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Citadel’s record $16bn annual profit

In today's top stories, Ken Griffin's Citadel has broken the record for the largest-ever hedge fund return; elsewhere, the UK's ailing steel industry may get an injection of government funds to help drive its green transition, while Chinese EV maker Geely wants to turn its London Electric Vehicle Company into an all-electric brand. Activist investor Elliott Management has increased its stake in Salesforce and Goldman Sachs is planning to reduce its $59bn of alternative investments, while Netflix saw a surge in viewers through 2022.

Ken Griffin’s annual return smashes record 

Citadel recorded the largest annual hedge fund return on record in 2022. Ken Griffin’s firm made $16bn in profit after fees had been deducted, surpassing the previous best of $15.6bn made by John Paulson in 2007, according to a report by  LCH Investments published Monday. Citadel’s performance last year is down to it being a “diversified firm with multiple sources of profits and active capital allocation and risk management,” said LCH chairman Rick Sopher, according to MarketWatch. 

The UK’s green steel switch

Representatives of the UK’s steel industry warned over the weekend that it was a “whisker away from collapse”. But, according to the BBC, the UK government might be about to give the industry a lifeline with £600m worth of support for Chinese-owned British Steel and Tata Steel [TATASTEEL.NS]. The funding, which could be announced this week, is expected to be allocated to helping the two steel giants shift away from coal-fired blast furnaces to producing emissions-free “green steel”. 

Activist investor targets Salesforce 

Activist investor Elliott Management has increased its multibillion-dollar stake in SaaS favourite Salesforce [CRM]. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Elliott hasn’t outlined its intentions, but its track record suggests it’s not afraid to request big structural changes in order to unlock shareholder value. The firm tried to oust Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO in February 2020, although he later resigned in November 2021. 

London black cab brand to go electric 

Chinese EV maker Geely [0175.HK] wants to turn its black taxi maker, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), into an all-electric brand producing both passenger and commercial EVs. “We need to make big investments in terms of the technology and infrastructure... Geely will make consistent investments into LEVC because this is a very unique project,” LEVC CEO Alex Nan told Reuters. 

Goldman Sachs to reduce alternative investments 

The asset management arm of Goldman Sachs [GS] is planning to reduce the $59bn of alternative investments that dragged down its Q4 earnings reported last week. “I would expect to see a meaningful decline from the current levels … It’s not going to zero because we will continue to invest in and alongside funds, as opposed to individual deals on the balance sheet,” the Wall Street banking giant’s chief investment officer Julian Salisbury told Reuters. 

Netflix adds 7.7 million subscribers in Q4

After a tough 2022, the Netflix [NFLX] share price is on the rise following its Q4 earnings reported last week. The release of original content, including docuseries Harry & Meghan and the Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion, helped the streamer to add 7.7 million new subscribers between September and December. However, despite the stock having almost doubled since last May, last Friday Needham’s Laura Martin wrote in a note seen by Yahoo Finance that “it’s too early to buy”. 

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