earnings calls when artificial intelligence can do it better? [Institutional Investor]

The big data breach at Equifax has alarming implications [The Economist]

How Casper wants to sell you sleep [Wired]

ValueAct Trims CBRE Group Position

Jeff Ubben's activist firm ValueAct Capital has been busy lately.  In an amended 13D filed with the SEC, ValueAct has disclosed that they now own 8.5% of CBRE Group (CBG) with 28.87 million shares.

This is down from the 34.37 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.  In their most recent activity, the filing notes they sold 5.5 million shares at $35.90 in a block trade on September 15th.

For more on this firm, yesterday we highlighted how ValueAct added to its KKR stake again.

Per Google Finance, CBRE Group "operates as a commercial real estate services and investment company. The Company operates through the segments: The Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Asia Pacific; Global Investment Management, and Development Services. The Company provides commercial real estate services under the CBRE brand name, investment management services under the CBRE Global Investors brand name and development services under the Trammell Crow Company brand name. The Company's business is focused on commercial property, corporate facilities, project and transaction management, tenant/occupier and property/agency leasing, capital markets solutions (property sales, commercial mortgage brokerage, loan origination and servicing) real estate investment management, valuation, development services and proprietary research."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ray Dalio's Reading List

Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has penned a book called Principles.  He's been doing various interviews about it and recently joined Tim Ferriss' podcast.  During the interview, Dalio outlined some of the books he's read and enjoyed, as well as others he has stacked up in a pile that he's going to read.  He said curiosity is the driving force behind him reading so much.

Ray Dalio's Reading List

  Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius by Hans Ohanian: A book Dalio's already read and enjoyed.

  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari: #1 international bestseller by a renowned historian.

  The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis: A look at Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky's studies on the decision-making process.

  The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class by Edward Conard: The scourge of America's economy isn't the success of the 1%.

  The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters by Sean Carroll: Award winning biologist examines questions about how the natural world is regulated.

  From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett: A look at how the human mind has developed its ability to crate, imagine, and explain.

Dalio was also asked to list books he would give to anyone graduating high school or college.  Here were his 3 picks:

  The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant: A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind from Pulitzer Prize winning historians.

  River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life by Richard Dawkins: How did life begin and where is it heading?

  The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell: Combining the insights of modern psychology with comparative mythology.

Be sure to also check out Dalio's own new book, Principles, about all he's learned over the years.

And if you're looking for recommendations from more smart investors, check out Charlie Munger's recommended reading list, as well as many others linked in the right sidebar of Market Folly.

Senator Investment Group Boosts MGM Resorts Stake

Alex Klabin and Doug Silverman's hedge fund firm Senator Investment Group has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its stake in MGM Resorts International (MGM).  Per the filing, Senator now owns 5.57% of the company with 31.5 million shares, which includes 22 million shares of stock issuable upon exercise of call options.

This is an increase of over 24 million shares since the end of the second quarter when they only owned 7.5 million shares.  The filing was made due to activity on September 12th.

For more on this hedge fund, we posted up another stock Senator had been buying.

Per Google Finance, MGM Resorts International "owns and operates casino resorts. The Company operates in two segments: domestic resorts and MGM China. Its domestic resorts segment consists of non-gaming operations, including hotel, food and beverage, entertainment and other non-gaming amenities. Its casino operations feature a range of slots, table games, and race and sports book wagering. Its MGM China’s operations consist of the MGM Macau resort and casino, and the development of an integrated casino, hotel and entertainment resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Under its resort operation, the Company's casino resorts offer gaming, hotel, convention, dining, entertainment, retail and other resort amenities. It owns Primm Valley Golf Club at the California/Nevada state line and Fallen Oak golf course in Saucier, Mississippi, among others. It owns and manages CityCenter Holdings, LLC, located between Bellagio and Monte Carlo."

ValueAct Capital Adds To KKR Position Again

Jeff Ubben's activist firm ValueAct Capital has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its stake in KKR (KKR).  Per the filing, ValueAct now owns 8.9% of the company with over 41.9 million shares.

This is the second time this month they've disclosed purchases in KKR.  Their latest round of buying came on September 6th through 8th, as well as September 11th through 15th, and on September 18th too.

In total, they acquired 6.75 million shares at prices ranging from $18.19 to $19.02. 

The filing also notes they also have exposure via cash-settled swaps with respect to 3.65 million shares.

Per Google Finance, KKR is "a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. The Company's business offers a range of investment management services to its fund investors, and provides capital markets services to its firm, its portfolio companies and third parties. The Company conducts its business with offices across the world, providing it with a global platform for sourcing transactions, raising capital and carrying out capital markets activities. The Company operates through four segments: Private Markets, Public Markets, Capital Markets and Principal Activities. It operates and reports its combined credit and hedge funds businesses through the Public Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment consists primarily of its global capital markets business. Through its Principal Activities segment, the Company manages the firm's assets and deploys capital."

Monday, September 18, 2017

Soros Fund Buys Shares in Exa & Sigma Designs

George Soros' family office Soros Fund Management has filed two separate Form 4's with the SEC recently.

Soros Adds To Exa Stake

First, Soros' Form 4 regarding Exa (EXA) indicates that the firm was buying EXA shares on September 11th through 13th.  In total, they acquired 159,500 shares at weighted average price of $14.1881.  After these purchases, Soros now owns over 1.66 million shares of EXA, or 11.07% of the company.

Per Google Finance, Exa is "develops, sells and supports simulation software and services that manufacturers use in design and engineering processes. The Company focuses primarily on the ground transportation market, including manufacturers in the passenger vehicle, highway truck, off-highway vehicle and train markets, as well as their suppliers. Its product, PowerFLOW, is a software solution for simulating fluid flow problems, including aerodynamics, thermal management and aeroacoustics, or wind noise. PowerFLOW uses its Digital Physics technology that enables it to predict fluid flows. PowerFLOW directly simulates unpredictable turbulent scales. The PowerFLOW software suite includes the simulation engine and grid generation engine, along with pre- and post-processing software products. The software is delivered in client/server architecture, or through its cloud-based offering, ExaCLOUD. With the ExaCLOUD solution, various client features and functions are accessed through a Web browser."

Soros Boosts Sigma Designs Stake

Per a Form 4, Soros has also disclosed it acquired 65,625 shares of Sigma Designs (SIGM) on September 12th and 14th at a weighted average price of $5.8562.  After the buys, Soros now owns over 5.08 million shares of SIGM.

Per Google Finance, Sigma Designs is "a provider of global integrated semiconductor solutions. The Company offers media platforms for use in the home entertainment and home control markets. The Company sells its products into markets, including smart television, media connectivity, set-top box and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Company's media processor product line consists of a range of functionally similar platforms that are based on integrated chips, embedded software and hardware reference designs. The Company's media connectivity product line consists of wired home networking controller chipsets that are designed to provide connectivity solutions between various home entertainment products and incoming video streams. The Company's IoT devices product line consists of its wireless Z-Wave chips and modules. The Company is engaged in the license of its internally developed intellectual property. It also offers legacy products that are sold into prosumer and other industrial applications."

Trian Fund Sells Some Sysco

Nelson Peltz's activist firm Trian Fund Management has filed a Form 4 with the SEC regarding its stake in Sysco (SYY).  Per the filing, Trian sold 372,314 shares on September 12th and 13th at weighted average price of $53.0893.

After these transactions, Trian still owns over 43.59 million shares.  The filing notes this sale was made in conjunction with the liquidation of an investment fund managed by Trian.

For more from this firm, we recently posted up Trian's presentation on Procter & Gamble (PG).

Per Google Finance, Sysco is "a distributor of food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry. The Company's segments include Broadline, SYGMA and Other. The Broadline segment includes its Broadline operations located in the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico and the United States. Broadline operating companies distribute a full line of food products and a range of non-food products to both traditional and chain restaurant customers, hospitals, schools, hotels, industrial caterers and other venues where foodservice products are served. SYGMA operating companies distribute a full line of food products and a range of non-food products to certain chain restaurant customer locations. The Other segment includes the Company's specialty produce; custom-cut meat operations; lodging industry segments; a company that distributes specialty imported products; a company that distributes to international customers, and Sysco Ventures platform."