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Opening Bell: 2.1.17

Dalio outpaces his peers; Jamie Dimon loves cross-selling; apes are swiping right; and more.

Ray Dalio Makes Clients $4.9 Billion in 2016 as Paulson, Soros Falter (Bloomberg)

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Billionaire Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates earned almost $5 billion for its clients last year while rivals George Soros and John Paulson lost money, according to a report by hedge-fund investor LCH Investments NV. Bridgewater was the most lucrative, in absolute terms, of the top-20 hedge funds ranked, and bucked the trend of a generally disappointing year for the industry.

Private Banking Meets Cross-Selling for JPMorgan’s Wealthy Clients (BBG)

“Cross-selling is a big deal. And we do an exceptionally good job at cross-selling. We think we’re among the best out there,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told an investor conference in September 2012, referring to the bank’s retail business. Fifteen months later he told another conference: “We do as much cross-sell as a Wells Fargo.”

Trump Aide’s Deal With Chinese Firm Raises Fear of Tangled Interests (NYT)

“They know they cannot talk to me, so what influence are they buying?” Mr. Scaramucci said in the interview. “If people are saying that HNA is trying to buy access, then people are saying HNA is stupid…. I took their bid because it would protect my clients, partners and investors,” he said. “So what did I do wrong?”

Deutsche Bank Beset by Grim Morale, Uncertain Profit Outlook (WSJ)

Deutsche Bank employees expected smaller bonuses this year—no one could accuse Mr. Cryan of telegraphing a bonanza—but past years’ dire warnings proved exaggerated, some bankers say, making January’s bad bonus news more jarring. Some managers have told employees that this year’s starker bonus year appears aimed at encouraging voluntary departures ahead of deeper staff cuts.

Actually, Deutsche Bank’s retention bonuses are more cunning than we thought (EFC)

Earlier this week we reported that the recipients of Deutsche’s retention bonuses were annoyed with the “strike price.” At €23, this is around 22% higher than Deutsche’s current share price and above the level Deutsche has traded at since December 2015. This still stands, but Deutsche insiders say the retention bonuses have been structured with some added twists. Firstly, for the deferred stock bonuses to be valid, Deutsche’s shares only have to hit €23 during the first three trading weeks of 2021. If, at any time during that period, the stock price falls below €23, the retention bonuses now being allocated for 2016 will be worth nothing at all. Secondly, if the €23 condition is met, recipients of the bonuses will get their holdings increased by a factor of 1.8.

It’s Getting Harder to Keep the Barbarians at the Gate—and It’s This Guy’s Job (BBG)

Rossman’s thesis is that activists could gain more clout as stock ownership is concentrated among fewer owners, with funds shifting to indexed strategies. “It’s become a lot easier for activists to ­influence the shareholder base, because they have fewer and fewer shareholders that they have to talk to,” says Rossman, who calculates that the top 25 investors hold almost 40 percent of the S&P 500. Research published in September by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined a finding similar to Rossman’s — that activists may become more powerful with the rise in passive investing.

Peter Thiel became New Zealand citizen in California in 2011 (AP)

Silicon Valley billionaire and President Donald Trump's adviser Peter Thiel was able to gain New Zealand citizenship in 2011 despite never having lived in the country, because a top lawmaker decided his entrepreneurial skills and philanthropy were valuable to the nation, documents revealed. Thiel didn't even have to leave California to become a new member of the South Pacific nation. He was granted citizenship during a private ceremony held at the New Zealand Consulate in Santa Monica.

Dutch experiment with 'Tinder for orangutans' (PhysOrg)

"After seeing the photos, the monkeys have to push a button on the screen," the park said. "In this way we can measure their capacity for reaction." The research, conducted with Leiden University, could improve breeding programmes for the apes, the park said. Initial results indicate that bonobos, an endangered ape species, react most strongly to photos showing positive behaviours, such as sexual activity or searching for lice, the park said.

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