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PA hedge fund to pay $6.8M fine
Hedge Funds
<p>Covenant Partners owners will be getting coal in their stockings this year.</p> <p>William Fretz and John Freeman have agreed to pay $6.8 million in fines and restitution for a fraud settlement with the SEC, reports The Inquirer. The men raised millions of dollars between 1999 and 2014 for their hedge fund, but funneled more than $1 million into a separate dying business,  paid themselves $600,000 in performance fees, and used funds to repay personal expenses. Fretz and Freeman did not admit guilt, but were barred by the court from denying the findings.</p> <p>The men were barred from the finance industry by FINRA in 2013. Covenant filed for bankruptcy in September 2014.<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/dem10 </p>
People Moves: 50 South Capital hires director of hedge fund research
Hedge Funds
50 South Capital Advisors hires director of hedge fund research. John Frede has joined the Chicago-based firm, focusing on the selection and monitoring of small and mid-size managers. Frede previously worked at Mesirow Advanced Strategies as head of research management in Chicago. He also opened the Mesirow London office and built the research team there. eVestment Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo &nbsp;
People Moves: FirstMark Capital co-founder leaves; Revolution Growth hires 3 vps
Venture Capital
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Co-founder leaves FirstMark Capital. Lawrence Lenihan has left for Rsonance Companies, a new company he co-founded that will focus on fashion startups. He will continue to provide capital in exchange for equity in fashion startups, but will alo provide operational help.</p> <p>DC firm hires new vps. Revolution Growth, co-founded by Steve Case, has hired Kristin Gunther, Ashley Larson, and Chris Hughes as vps. They join from Perseus, ABS Capital Partners, and Boston Consulting Group, respectively.</p> <p>Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
People Moves: PineBridge poaches CEO from State Street; Janus to loose fixed income CIO
Asset Management
<p>PineBridge poaches from SSgA for CEO. Gregory Ehret will become the PineBridge Investments CEO in January. Ehret comes from State Street Global Advisors, where he was president of the money management unit. Stephen Fitzgerald, the interim CEO of PineBridge, will continue as deputy chairman. CEO David Jiang left the firm suddenly in March. Financial Times</p> <p>Janus Capital Group to lose fixed income CIO. Gibson Smith will depart the firm at the end of March 2016 to spend more time with his family. Darrell Watters will become head of U.S. Domestic Fundamental Fixed Income, and Chris Diaz will become head of Global Fundamental Fixed Income. Smith joined Janus in 2011 as a fixed income analyst. He stepped into his current role in 2006.</p> <p>JPMorgan names insurance head. James Peagam has been appointed head of global insurance solutions at JPMorgan in New York. Peagam has been working as the head of the global insurance solutions sales team in London. Reuters</p> <p>AllianceBernstein EMEA lead leaves. Patrick Rudden has left his role as head of multiasset business development for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at AB. Rudden had also been serving as interim U.K. CEO after Tim Ryan left earlier this year. Avi Lavi, global director of value research and co-CIO of global value equities, will work as interim U.K. CEO. Pensions &amp; Investments</p> <p>BlackRock shuffles European teams. Jean-Francois Cirelli has been appointed chairman and senior advisor for France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, a newly created position for the firm. Stephane Lapiquonne is now head of BlackRock France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. He was previously on the BlackRock Solutions' financial markets advisory group. Benoit Sorel, head of iShares in the region, and Sylvain Favre-Gilly, head of institutional business, will have their current roles expand in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Eric Wohleber is stepping down from his role as country manager and head of iShares for France. Funds Europe</p> <p>Geneva Swiss Bank hires asset management head. Loic Schmid will join the firm from Sequoia Asset Management, where he was head of portfolio management and asset allocation. He previously worked as senior portfolio manager with Banque Benedict Hentsch &amp; Cie between 2006 and 2012. He is also vice president of the think tank Les Econoclastes. Funds Europe<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Daily Scan: Dow grows 370 points, ending week on positive note
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>December 4, 2015</p> <p>Stocks soared, with the Dow adding 2.1%, the biggest gain since September 8. The S&amp;P 500 and the Nasdaq grew 2.1% as well Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was 2.278%, compared with 2.328% Thursday. Nonfarm jobs grew by 211,000 in November and unemployment held steady at 5%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, setting the stage for a rate hike at the December Federal Reserve meeting. Baker Hughes reported that the count of U.S. oil rigs fell by 10 to 545, compared with 1,030 a year ago. This is the third consecutive week of declines.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>San Bernardino shooting investigated as terrorism. Officials believe that female shooter Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook as the San Bernardino massacre was happening. ISIS has called for people to launch attacks in its name, but hasn't claimed credit for the California shooting. CNN</p> <p>Fake hedgie convicted of fraud. Mark Malik was convicted of securities fraud for convincing people he was running a hedge fund with outlandish returns, while he was just spending the assets on personal items. He deceived investors of more than $800,000. He faces up to 20 years in prison. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Pepperidge Farm sues Trader Joe's over cookies. Pepperidge Farm says Trader Joe's is selling a cookie that looks too much like the popular Pepperidge Milano cookie. Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies are more rectangular, but still mimic the shape of the oval Milanos. Reuters</p> <p>Risk of deflation is "off the table," says ECB president. Mario Draghi told the Economic Club of New York Friday that the ECB's quantitative easing policy is having its "intended" effects, and the bank sees "no particular limit" to how it can use its tools. CNBC</p> <p>Chipotle E. coli outbreak spreads. A total of about 50 people across nine states have been effected after eating at the burrito chain. Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were added to the list of effected states. Shares for Chipotle dropped 3% at the news. Reuters</p> <p>SABMiller recalls 1 million beers in Australia. The beer giant says that one million bottles of Carlton Dry 355ml bottles could contain broken glass. Carlton Dry normally sells about 240 million bottles a year. CNN</p> <p>Aberdeen CEO sells chunk of shares. Martin Gilbert, the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, sold about 5.7 million pounds worth of his company's shares. Asian executive Hugh Young sold 1.68 million pounds worth of shares, and finance director Bill Rattray sold about 1.2 million pounds worth of shares. The Herald</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Died: Ex-Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland. The U.S. singer’s manager says he died on Thursday night while on his tour bus in Minnesota. He was 48. BBC</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You won’t believe this…<br /> Rare Bible found in New Jersey. A first edition King James Bible from 1611 showed up at Drew University in Madison, N.J. A graduate student found the rare book while hunting through the library. New York Times</p> <p>The biggest artists in 2016 are here already. Spotify released a list of the artists it predicts to be the most popular next year, based on the listening habits of its 75 million users. Check out the list on BuzzFeed.<br /> Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv<br /> &nbsp;</p>
What wealth advice would you give to Kobe Bryant for his retirement years?
<p>Kobe Bryant has announced that he will retire from the NBA at the end of this season. Over the years, he's earned a tidy bundle. Forbes writes:<br /> Bryant’s $680 million in total earnings is the most ever by a team athlete during their playing career. The only athletes to earn more are in individual sports and include Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher and Floyd Mayweather.<br /> On Twitter, a couple of  tweeters suggested that Bryant invest in TIPS, the inflation-protected Treasury securities -- a conservative approach. Another suggested that Bryant ask LeBron James, another NBA great.</p> <p>We would suggest that Bryant follow in LeBron's steps -- in terms of seeking advice. For his investment tips, LeBron turned to the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.  Tell us in the comments field what you would recommend and compare your ideas to what Buffett has to say in this CNBC interview:</p>
Weekend Scan: Payrolls beat estimates, OPEC meeting ends in embarrassment
Capital Markets
<p>December 5, 2015</p> <p>OPEC’s acrimonious meeting did quite a number on the FTSE on Friday, but a robust jobs report not only helped U.S. indices break free from the Draghi-fueled malaise, but also send shares ripping to new highs. The Dow added 2.1%, its biggest gain since September 8, while the S&amp;P 500 and the Nasdaq grew 2.1% as well. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury meanwhile dipped to 2.278%, a pretty decent move compared to its 2.328% Thursday closing.</p> <p>Going back to the jobs report, non-farm payrolls grew by 211,000 in November, higher than consensus, and unemployment remained unchanged at 5%, as expected. The Baker Hughes count however fell to 545, a massive drop compared to its 1,030 reading a year ago. This is its third consecutive week of declines.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>OPEC meeting ends in embarrassment. OPEC members failed to agree on an oil production ceiling Friday after Iran said it would not slash production until it restores output scaled back by years of Western sanctions. OPEC's secretary general Abdullah al-Badri, trying to downplay the situation, told the audience OPEC was as strong as ever. He was laughed at. Reuters</p> <p>China to install circuit breakers on January 1. In an effort to prevent more trillion-dollar corrections, circuit breakers will be installed on mainland Chinese stock markets starting January 1. The breakers will cap single-stock volatility to 10% both ways per day, and trigger a 15-minute trading halt should the CSI 300 drop by 5%, among others. SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>Hong Kong home prices end 19-month winning streak. The general price index for private homes in Hong Kong slumped 1.11% month-on-month in October, and analysts seem to be betting that it’ll fall even more, as Alfred Lau, a property analyst at Bocom International, says: “Home prices will continue to head for a downward trend and investors have not felt the pain yet.” SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>Risk of deflation is “off the table,” says ECB president. Mario Draghi told the Economic Club of New York Friday that the ECB’s quantitative easing policy is having its “intended” effects, and the bank sees “no particular limit” to how it can use its tools. CNBC</p> <p>Fake hedgie convicted of fraud. Mark Malik was convicted of securities fraud for convincing people he was running a hedge fund with outlandish returns, while he was just spending the assets on personal items. He deceived investors of more than $800,000. He faces up to 20 years in prison. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>SABMiller recalls 1 million beers in Australia. The beer giant says that one million bottles of Carlton Dry 355ml bottles could contain broken glass. Carlton Dry normally sells about 240 million bottles a year. CNN</p> <p>Aberdeen CEO sells chunk of shares. Martin Gilbert, the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, sold about 5.7 million pounds worth of his company’s shares. Asian executive Hugh Young sold 1.68 million pounds worth of shares, and finance director Bill Rattray sold about 1.2 million pounds worth of shares. The Herald</p> <p>San Bernardino shooting investigated as terrorism. Officials believe that female shooter Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook as the San Bernardino massacre was happening. ISIS has called for people to launch attacks in its name, but hasn’t claimed credit for the California shooting. CNN</p> <p>You won’t believe this…</p> <p>Playboy issues its final nude issue. Pamela Anderson, aptly enough, will be gracing the magazine’s cover. Finally, we can now all focus on the articles, right? Right? The Telegraph</p> <p>The biggest artists in 2016 are here already. Spotify released a list of the artists it predicts to be the most popular next year, based on the listening habits of its 75 million users. Check out the list on BuzzFeed<br /> Photo: alex.ch</p>
Sit back, relax, and…have a hedge fund?
Lifestyle
<p>Always wondered what a hedge fund tastes like? Neither did anyone, but an enterprising nightclub in Maryland seems to have chosen that name for its signature drink, and it being 6 p.m. somewhere, your intrepid reporter decided to try it out for himself.</p> <p>Given that my station is approximately a gazillion miles from Kali’s Court – the said enterprising nightclub – I was immediately faced with a quandary. Luckily, the good people over Let’s Drink On has a video on how to make it straight from the club itself, and here are the ingredients: an ounce and a half of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, a half ounce of Maple syrup, and a bit of fresh lime juice.</p> <p>It’s notbad.<br /> Photo: Krista</p>
What we’re reading: SoFi, Chinese deflationary pressures, and Carlos Slim’s thoughts on the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative.
Lifestyle
<p>From Mike Cagney’s insistence that SoFi isn’t a bank, to an epic pitch on what reads like an 80’s finance-slash-Guy Ritchie movie, here are some great reads for you this weekend.</p> <p>SoFi really wants you to think it isn’t a bank. SoFi’s Mike Cagney has been going through great pains to let people know that SoFi – or Social Finance – isn’t a bank. He tweeted that SoFi is “happily not a bank,” that it’s “better than a bank,” and retweeted that it has “its own gelato flavor,” which is definitely something unbanky. Kadhim Shubber however would like to disagree. FT Alphaville</p> <p>Deflationary prospects for China. Christopher Balding seems to be more than a little skeptical about China’s methods to battle deflation, and here his latest take on it. With the nation’s PPI, CPI, and RPI numbers as they are, its quite compelling. Balding’s World</p> <p>Stressful times. Bank lending in the developed world grew 20 percentage points between 2002 and 2007, and we all know how that ended up. How much did it climb in the emerging markets from 2007 to the start of this year? 51. With the region’s economies looking increasingly tired and hungry, according to the Economist, it’s now up to the area’s big banks to steer the markets away from disaster. The Economist</p> <p>Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim won't follow Zuckerberg's charitable lead. Amidst all the brouhaha surrounding the Zuckerberg Chan LLC, Mexico’s richest man continues to stress that investments – not handouts – create jobs and solve poverty. Here’s a brief compendium of most of his thoughts on the matter. Fortune</p> <p>The Pitch - ‘FiX Up.’ Polemic Paine – the Macro Man blog’s main contributor – has a movie idea about 80’s FX dealers banding together for one last job, and it’s awesome. Polemic’s Pains<br /> Photo: ITU Pictures</p>
Barron’s weekend roundup: Barron’s stock picks for 2016, Alcoa’s parts may be worth more than its sum
Capital Markets
<p>Barron’s stock picks for this year didn’t fare too well. According to their latest issue, their choices lost an average of 6% versus a 2% drop for the S&amp;P. No matter though, they seem pretty confident for 2016, and here are a few of their picks.</p> <p>AMC Networks – Barron’s says this stock is trading at a discount to its peers, and, given the network’s hit shows (The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul for instance), they believe it should be higher.</p> <p>Apple – while Apple may “have a difficult time dreaming up a more lucrative gadget than the iPhone,” Barron’s believes 2016 could prove to be a banner year for the tech firm, and that one should not be surprised if the stock popped 20%.</p> <p>Electronic Arts – its PE ratio may not be attractive to most, but given its 300 million registered users and the expected bump in leisure spending overseas, the video game-maker is said to be in a great position to take advantage of falling Xbox and Playstation prices.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Barron’s writes that Alcoa’s plan to split could raise its share price by 50%. Aside from making the case that Alcoa’s parts are worth more that its sum, the rag also says that the firm’s stock price was mostly affected by the slump in aluminum prices, and that its currently trading at 35% off its real value.<br /> Photo: Allan Ajifo</p>