Andrew Caspersen alleged to have taken funds from charity to trade on his own account
With forebears who built a fortune in consumer finance, degrees from Princeton and Harvard, and a string of plum Wall Street jobs to his name, Andrew W.W. Caspersen's pedigree bespoke wealth and privilege.
But along the way, federal prosecutors said, his life took a darker turn. They allege the 39-year-old private-equity executive concocted a phony investment fund, invented a fictitious financier and set up bogus Internet domain names and fake email addresses, all part of a bizarre scheme to steal $25 million.
The charges, in a 14-page complaint unsealed Monday, paint a tale of clumsy theft in the upper crust of Wall Street. Caspersen had been a managing principal at buyout giant Blackstone Group LP's(BX)Park Hill Group and became an executive at the private-equity-fund advisory business after it separated from Blackstone last year. There, he advised investors who bought and sold stakes in private-equity firms.
Some of the most notable names in finance were caught up in the drama. Shares in boutique investment bank PJT Partners(PJT) , which owns Park Hill, dropped 10.6% after the charges were announced. Blackstone Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman, who according to securities filings is PJT's largest shareholder with a stake of roughly 14%, lost more than $16 million in the rout.
Caspersen was arrested Saturday evening at New York'sLaGuardia Airport and appeared Monday in Manhattan federal court, where a judge approved a $5 million bail package. As part of the package, the judge ordered Caspersen to undergo psychological evaluation.
A lawyer for Caspersen didn't respond to requests for comment.
Park Hill, which said it conducted an internal investigation after learning of the potential wrongdoing and reported it to the authorities, fired Caspersen and said it was stunned he had violated the firm's compliance standards and ethics. Blackstone said it was "appalled."
Officials at the Securities & Exchange Commission filed parallel civil charges.
Wall Street Executive Arrested For Stealing $25 Million From Charitable Foundation
Following the money trail
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A 39-year-old partner in PJT Partners’ Park Hill Group unit was arrested on Monday for orchestrating a $25 million investment fraud, mostly by soliciting funds from a charitable foundation for fake deals that he claimed to be conducting between his employer and a private equity fund.
Andrew Caspersen, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, worked in the so-called secondary advisory team at Park Hill, brokering deals between investors in private equity funds. Federal prosecutors claim that Caspersen wrongfully got his hands on $24.6 million that belonged to a charity affiliated with a New York hedge fund ostensibly to invest in a secured loan to an investment firm, but instead Caspersen used a portion of the money to trade options in his own account.
Caspersen also obtained another $400,000 from an employee of the hedge fund affiliated with the charity. Caspersen lost a chunk of the money through his options trading, prosecutors say. Caspersen’s $25 million fraud occurred between July 2015 and March 2016, federal prosecutors claim. He is also accused of trying to solicit another $70 million from the charitable foundation he bilked and a separate New York private equity firm.
“To advance his $95 million fraud scheme, Caspersen allegedly put on a shameful charade – creating fake email addresses, setting up misleading domain names, and inventing fictional financiers,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, in a statement. “When confronted by a suspicious client who had invested $25 million, Caspersen had no good answers.”
In a statement, PJT Partners said that it had reported Caspersen’s scam to federal prosecutors in Manhattan the moment the firm learned about it. PJT Partners has fired Caspersen for cause.
PJT Partners is a new firm being led by investment banker Paul Taubman, created last year with the spinout of two businesses of private equity giant Blackstone Group—its financial advisory services group and Park Hill Group. Caspersen has worked with Park Hill since early 2013, when it was part of Blackstone.
Industry analysts say this may be a fight Marriott can't win, or shouldn't, because Anbang is being driven by the desire to get its money out of China and into U.S. assets.
Fools like you dont need to follow losers..keep ;voting for Cruz :) The Bushs are in disgrace :)
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Versace posts double-digit rise in core profit for 2015
REUTERS 9:43 AM ET 3/24/2016
MILAN, March 24 (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Versace, which aims to list on the stock market next year, said core profit rose 20 percent last year, helped by strong growth in online sales, a weak euro currency and solid demand for its high-end collection.
Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said in a statement on Thursday that the group expected revenue growth in 2016 as well, despite "uncertain conditions in the first quarter of the year".
Versace is expected to seek a stock market listing by mid-2017 after the Versace family sold a 20 percent stake to U.S. private equity group Blackstone.
Group revenue jumped 17.5 percent in 2015 to 645 million euros ($720 mln), helped by currency moves.
At constant exchange rates revenue rose 8.6 percent, with a 16 percent rise in China and a 30 percent increase in Europe.
Sales of Versace's most exclusive line increased by over 23 percent last year by value while accessories, for both men and women, accounted for half of retails sales.
Ferraris said that the brand, popular among celebrities worldwide, had proven resilient despite negative conditions in the international luxury goods market.
A sharp economic slowdown in China, recession in Russia amid plunging oil prices, and security threats hurting tourism have all dampened the outlook for luxury brands.
Versace, which has been expanding its retail network after Blackstone's investment, said it would invest more than 50 million euros in new retail outlets, existing boutiques and further developing its online business where sales surged 31 percent in 2015.
well the stocastics and MACD giving buy signals..as noted before Stocastics were very OVERSOLD...heavy volume today.. someone is anticipating good news but that can be anytime and maybe weeks ? no one knows
The Blackstone fund returned an annualized 3 percent since it was started that year, compared with a 9.8 percent return for the broader stock market. The fund did well last year, returning 4 percent to beat 91 percent of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It gave up those gains at the start of this year, losing 4.2 percent through March 22.
I am 77 and a BSME from UVA..worked at Rocketdyne where we built all the rocket engines for the Moon Vehicle..Then I was a stock broker with E. .F. Hutton...I know a company plant like you are...$12 NAV this quarter is BS...and shows what a fool you are and FSFR management
Demand strong for deal linked to Blackstone's purchase of REIT
CMBS sale helps clear backlog of loans in struggling market
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Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pulled off a sale of about $1.8 billion in bonds linked to Blackstone Group LP’s acquisition of BioMed Realty Trust Inc., clearing their books of loans that have been parked there for months.
Buyers snapped up the offering, enabling the banks to extract better pricing terms from investors than originally planned. The strong demand marked a change in tone from the dark mood that has hung over the commercial mortgage-backed securities market since the start of the year.
The deal’s success “is in keeping with this month’s market rally,” said Ed Shugrue, chief executive officer of New York-based Talmage LLC, which invests in commercial real estate debt. “It also speaks to a flight to quality in a market where people have heightened credit concerns,” he said, citing Blackstone’s track record and reputation as a savvy borrower.
Values of riskier assets have surged in recent weeks after hurtling to the lowest levels in years as buyers of stocks and bonds weigh stimulus measures from central banks around the world against slowing growth in China and the slump in oil. Investors have soured on CMBS since Wall Street banks funded $14 billion of real estate buyouts last year, creating a backlog of unsold mortgage debt on the firms’ balance sheets. The BioMed transaction -- the largest CMBS deal sold this year -- helps alleviate the congestion.
Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were able to sell a $417 million portion of the BioMed deal rated AAA to yield 165 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The banks originally offered buyers as much as 175 basis points more than the benchmark, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private.
Even with that success, gyrations in the bond market signal that banks will be reluctant to fund future large buyouts, according to Jim Sullivan, a managing director at Green Street Advisors LLC, a real estate research company.
“Some leveraged buyers who use CMBS certainly have a headwind,” Sullivan said.
Representatives of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on their funding deals.
Real estate investment trusts that have been trading at a discount to what investors would pay for the properties they own -- from office buildings to shopping malls to hotels -- are an attractive target for private equity firms and other cash-rich buyers. The disconnect between commercial real estate values and the landlords’ stock prices had helped push the odds of REIT takeovers to the highest in almost 10 years, Green Street analysts wrote in a September report.
Blackstone agreed to buy BioMed, which controls laboratory real estate, in October in a deal valued at about $8 billion, including debt. A month prior, the firm agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., an owner of U.S. luxury properties, in a transaction valued at about $6 billion.
Now Blackstone, the biggest private equity real estate investor, is selling Strategic to Anbang Insurance Group Co. for $6.5 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Lenders led by Goldman Sachs are in talks to determine how best to deal with about $1.4 billion of debt being assumed by Anbang that was originally slated to be sold as bonds, people familiar with the negotiations said.
The CMBS slowdown mirrors problems in the leveraged-loan market, where dealmaking has declined as demand for risky bonds of all types dries up. Lenders led by Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley are still stuck with debt backing Carlyle Group LP’s purchase of Veritas, Symantec Corp.’s data storage business, after investors turned up their noses at the banks’ marketing efforts in November. The acquisition of Veritas, completed in January for $7.4 billion, was the largest leveraged buyout announced last year.
The Bio Med Tealty Trust news just out.. go read the articel..And BX sold an office building for 180 million.. BX is a great investment..." Blackstone, the biggest private equity real estate investor"
and Bain owns 33%..dont know how much or if BX is selling but they are taking advantage of the strong up move on MIK... I have been watching all BX's holding and figured they would takek advantage of this move. Now BRX has recovered nicely and would think BX would see some of its holdings ..
FSM MUST BE TERMINATED
If our objective is to sell FSFR and thereby achieve an immediate uplift in value, why are we proposing to terminate FSM, the external advisor? The answer is that FSM has been paid lucrative incentive fees even as stockholder value has nosedived. It can therefore be expected to vigorously oppose any business combination that would result in the loss of its lucrative management contract with the Company. The Investment Company Act of 1940 gives stockholders the right to terminate an external manager on 60 days’ notice without penalty, and we urge our fellow stockholders to join us in exercising that right to terminate FSM. In its proxy materials, the Company threatens dire consequences if FSM is terminated. We urge you not to be misled by the Company’s rhetoric, and ask that you refer to the Ironsides materials for a rebuttal of the Company’s scaremongering.
LANGLEY, U.K., March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelport (TVPT) (the "Company"), a leading Travel Commerce Platform, announced today the closing of an underwritten public offering by certain of the Company's shareholders (the "Selling Shareholders") of an aggregate of 10,604,740 of the Company's common shares (the "Offering"). The price paid to the Selling Shareholders by the Underwriter was $13.36 per share. The Company did not receive any proceeds from the sale of common shares in the Offering.
Hilton Says China to Account for Bulk of Asia Hotel Openings
Pooja Thakur Mahrotri Rachel Chang
March 21, 2016 — 9:00 AM PDT Updated on March 21, 2016 — 3:02 PM PDT
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Company plans 206 hotels in China of 266 in Asia-Pacific
Hilton currently has 71 hotels in Asia's biggest economy
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Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest hospitality company by number of rooms, said it will add more hotels in China than anywhere else in Asia as domestic and international visitors boost demand.
Hilton will open 206 hotels in China, more than three-quarters of the 266 it’s targeting for the Asia-Pacific region in coming years, Martin Rinck, Hilton’s Asia-Pacific President, said. That’s almost three times the 71 hotels the company currently has in China.
“Travel remains strong, both domestically within China and as reflected in the outbound numbers,” with 200 million Chinese estimated to travel internationally by 2020, from 109 million last year, Rinck said in an interview in Singapore. “The underlying fundamentals are positive. Despite the ongoing austerity measures, we are seeing continued positive growth.”
Growing wealth among Chinese travelers is coinciding with a flurry of interest in lodging assets by some investors. China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. made a $13.2 billion takeover bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., owner of brands such as Westin, Sheraton and W, trumping an offer from Marriott International Inc. On Monday, the bidding war intensified when Marriott came back with an improved offer, which Starwood accepted.
Hilton sees opportunity in the mid-scale segment and has entered into a franchise agreement with China’s Plateno Hotels to build 400 hotels branded Hampton by Hilton in the next 10 years, he said.
India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are among Hilton’s other growth markets, Rinck said. The hotel operator has 14 hotels in India and another 18 under development, he said. India is seeing a return of business confidence and increased demand for lodgings, he added.
Hilton is also betting on Japan as a tourism boom has created a shortage of hotel rooms. The number of foreign visitors jumped 47 percent last year to almost 20 million. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies have helped weaken the yen by more than 20 percent against the dollar since he took office in late 2012. The government expects the trend will continue until the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Japan has great growth potential and for the first time in a long time offers once again opportunities for new builds,” Rinck said. Abe’s strategy to weaken the yen “has had a very positive impact on travel and tourism, resulting in a strong increase in inbound travel,” he added.
Stooge !!!!! hope you ge tthrow out with the FSFR management...this is how FSFR spends there time and money..Fantasy 12 BV
Dont support their proposals... they are crooks..fire them all...
Management are crooks and greedy sob's.the stock offering diluted the company and the only reason they raise more money is to get more management fees... look at the results!!!! BV way down, Stock price way down, management fees up..underperforming others in the group.. Vote Green!!!
will be interesting to see what the failed Chinese bid for HOT will amount to... I know when BX had a secondary offering of some HLT stock at 30 it was rumored there was Chinese interest in buying HLT and HLT said NO at that time..But again Invitation Homes with 50,000 homes and a value fo 12 BILLION is to be watched