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July 24, 2017: Bristol Consulting Inc.: This Hedge Fund Is Betting $280 Million on a 34-Year-Old Guy - Bloomberg

NEWS BITES - PRIVATE COMPANIES

'You pay people for what you think they're going to do' Firm lost a third of its assets to Africa bribery scandal

Dan Och still runs the show at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. He's the chief executive officer, the chairman of the board and very much the face of the hedge-fund powerhouse he founded more than two decades ago.

But in the wake of a bribery scandal that spooked clients and blew away a third of its assets, the fund's fate is in many ways now in the hands of a little-known 34-year-old named Jimmy Levin.

INDEX

SECTION 1 BRISTOL CONSULTING INC. PROFILE

SECTION 2 PRESS RELEASES: 2017

SECTION 1 BRISTOL CONSULTING INC. PROFILE

1.1 ACTIVITIES

Bristol Consulting Inc. is an executive search firm that specializes in institutional fixed income recruitment specifically in the securitization and derivative arenas. Its clients include investment banks, hedge funds, asset management firms, insurance companies, investment firms, and commercial banks. The firm was founded in 2003 and is based in New York City.

1.2 SUMMARY

Website: http://www.bristol-consulting.com

Industry: Miscellaneous Commercial Servi

SECTION 2 PRESS RELEASES: 2017

July 21: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Private Equity's Big Bets on Financial Tech - New York Times

Private equity firms are rushing to bet on financial technology.

Permira Capital Partners, Advent International and Bain Capital have all recently announced acquisitions of payment processors in the hope of capitalizing on the cashless zeitgeist. The Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners, which just offered $3.7 billion for Paysafe of Britain, are placing a double wager.

Paysafe's quirk is that approximately half of its revenue comes from online gambling and gaming. Investors have struggled with the associated risks - notably from Paysafe's Asian business, which brings in about a fifth of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda. A short-seller's report alleging unsavory dealings in China wiped 38 percent off the company's share price last December. Though the stock recovered, Paysafe still suffers from a stubborn valuation discount to peers like Worldpay and Nets - both acquisition targets themselves.

The buyout firms therefore spy an opportunity. They will end up paying close to $4.7 billion for Paysafe, factoring in fees, net debt and the extra borrowings from a $470 million acquisition it announced on Friday.

Assuming that the new owners can quickly sell the Asian business for a fairly modest five times Ebitda, their outlay would fall to around $4.4 billion. That is about 12 times the approximately $370 million of Ebitda that Paysafe is on course to make in 2018.

Source: Company Website

July 19: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Asian private equity has found something good about the region's aging population - CNBC

Asian private equity players are pointing to one big deal opportunity ahead: People in Asia are getting older.

Kyle Shaw, managing director at ShawKwei & Partners, a private equity firm focused on medium-sized industrial and industrial-tied services in Asia, said Wednesday that demographics is a major and "unstoppable" trend for investments.

Source: Company Website

July 18: Bristol Consulting Inc.: A Private Equity Fund Formerly Valued at $2 Billion Is Now 'Nearly Worthless' - Fortune

Wells Fargo (wfc, -0.31%) and a number of other lenders are negotiating to take control of a hedge fund previously valued at more than $2 billion that is now worth close to nothing, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

EnerVest (endtf, +0.32%), a Houston private equity firm that focuses on energy investments, manages the private equity fund that focused on oil investments. The fund will leave clients, including major pensions, endowments and charitable foundations, with at most pennies on the dollar, WSJ reported.

The firm raised and started investing money beginning in 2013 when oil was trading at around $90 a barrel and added $1.3 billion of borrowed money to boost its buying power. West Texas Intermediate crude prices closed at $46.54 a barrel on Friday.

"We are not proud of the result," John Walker, EnerVest's co-founder and chief executive, wrote in an email to the Journal.

Only seven private - equity fund s worth more than $1 billion have ever lost money for investors, according to data from investment firm Cambridge Associates cited in the report. Among those of any size to end in the red, losses greater than around 25% are extremely rare, though there are several energy-focused fund s in danger of doing so, according to public pension records.

Source: Company Website

July 14: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Bullish oil funds lead hedge fund losers at half-year mark

Many of last year's most successful oil market bulls have seen their winnings dissolve in the first half of this year, as the crude price has wallowed below $50 a barrel despite output cuts by some of the world's largest producers.

Three of the top five worst-performing hedge funds in the first half of the year specialize in trading oil, directly or indirectly, according to a list compiled by HSBC. Two of those had led the performance charts in 2016.

"The majority of funds came into the year with a bullish view driven by supply/demand fundamentals," said Fred Ingham, who invests in hedge funds at Neuberger Berman, adding that the price had fallen since due partly to a focus on U.S. production.

The oil market has been struggling to absorb a surplus of unused crude but when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 partners agreed late last year to cut output for the first time in eight years, bulls pushed the price up to a one-year high above $50 a barrel.

But as this year has worn on, OPEC's failure to erase a multi-million-barrel overhang and shale oil's dominance have become apparent, stripping 15 percent off the crude price.

Among the biggest casualties so far is the oil equities-focused AlphaGen Elnath Fund, part of Janus Henderson Investors-owned AlphaGen Capital, which ended 2016 as the best-performing fund with gains of 78 percent, the HSBC data showed.

Six months on, however, and it is now the worst performer, nursing losses of 48 percent.

The firm did not respond to requests for comment but Elnath fund manager Mark Gordon told Reuters last summer he thought the oil price had fallen too far and the market had no spare capacity globally.

"I think the oil price will continue to go up because production globally is falling and that is not sustainable," he said.

Another to call the oil price wrongly in the first half of the year is high-profile trader Pierre Andurand, who shot to fame with his correct prediction on the slide in crude from record highs in 2008.

His Andurand Commodities Fund lost 17 percent between January and June, giving back almost all of 2016's 22 percent gains.

July 14: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Bullish oil funds lead hedge fund losers at half-year mark - Reuters - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Many of last year's most successful oil market bulls have seen their winnings dissolve in the first half of this year, as the crude price has wallowed below $50 a barrel despite output cuts by some of the world's largest producers.

Three of the top five worst-performing hedge funds in the first half of the year specialize in trading oil, directly or indirectly, according to a list compiled by HSBC. Two of those had led the performance charts in 2016.

"The majority of funds came into the year with a bullish view driven by supply/demand fundamentals," said Fred Ingham, who invests in hedge funds at Neuberger Berman, adding that the price had fallen since due partly to a focus on U.S. production.

The oil market has been struggling to absorb a surplus of unused crude but when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 partners agreed late last year to cut output for the first time in eight years, bulls pushed the price up to a one-year high above $50 a barrel.

But as this year has worn on, OPEC's failure to erase a multi-million-barrel overhang and shale oil's dominance have become apparent, stripping 15 percent off the crude price.

Among the biggest casualties so far is the oil equities-focused AlphaGen Elnath Fund, part of Janus Henderson Investors-owned AlphaGen Capital, which ended 2016 as the best-performing fund with gains of 78 percent, the HSBC data showed.

Six months on, however, and it is now the worst performer, nursing losses of 48 percent.

The firm did not respond to requests for comment but Elnath fund manager Mark Gordon told Reuters last summer he thought the oil price had fallen too far and the market had no spare capacity globally.

"I think the oil price will continue to go up because production globally is falling and that is not sustainable," he said.

Another to call the oil price wrongly in the first half of the year is high-profile trader Pierre Andurand, who shot to fame with his correct prediction on the slide in crude from record highs in 2008.

His Andurand Commodities Fund lost 17 percent between January and June, giving back almost all of 2016's 22 percent gains.

July 12: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Swiss Bank Launches Bitcoin Asset Management Service

A private bank in Switzerland is offering its clients services to help them better manage their bitcoin holdings.

Falcon Group announced today that it is launching the product, one aimed specifically at allowing customers to buy and hold bitcoin with their traditional accounts. The services are being offered in partnership with Bitcoin Suisse AG, a bitcoin brokerage founded in 2013.

Arthur Vayloyan, global head of products and services for Falcon, said in a statement:

"We are proud to be the first-mover in the Swiss private banking area to provide blockchain asset management for our clients. Falcon is convinced that the time is right to enter this nascent market and it is our firm belief that this new product will fulfill our clients' future needs."

As part of the announcement, Falcon also revealed it has installed a bitcoin ATM in the lobby of its Zurich headquarters that will be open for public use. The integration reportedly came about following discussion with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Source: Company Website

July 12: Bristol Consulting Inc.: A Private Equity Firm Is Investing $275 Million To Create Africa's Largest University Network

Earlier this week, Actis, a UK-based private equity firm focused on emerging markets, announced the launch of a major pan-African higher education initiative - Honoris United Universities.

Honoris United Universities, in which Actis is investing $275 million, has brought together private universities and colleges across 48 campuses in 30 cities in Africa as it looks to cater to the continent's rapidly growing educational needs. Honoris, now Africa's largest network of Universities, already serves 27,000 students but the company expects the student population to grow to 100,000 in the next three to five years as Actis plans to acquire more institutions across the continent and grow its student base.

I recently caught up with Luis Lopez, the newly appointed CEO of Honoris United Universities, a unique pan-African network of educational universities that brings together the leading tertiary education institutions in North and Southern Africa for the very first time. He spoke to me about Honoris' ambitions for African education.

Source: Company Website

July 11: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Private Equity: The New Neighborhood Loan Sharks - The American Prospect

This article appears in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here.

Mike Gallagher double-checks the address on his smartphone and walks up the cement steps of the brick two-story house on Detroit's west side. He rings the doorbell, and after waiting a minute knocks loudly on the door. A dog barks and a shirtless black man in his mid-thirties cracks open the door.

"Good afternoon. I'm Mike from the Home Savers group. We're talking to people who have a land contract from Harbour Portfolio. Is that your situation?"

"Yes," says the man, whom the visitor may have just woken up. He cautiously looks at Mike, who is white with unruly short white hair.

"A lot of people are finding these rent-to-buy loans may not be such a good deal. Sometimes they're worse than being a tenant, since you have to pay for all repairs and maintenance. But you don't build any wealth until you make the last payment. How long is your contract loan?"

"Thirty years."

Gallagher learns the man's name is Antoine and that he paid $30,000 for a house that Harbour Portfolio bought for about $6,000. Antoine has paid $410 a month for four years. He works a night-shift job and has struggled to make the payments.

"If you miss a payment, all this money you are putting into the house will be lost," Gallagher cautions. "They can evict you, without the protections a homeowner often has."

Gallagher invites Antoine to an organizing meeting on Monday night. "You could meet other neighbors who have these contract-for-deed situations and learn how to protect yourself."

"Jeez," says Antoine, shaking his head. He is fully awake and is smiling now. "Yeah, I could stop by on my way before heading to work." He takes down the information about the meeting.

They say goodbye and Gallagher enters information into the app on his phone.

July 06: Bristol Consulting Inc.: Private Equity and Passive Investors Are on a Collision Course - Bloomberg

In what can only be described as a perverse role reversal, mom-and-pop investors have piled into passive investments, hoping for decent valuations that produce stable returns at ultra-low fees. Moody's projects that passive products' market share of U.S. bonds and stocks will hit 50 percent as soon as four years from now, from 30 percent today.

Meanwhile, private equity, which made its bones producing outsize returns by moving in for the kill when there's blood in the Street, is raising record sums even as valuations press historic highs. If anything, the Street is paved with gold, which presents a challenge to deploying the record $1.5 trillion in dry powder, or investable funds, private equity firms are holding globally.

Call it the latest in a long line of unintended consequences thanks to interest rates being held too low for too long. For those keeping count, this is the third time in 30 years that a Federal Reserve easing cycle has stretched so long that it catalyzed market distortions. While the culminations of the Nasdaq and housing bubbles have left scars, most are hoping this time will be different, which appears to be the case. For now.

In the meantime, commercial real estate and bond market valuations are at record levels, while stocks are a relative value bet; they're not as overvalued as they were in 1999 based on price-to-earnings multiples, though they are at a record in relation to U.S. gross domestic product.

The dearth of bargains begs the question of how these two huge market players will behave even as risky assets stretch into the second-longest rally in postwar history. Many strategists have begun to debate how loyal these two highly distinct types of investors will be to their respective mandates.

In theory, passive investors are in it for the long haul, assured that over time, being agnostically exposed to market indexes in some form will produce steady returns, albeit with bumps along the way.

July 04: Bristol Consulting Inc: Abu Dhabi wealth fund seals more private equity deals - Financial News (subscription)

Abu Dhabi's giant sovereign wealth fund increased its exposure to direct private equity investments last year as returns slowed across its portfolio, FN's sister publication Private Equity News reports.

Source: Company Website

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