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Hedge Funds Back on Top of Asset Class Demand

July 2, 2020

UNPRECEDENTED MARKETS SPARK HEDGE FUND APPEAL. Hedge funds are spiraling higher in demand amid the extent of today’s turbulence across U.S. and global markets.  According to Credit Suisse, net demand for Hedge Funds is at 32 percent — the highest it has been in five years.  Joseph Gasparro at Credit Suisse states that “given manager…

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Private Equity: Apollo’s Tech Data Invests $750M to Fast-Track Digital Transformation

July 2, 2020

Private Equity: Apollo’s Tech Data Invests $750M to Fast-Track Digital Transformation PE giant Apollo Global Management has committed to funding a $750 million investment by Tech Data.  Tech Data is a global technology company operating in over 100 countries with more than 125,000 customers.  Apollo’s goal is to diversify its investments in the technology and…

Real Estate: Blackstone Eyes a New Approach to Real Estate Investment

July 1, 2020

Real estate investors at Blackstone Group are getting into show business. As one of the world’s leading investment management firms, Blackstone is looking to expand its portfolio in the real estate sector.  Specifically, the company is keeping a close eye on production sites and warehouses used by companies like Netflix and Disney for production.  One of…

Hedge Funds: Dalton Cautions on Korea’s $100 Billion Bio Stocks 

June 30, 2020

For those investors lucky enough to have invested in South Korea’s health care sector, now may be the time to assess the risks, says Dalton Investments, a $3 billion California-based hedge fund.  Retail investors who have invested in South Korea’s health care sector risk over-valuing the market.  The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the primary…

Private Equity: PE Giants Genstar and TA Behind Orion-Brinker Merger

June 29, 2020

Private equity player Genstar Capital played a catalytic role in bringing about a merger of platform provider Orion Advisor Solutions with investment manager Brinker Capital to form an entity with an estimated $40 billion in managed assets.

Liquid Alternatives: Rhode Island Pension Gains from Liquid Alts; Adds Wilshire Veteran Andrew Junkin

June 26, 2020

The Rhode Island pension system beat the median U.S. public pension plan by 4.2% during the first quarter of 2020, according to data from Investment Metrics. That ranked the fund 28th among the 546 public pension funds across the country. Even during the coronavirus mayhem in the markets, the Rhode Island pension fell 9.6% compared to the decline of 13.8% of the median pension plan.

Venture Capital: What COVID-19 Did To VC Investing in the U.S. (Report)

June 24, 2020

An article by Itay Sagie, co-founder of VCforU.com, which helps over 17,000 startups, uses Crunchbase data for the period March 18-June 17, 2020, to assess how the pandemic changed the venture capital investment landscape in the U.S.

FinTech: UK-based Checkout.com Lands $150M at a $5.5B Valuation

June 22, 2020

Checkout.com has done it again. Last year it made waves with its Series A round worth $230 million, gatecrashing the unicorn party with a valuation tag of $2 billion. Today, it followed that up with an announcement of a Series B round, picking up $150 million at a stunning $5.5 billion valuation.

Venture Capital: DoorDash Nabs $400M as COVID Pushes its Valuation to $16B

June 19, 2020

According to CNBC, which quoted data from Edison Trends, food delivery company DoorDash grabbed 45% of delivery orders after the lockdowns started in the US in mid-March. UberEats at 28%, Grubhub at 17% and Postmates at 7% were the also-rans in the food delivery sweepstakes.
Venture investors obviously liked the numbers, because they just forked over $400 million to DoorDash, valuing it at an impressive $16 billion in a Series H round.

Alternative Investments: A New WisdomTree Alternative ETF Will Invest in Bitcoin

June 18, 2020

A filing by WisdomTree for the proposed WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund shows it intends to invest up to 5% of its net assets in bitcoin futures contracts. The balance of the funds would be invested in four commodity sectors, namely, energy, agriculture, industrial metals, and precious metals primarily through investments in futures contracts. The fund will not invest directly in bitcoin or in physical commodities.

FinTech: Facebook’s WhatsApp Kicks Off Mobile Payments in Brazil; India to Follow?

June 16, 2020

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has launched a facility to make digital payments for users in Brazil. The announcement came Monday on the WhatsApp blog. Users can now send money to other users, or local businesses, from inside a chat.

Alternative Investments: The Case for Emerging Market ETFs

June 12, 2020

Comparing stock returns from US stocks and those in emerging markets, it turns out that over the really long term, these are nearly the same. Andrew Hallam observes that between January 1988 and May 31, 2020, emerging markets saw an average return of 10.15% per year, while the S&P 500 averaged 10.69%. However, in between, during various periods, the performance varies. “Sometimes, U.S. stocks win. Other times, emerging markets take the prize. It depends on what period you’re measuring,” says Hallam. Emerging market ETFs are a great deal now.

Liquid Alternatives: Mackenzie’s Alternative Enhanced Yield Fund is its Fifth Liquid Alt Offering

June 11, 2020

Mackenzie Investments launched today the Mackenzie Alternative Enhanced Yield Fund which generates returns using alternative strategies to build a diversified portfolio.

Artificial Intelligence: Gaffe by Microsoft’s Robotic Editor at MSN

June 11, 2020

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has egg on its face after an AI software deployed in replacement of human editors at MSN mixed up images of mixed-race members of the band Little Mix. The AI software illustrated a story about Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall (on the left) with an image of her band-mate Leigh-Anne Pinnock (right).

FinTech: Amazon Launches Credit Line for Small Businesses In Partnership With Goldman Sachs

June 11, 2020

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has launched a new digital credit line for U.S.-based SMB merchants that sell on its platform. The eCommerce giant will offer the facility in collaboration with Goldman Sachs’ Marcus brand (NYSE: GS), according to exclusive information obtained by CNBC

Digital Assets: Galaxy Digital and Bakkt Launch a Bitcoin ‘White Glove’ Service For Institutions

June 11, 2020

Galaxy Digital, owned by Mike Novogratz, and Bakkt, the bitcoin futures provider majority-owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, have teamed up to offer top-flight services to institutions and asset managers relating to bitcoin.

Private Equity: Apollo Global Management Splits With ICICI Venture

June 10, 2020

Apollo Global Management is splitting away from its long-time joint venture partner ICICI Venture, a unit of ICICI Bank (IBN). Apollo will be starting its own credit investment business in India. Apollos will stop adding capital to the venture, Aion Capital Partners, and begin to look for opportunities to invest in credit opportunities independently.

Liquid Alternatives: Wilshire Liquid Index Returns 1.54% in May

June 9, 2020

This figure surpassed the 1.44% return from the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index in May. According to HedgeWeek, the index aims “to deliver precise market measures for the performance of diversified liquid alternative investment strategies implemented through mutual fund structures, backed by a proprietary classification methodology.”

REITS: The Pay Cuts are Coming

June 9, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 has been drastic at many real estate investment trusts. Rents are not being paid in offices, malls, and other commercial real estate properties across the country. Many REITs have reduced or eliminated their dividends as cash flow began disappearing when the economy began to shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Real Estate: Blackstone Mortgage Trust Announces Public Offering

June 9, 2020

Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ: BXMT) announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 10,000,000 shares of its class A common stock. 

The underwriters have been granted a 30-day option by the Company to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 shares.  The offering is expected to close on June 11, 2020, and is subject to customary closing conditions. The total estimated gross proceeds of the offering are approximately $282.0 million or roughly $324.3 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full.

Private Equity: Real Estate Firms Eye J.C. Penney

June 8, 2020

Private equity firm and Real Estate Investment Trusts are having discussions about buying J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) if the bankrupt retailer does not reach an agreement with creditors.

The department store filed for bankruptcy in May after the spread of the coronavirus forced the retailer to close more than 800 stores across the country. J.C. Penney had been struggling to survive for the past few years, and the virus was the final nail in its coffin.

Digital Assets: Russian Blockchain-based Trade Finance Platform Factorin Clocks $500M Turnover

June 5, 2020

In its first year, Factorin, a Russian blockchain-based trade finance platform has processed 246,000 invoices and supplies and chalked up a transaction turnover above $ 500 million. 30 banking organizations and factoring companies are already on-board the platform, and numerous small and medium-sized businesses are grateful customers.

FinTech: Mastercard Launches Fintech Express for Emerging European Startups

June 3, 2020

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) announced Tuesday the launch of its Fintech Express, a program to facilitate the launch and expansion of emerging European fintechs through tailor-made solutions.

DailyAlts Playbook: America on Fire, Goldman Shorts the Dollar, a $41 Trillion Hole, and the Death of Pensions.

June 1, 2020

Friday morning, I was out for dental surgery and now I have another surgery in two weeks. Three days ago, I would have told you that the biggest threat to the market rally was the renewed tensions between the United States and China.

Liquid Alternatives

Alternative Investments: Ares Management Agrees to SEC Settlement

May 27, 2020

Ares Management (NYSE: ARES) agreed to settle a complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Ares is paying a $1 million settlement to the SEC. This will resolve a complaint that Ares failed to implement and enforce policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent the misuse of material nonpublic information.