This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: Millennium Bets On Commodities Comeback

Israel “Izzy” Englander’s Millennium Management is apparently gearing up for a big recovery in the sagging commodities markets. The New York-based multistrategy hedge fund firm, which runs scores of investment teams, is expanding its commodities group, according to a Bloomberg report. The firm recently hired Matthew Zahler from Louis Dreyfus Corporation, the report says. Earlier Millennium brought in Neil Smaldon from Tudor Investment Corp.; Jennifer Fan, who earlier ran her own firm Arbalet Capital; and Raj Sethi and Brian Zachman from SAC Capital Advisors, Steven Cohen’s former hedge fund firm that has since been converted to a family office.

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Investors are starting to warm up to macro funds. Some 28 percent of all hedge fund searches in the third quarter included a macro strategy component, compared to 19 percent in the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report from London-based industry tracker Preqin. It is not coincidental that Preqin’s macro benchmark was one of the only strategies to post gains in the third quarter, returning 0.53 percent. In addition, 13 percent of all hedge funds that were launched in the third quarter employ a macro strategy.

Meanwhile, investor interest in event-driven funds is starting to wane a bit. According to Preqin, 23 percent of all searches in the third quarter were for this strategy, down from 31 percent of all searches in the second quarter. This is surprising, Preqin notes, given the strong performance by this strategy in 2013 and the first half of 2014.

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Kenneth Griffin’s Chicago-based hedge fund firm Citadel disclosed that it owns 5.8 percent of Angie’s List, the online reviewer of local businesses.

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Boston-based hedge fund firm Adage Capital Management disclosed that it owns 15.47 percent of Calithera Biosciences, which seeks to develop cancer drugs.

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