NEW YORK, May 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Unlimited, a new investment firm that gives all investors exposure to the alpha-generating potential of alternative investment strategies without the high fees and adverse tax implications of typical fund structures, announced today that it has raised $8 million in Series A financing led by FirstMark and Citi Ventures, including previously unannounced convertible notes led by Material.
The Series A round will allow Unlimited to continue developing and launching new low-cost alternative strategy-tracking ETFs that use proprietary return replication technology to track global macro, long-short equity, and lower beta strategies. Unlimited will also build out its sales and distribution teams as part of its next phase of growth. The new products that Unlimited plans to introduce will all work in service of the firm’s central mission: to offer individual investors access to the returns of sophisticated investment strategies at a lower cost than traditional limited partnerships, with greater transparency and liquidity.
Bob Elliott, the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Unlimited and a former member of the Investment Committee at Bridgewater Associates, Bruce McNevin and Matt Salzberg co-founded New York-based Unlimited. The firm launched its first investment product, the Unlimited HFND Multi-Strategy Return Tracker ETF (NYSE: “HFND”), in the fall of 2022. HFND uses Unlimited’s proprietary technology to seek to replicate the risk/return profile of the gross-of- fees returns of the hedge fund industry. HFND was the most successful independent, actively managed ETF launch of 2022 based on total asset inflows since launch.
Mr. Elliott and Unlimited also plan to expand their growing presence on social media (including Twitter and LinkedIn) as well as their weekly newsletter, which offer unique perspectives on macroeconomic trends, capital markets commentary and data-driven investing topics. This work deepens the partnership and value that Unlimited can provide for financial advisors beyond its investment products. Unlimited also plans to further enhance its content offerings given the overwhelming demand for these insights and the lack of strong alternatives for many advisors.
As part of the Series A financing round, FirstMark Managing Director Adam Nelson and Citi Ventures Managing Director Luis Valdich will join Unlimited’s current Board of Directors, which includes Mr. Elliott and Mr. Salzberg.Mr. Elliott has built innovative hedge fund strategies for more than two decades. At Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, Mr. Elliott was a member of the Investment Committee and developed strategies across asset classes, including many for the firm’s flagship Pure Alpha fund. He also was the author of hundreds of Bridgewater’s widely read Daily Observations and directly counseled some of the world’s foremost policymakers and institutional investors on economic and investing issues, including the Federal Reserve, Treasury and White House during the 2008 financial crisis.
“Since the successful launch of HFND, we have heard from investors and financial advisors who want access to more alternative strategies in tax-efficient, low-cost and highly liquid products,” said Mr. Elliott. “This Series A financing will help bring those products to market for the benefit of all investors as well as allow us to expand our already significant thought leadership platform.”“We are delighted to serve as lead investors in this round of funding,” said FirstMark’s Mr. Nelson. “Bob and his team have clearly identified the challenges that financial advisors have with many of the current alternative investment products in the market today. Unlimited’s solution leverages cutting-edge technology that seeks to provide that same return profile at a significantly lower cost through a much more flexible product. We’ve seen the disruptive effects of technology across other multi-trillion dollar markets and look forward to helping this firm transform the market for alternative investments.”
“Having met Bob prior to the launch of HFND, we were intrigued about the founder-product fit and the team’s vision of democratizing access to gross-of-fees hedge fund index returns,” said Mr. Valdich of Citi Ventures. “We stayed close to Unlimited, and seeing how quickly HFND has been gaining traction, we are excited to co-lead this Series A round to help accelerate its journey.”About Unlimited
Founded in 2022 by Bob Elliott, Bruce McNevin and Matt Salzberg, Unlimited is an investment firm that uses proprietary technology to create broadly accessible, low-cost index tracking ETFs for 2 & 20-style alternative investments like hedge funds. The firm currently manages the Unlimited HFND Multi-Strategy Return Tracker ETF (NYSE: “HFND”), which aims to track the gross-of-fees returns of the hedge fund industry. Mr. Elliott has built innovative hedge fund strategies for more than two decades, including at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Mr. McNevin is a Professor of Economics at New York University and has held various data science positions at hedge funds Clinton Group and Midway Group, along with positions at Bank of America and BlackRock. Mr. Salzberg serves as a Managing Partner at Material and is a Co-Founder and Chairman of various companies, including Unlimited. Learn more at unlimitedfunds.com.
Before investing you should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other information is in the prospectus. A prospectus may be obtained by clicking here. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest.
As with all ETFs, Fund shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market price normally should approximate the Fund’s net asset value per share (NAV), but the market price sometimes may be higher or lower than the NAV. There are a limited number of financial institutions authorized to buy and sell shares directly with the Fund; and there may be a limited number of other liquidity providers in the marketplace. There is no assurance that Fund shares will trade at any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. Low trading activity may result in shares trading at a material discount to NAV.
Investments involve risk. Principal loss is possibleUnderlying ETFs Risks. The Fund will incur higher and duplicative expenses because it invests in Underlying ETFs. There is also the risk that the Fund may suffer losses due to the investment practices of the Underlying ETFs. The Fund will be subject to substantially the same risks as those associated with the direct ownership of securities held by the Underlying ETFs. Additionally, Underlying ETFs are also subject to the “ETF Risks” described above.
Derivatives Risk. The Fund’s or an Underlying ETF’s derivative investments have risks, including the imperfect correlation between the value of such instruments and the underlying assets or index; the loss of principal, including the potential loss of amounts greater than the initial amount invested in the derivative instrument; the possible default of the other party to the transaction; and illiquidity of the derivative investments.
Fixed Income Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in Underlying ETFs that invest in fixed income securities. The prices of fixed income securities may be affected by changes in interest rates, the creditworthiness and financial strength of the issuer and other factors. An increase in prevailing interest rates typically causes the value of existing fixed income securities to fall and often has a greater impact on longer-duration and/or higher quality fixed income securities.Foreign Securities Risk. Foreign securities held by Underlying ETFs in which the Fund invests involve certain risks not involved in domestic investments and may experience more rapid and extreme changes in value than investments in securities of U.S. companies. Financial markets in foreign countries often are not as developed, efficient or liquid as financial markets in the United States, and therefore, the prices of non-U.S. securities can be more volatile.Short Selling Risk. The Fund may make short sales of securities of Underlying ETFs, which involves selling a security it does not own in anticipation that the price of the security will decline. Short sales may involve substantial risk and leverage. Short sales expose the Fund to the risk that it will be required to buy (“cover”) the security sold short when the security has appreciated in value or is unavailable, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. Short sales also involve the risk that losses may exceed the amount invested and may be unlimited.Futures Contracts Risk. The Fund or Underlying ETFs may invest in futures contracts. Risks of futures contracts include: (i) an imperfect correlation between the value of the futures contract and the underlying asset; (ii) possible lack of a liquid secondary market; (iii) the inability to close a futures contract when desired; (iv) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which may be unlimited; (v) an obligation for the Fund or an Underlying ETF, as applicable, to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin, particularly at times when the Fund or Underlying ETF may have insufficient cash; and (vi) unfavorable execution prices from rapid selling.Swap Agreement Risk. The Fund or an Underlying ETF may invest in swap agreements. Swap agreements are entered into primarily with major global financial institutions for a specified period, which may range from one day to more than six months. The swap agreements in which the Fund or an Underlying ETF, as applicable, invests are generally traded in the over-the-counter market, which generally has less transparency than exchange-traded derivatives instruments.New Fund Risk. The Fund is a recently organized management investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors do not have a track record or history on which to base their investment decisions.
Alpha: A term used in investing to describe an investment strategy’s ability to beat the market.
Beta: A concept that measures the expected move in a stock relative to movements in the overall market.
The fund is distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC Launch & Structure Partner: Tidal ETF Services
To stress her bona fides, she pledged to invest £28bn a year, every year to 2030 to “green” the economy.
Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan was one of its defining policies. It gave the party a clear dividing line with government.
Ms Reeves said there would be “no dither, and no delay” in tackling the climate crisis.
It was also an answer to the government’s “levelling up” pledge.
The borrowed cash would underpin well-paid jobs in every corner of the UK in the energy sector.
So why has Ms Reeves kicked the pledge into the second half of the next Parliament, if Labour wins?
The first reason is obvious.
Ms Reeves now says she was “green” – in a different sense of the word – in 2021, in that she hadn’t foreseen what then-Prime Minister Liz Truss would do to the economy.
With interest rates up, the cost of borrowing rises too, making the £28bn pledge more expensive to deliver.
And Ms Reeves wants to emphasise that if any spending commitments clash with her fiscal rules, the rules would win every time.
But did the £28bn green pledge really clash with her rules?
In their own detailed briefing on their fiscal rules, Labour said: “It is essential that for our future prosperity that we retain the ability to borrow for investing in capital projects which over time will pay for themselves.
“And that is why our target for eliminating the deficit excludes investment.”
So borrowing to invest in the future technology and jobs shouldn’t fall foul of that fiscal rule.
But there is another rule which Ms Reeves cited this morning – to have debt falling as a percentage of GDP or Gross Domestic Product, a measure of economic activity.
Meeting that rule may have contributed to putting the £28bn on the backburner – though I remember at the 2021 conference some senior Labour figures questioning the wisdom of borrowing the equivalent of half the defence budget every year even then.
And some senior figures in Labour are far less convinced that £28bn would necessarily bust the debt rule – economic forecasts can change by far greater margins.
One of the other justifications for the change of position is that £28bn shouldn’t be poured in to the economy straight away.
That’s because it will take time to train workers, to create and bolster supply chains. Hence “ramping up” to £28bn.
One shadow minister said that while today’s announcement felt like a bit of a handbrake turn, it was nonetheless inevitable and sensible.
The scale of the ambition remained the same, but pragmatically the shadow chancellor was simply not committing to spending which would be difficult to deliver.
But all this must have been known in 2021, too.
So why announce the U-turn today?
The change of position was discussed within Labour’s Treasury team for some time.
Engagement with investors convinced them the government itself may not need to pump in a huge amount of cash straight away – the private sector would provide green jobs without state help.
And while Ms Reeves has ditched the £28bn pledge in the first half of the Parliament, this doesn’t mean that a Labour government would spend nothing on its Green Prosperity Plan.
I understand cash will be prioritised for projects where the private sector would not commit without state assistance – nuclear and hydrogen for example.
But it seems clear that politics and not just economics played a role in today’s announcement.
There have been grumbles and growls over how the policy has landed over the past two years within Labour’s ranks and internal criticism has increased, not receded.
One concern was that the amount to be borrowed – the £28bn – was better known than what the money would buy – from home insulation and heat pumps to new carbon capture technology.
But it was crystal clear this week that the Conservatives felt that they had seen a vulnerability that could be exploited.
The front page of the Daily Mail blared this week about the alleged dangers of the policy – the extra borrowing would put up interest and therefore mortgage costs.
The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies was also being cited by Conservative ministers.
Its director Paul Johnson had warned that while additional borrowing would pump money in to the economy, it also drives up interest rates.
As Labour has been attacking the Conservatives for their handling of the economy, and the “mortgage premium” they claim the government has caused, it was understandable that they did not want the same attack to be aimed at them, and Ms Reeves this morning sought to eliminate a potential negative.
As one Labour shadow minister put it: “They [the Conservatives] will be pulling their hair out that one of their attack lines has failed.”
Some in Labour’s ranks, though, believe the party should have insulated (no pun intended) itself from attack by making the case more stridently that borrowing to invest is different from borrowing to meet day-to-day spending.
Credibility is key
Labour’s opinion poll lead is wide but pessimists in their ranks fear it is shallow.
Establishing economic credibility is seen as key.
But while it may have been the lesser of two evils, today’s change of tack isn’t cost-free.
The party has committed to achieve a net-zero power system by 2030.
But with potentially significantly less investment, is this target in danger too?
And unlike many of the left-wing commitments that have been ditched – where the leadership don’t really mind the backlash – this was the shadow chancellor watering down her own highest-profile pledge.
That in itself has allowed the Conservatives to shout about Labour’s economic plans being “in tatters”.
As Labour is still committed to its Green Prosperity Plan – just not the original timescale – they will still claim they have clear dividing lines with the government.
But one of their key arguments has been this: With the US pouring subsidies in to domestic green industries, the UK will get left behind if it doesn’t follow suit. And fast.
A delay doesn’t destroy – but it does potentially weaken – the Labour case.
But there is another concern amongst those who are most certainly not on the Corbyn left.
Emphasising competence and fiscal credibility over climate change commitments could leave some target voters cold.
Per Semafor, FTX appears to have made a $500 million dollar investment into Anthropic, an OpenAI rival that made waves back in January when its model was reported to have passed a blindly-graded George Mason University law and economics exam with flying colors (a claim, it’s worth noting, that was made weeks before the OpenAI-built GPT-4’s test-taking prowess was publicly known.)
And FTX isn’t the only high-profile Anthropic investor. Seemingly in a move to level the playing field in its battle with the financially tethered Microsoft and OpenAI, a little company known as Google, among other investors, invested $300 million into the AI firm back in February.
As a result of those cash infusions, in addition to the buzz around the AI market, Anthropic’s stock has been headed way up. As it stands, the AI firm is reportedly valued at a staggering $4.6 billion – and per Semafor, FTX’s major stake in the high-dollar firm could ultimately provide bankruptcy trustees with a way to pay FTX’s slighted customers back.
But that said, as Semafor points out, it might not be that simple.
When more traditional companies, which tend to have more traditional-slash-real assets — real estate, bonds, and more of the like — go bankrupt, there’s a fairly standardized, precedented rulebook for bankruptcy proceedings. Those proceedings often include some kind of “prepackaged” bankruptcy strategy designed to eke as much worth out of an asset’s value as possible while also attempting to make customers whole.
FTX, alternatively, as an unregulated business within an unregulated industry, reportedly didn’t have any such plan, and its assets are generally pretty far from traditional. And to that end, it’s also worth noting that the AI industry is still at the beginning of a gold rush. Anthropic has a stronger footing in the market than most, but whether it can stick it out with a multi-billion dollar valuation in the long run remains to be seen.
Still, FTX customers haven’t had good news in a while — and maybe, just this one time, a Bankman-Fried financial decision could actually pay off for them. Or at the very least, pay them back.
After receiving $15M bill, Victoria contractor learns of unwitting connection to investment scandal – CBC.ca
20 hours ago
June 8, 2023
At first, Devin Hutchinson couldn’t quite make sense of the email from PricewaterhouseCoopers, sent on behalf of the Supreme Court of British Columbia demanding his general contracting business pay back over $15 million in loans and interest owed to a company he’s never dealt with.
“I thought it was some kind of a scam,” he said.
Turns out, Hutchinson was partially right. Only the scam part happened months ago, when Greg Martel, the Victoria mortgage broker and alleged Ponzi-schemer, appeared to have used the name of Hutchinson Contracting on documents, purportedly to give an air of legitimacy to the fake investments into non-existent real estate projects he was peddling.
Hutchinson has never done business with Martel or his company and said he certainly has never received any loans.
“It’s been a shock … But we have absolutely nothing to hide,” said Hutchinson, who co-owns the company with his dad.
“We’re staying positive and we will do anything and show anything [to help the investigation.] I just hope that they’re able to figure this all out.”
Martel and his company, Shop Your Own Mortgage (SYOM), owe close to a quarter billion dollars in missing investor funds. Martel himself is missing too, out of the country at an unknown location, not co-operating with court orders to produce financial documents and a sworn list of assets.
PwC, the court-appointed receiver, has been tasked with trying to untangle the web of Martel’s U.S. and Canadian investments and business interests to recover assets so hundreds of creditors can recoup some of what they’ve lost.
Martel and SYOM were in the business of providing private bridge loans to real estate developers needing short term financing, attracting investor cash by promising annualized rates of return that often exceeded 100 per cent.
Hutchinson said according to PwC, Hutchinson Contracting was listed as receiving three such loans from Martel for three made-up projects.
“Apparently there were investments made for us to complete two custom homes for $5 million each and another one for something else,” he said.
CBC reached out to Martel’s lawyer Ritchie Clark, who had no comment.
In an email to CBC last month, Martel denied he was running a Ponzi scheme. (A Ponzi scheme is a form of financial fraud where investors are lured into a non-existent enterprise that pays out early investors with the funds put in by investors who join later.)
Martel started SYOM in about 2016. Earlier this year, investors started complaining about longer and longer delays in getting their investments paid out. Martel was quick to make assurances that everybody would get paid, attributing the problems to overwhelmed company systems from too many new people wanting in on the action.
Soon after, the payouts stopped altogether and over a dozen investors brought civil suits against Martel.
Martel and SYOM were put into receivership in early May at the request of an investor who is owed $17.6 million.
PwC reported the SYOM company bank account had $58 million dollars flow in and out in the last six months, but by the time the account was seized, there was less than $300 remaining.
Investigators also said they had only been able to locate superficial documentation about the SYOM bridge loans, and nothing that identified who the loans were made to.
A clearer picture of Martel’s actions — and whether there is reason for investors to feel optimistic — is expected to emerge Friday morning when the case returns to B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.