News round-up: Systematic equity fund launches strategy which trades in metaverse; U.S. DOJ launches criminal investigation into short selling; Head of President Joe Biden's security detail to join Citadel

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French systematic equity hedge fund launches computer-based strategy which trades in the metaverse

Quantology Capital Management’s, Quantology Metaverse is a US equities-focused systematic strategy which trades those companies operating within the metaverse, a virtual ecosystem of assets and companies from the internet, artificial intelligence and blockchain sectors

The fund has produced an 18 per cent gain in the five months of live trading to the end of November. This compares to the CAC40’s 3 per cent return over the same period.

The fund, which is the first UCITS-compliant fund focused on this flourishing sphere - uses proprietary quantitative models to build portfolio positions in a variety of stocks.

Quantology manages multiple computer-based fund strategies which use market-agnostic, algorithm-based processes to generate returns from behavioural finance indicators, share price trends, and other stock signals within companies’ quarterly earnings data.

Julien Messias, founder and head of R&D at the firm, has described the metaverse as “the next techno-revolution.”

“Our goal is to provide investors with a pure exposure to this theme,” Messias continued.

The U.S. Justice Department launches expansive criminal investigation into short selling by hedge funds and research firms

The probe, run by the department’s fraud section with federal prosecutors in Los Angeles is dissecting their relationships and hunting for signs that they improperly coordinated trades or broke other laws to profit.

Authorities are prying into financial relationships between hedge funds and researchers, and looking for signs that money managers sought to engineer staggering stock drops or engaged in other abuses, such as insider trading.

Federal investigators are examining trading in at least several dozen stocks, including well-known short targets such as Luckin Coffee Inc., Banc of California Inc., Mallinckrodt Plc and GSX Techedu Inc.

And they’re scrutinizing the involvement of about a dozen or more firms -- though it’s not clear which ones, if any, may emerge as targets of the probe.

Toronto-based Anson Funds and anonymous researcher Marcus Aurelius Value are among firms involved in the inquiry.

Other prominent firms that circulated research on stocks under scrutiny include Carson Block’s Muddy Waters Capital and Andrew Left’s Citron Research.

Joe Biden's top secret service agent David Cho to join hedge fund Citadel

The head of President Joe Biden's security detail is stepping down and taking a job with Citadel, billionaire Ken Griffin's $43 billion hedge fund.

David Cho has been with the United States Secret Service for more than 25 years and is the first Korean American to become special agent in charge of the service’s Presidential Protective Division.

Cho will start at Citadel on the 3rd January 2022, as deputy head of security, according to a spokesman for Citadel.

Cho’s deputy, Darryl Volpicelli, will likely replace Cho as special agent in charge of Biden’s protective detail, though the decision hasn’t yet been made.

The Secret Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and in 2019 Cho received the department’s Exceptional Service Gold Medal for his role in negotiations with North Korean leaders for then-President, Donald Trump.

Carmen Bamford

Head of Event Content, HFM

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