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Tough-to-Impress Harvard Grad Molds Fortunes of China’s Rich -

Tough-to-Impress Harvard Grad Molds Fortunes of China’s Rich(Bloomberg) -- In a market where billions slosh around in search of the next big thing, Tony Zhang’s decade of wagering on Chinese startups has made him cautious.That’s how he approached his first meeting with Neo Wang, the 30-year-old who channeled his personal struggle with weight into Chinese fitness and workout sensation Keep. With 40 million monthly subscribers on his app and the backing of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wang had grown accustomed to fawning investors, but Zhang proved hard to impress.He grilled Wang for hours on Keep’s growth and on the units he’d cut in a downturn, drawing from consumer surveys he’d commissioned to poke holes in the pitch.“I’d just never met an investor like Tony before. He kept challenging me like he was running a stress test,” said Wang, who was struck by how thoroughly Zhang had prepared. “I felt both vexed and stimulated.”After eight months of back-and-forth, Zhang was finally on board. In May, his firm Jeneration Group put in $60 million, one of its biggest investments, big enough to help turn the fitness platform into a unicorn worth more than $1 billion. Zhang says he’s wagering Keep will eventually surpass Nasdaq-listed home fitness company Peloton Interactive Inc.’s $19 billion valuation.That could mean a handsome payout for the families and institutions whose money Jeneration oversees. The asset manager is the brainchild of Zhang, previously Asia head of technology fund Coatue Management LLC and Jason Tan and Jimmy Chang, veterans of Tiger Global Management and Silver Lake, respectively.The trio turned what began as a small family office into a unique force in the opaque world of managing Chinese wealth, combining startup investing with private banking for a clutch of families whose names they, like most of their competitors in this niche corner of finance, won’t disclose. Jeneration targets cash from billionaires, mostly in China and particularly in technology.It takes its name from the notion that it is bridging the first cohort of Chinese entrepreneurial successes and those of the next generation.“What we offer them is a front-row seat to getting in on the next generation of startups and an exclusive network,” Zhang, 39, said from Jeneration’s office overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor. “Chinese tech billionaires want better control of their money, not just bond and equity advice.”Zhang, Chang and Tan styled the firm after San Francisco-based Iconiq Capital LLC, which invests for Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley titans.In 2017, Jeneration pooled $1.6 billion from a dozen families. It’s since delivered annual returns of about 20%, according to one early investor, Zhao Dong, co-founder of Kuaidi, which was rolled into what’s today the world’s largest ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.Jeneration took in a further $622 million this February, adding institutional money from the Middle East, U.S., and Asia. It now manages more than $2.5 billion.Good NetworkerThe bookish and bespectacled Zhang, who taught himself English growing up in northern China and went on to earn a Harvard Business School degree, returned to his roots in 2009. Eschewing Wall Street, he joined U.S. venture fund DCM’s Beijing office at a time when China was entering a golden era of technology investing.Funds such as Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital and Silver Lake would pour billions into the likes of Didi, shopping app Pinduoduo Inc., and TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd., as the rise of the smartphone launched hundreds of thousands of apps and carried China’s billion-plus consumers into the internet age.Zhang immersed himself in Beijing’s thriving entrepreneur scene, centered around the Zhongguancun neighborhood, where young people drafted startup ideas on coffee shop napkins and pedestrian precincts were rebranded Innoway overnight. He helped DCM score wins with investments in Vipshop Holdings Ltd. and, which today have a combined market capitalization of $24 billion.“This guy was very impressive,” said DCM co-founder David Chao. “He was a good networker.”During these years, Zhang befriended Tan, who covered Asia for Boston-based private equity firm Summit Partners LP and would later move to Hong Kong for Tiger Global. Chang, meanwhile, became another familiar face: He was part of Morgan Stanley’s tech investment banking team in Hong Kong, and after a spell at Silver Lake ventured out on his own in 2015 to manage money for family and friends — creating Jeneration.One evening in 2017, the three friends met for dinner at the Park Hyatt Beijing’s sky-high China Grill, a few blocks from the Forbidden City. Over a five-course medley of Peking duck and Western food, they mapped out a plan to expand the family office Chang had founded two years earlier.Between them, they figured, they’d had a hand in creating at least 40 billionaires. Some, they reckoned, could become clients.“We saw how Europe and the U.S. have gone through many generations of wealth exchange,” said Tan, 42. “It’s China’s turn, and we wanted to do it more efficiently.”One of Jeneration’s first investments was Meituan Dianping, a food delivery firm that’s now China’s third-largest listed internet company. Jeneration held about 0.6% of Meituan at the time of its public debut in 2018. The stock traded below its issue price for a large part of the first year, but Jeneration held on, eventually locking in about $300 million in returns. Meituan declined to comment.Jeneration has bought stakes in about 20 private companies, including six startups in which it invested a portion of the funds raised this year. Its investments in tech companies outside China have included the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc. Among its biggest bets are grocery delivery startup MissFresh Inc. and Wang’s Keep.Its focus on equity growth investments is rare in Asia, where firms that advise wealthy families are part of a nascent industry. Most family offices sink about 5% to 10% of their portfolios into startups and private companies, said Chi Man Kwan, chief executive officer and founder of Hong Kong-based Raffles Family Office, which manages $1.8 billion.“Some tend to outsource such investment to external asset managers, or work with private equity or venture capital funds, which have the expertise,” he said.Jeneration has also moved in that direction, splitting off as Jeneration Heritage the family office that focuses on investing in public companies, mid-size private equity funds, and hedge funds in the Asian technology and real estate space. The unit is managed by Vincent Ho, an asset-management veteran who’s worked at Roc Partners and Macquarie Group Ltd.Venture investing is managed by the trio under Jeneration Capital. The families that started off with Jeneration in 2017 mostly have money in both units, the firm said without giving details on how the funds are split.Jeneration’s base in Hong Kong has so far put it in the flow of money moving into and out of China, but recently the city’s role as a financial hinge linking Asia’s largest economy to the world has been questioned. Beijing’s tightening grip on the hub has raised speculation about capital flight and tensions with the U.S. threaten to block the money trail that carries U.S. capital from endowment and pension funds to Chinese startups.Souring relations with the U.S. inevitably cloud the outlook for money managers, said Beijing-based Andy Mok, an independent adviser for startups. “While American fund managers find China’s growth and innovation prospects irresistible,” he said, “U.S. government antagonism toward China may hurt their prospects.”So far, these chill winds have yet to impact Jeneration’s world. In part, this is because of the relationships the partners forged over the years. “The founding team at Jeneration has been investing in China tech forever, and its track record has been stellar,” says Kuaidi’s Dong. “There is no tech founder or company they can’t get in touch with.”Jeneration is careful to take nothing for granted. Before the virus struck, the firm’s partners hosted about 20 of its investors and startup founders at a boutique resort nestled in the ancient tea plantations of Jingmai Mountain in Yunnan in southwest China.On long walks and over lavish tea ceremonies, startup advice was also served and new ideas debated. “It was secluded enough that they needed to stay on-site and engaged the whole time,” said Zhang, who presided over the two-day getaway.The pressure to keep picking winners is relentless. That’s why he was so hard on Keep founder Wang when they met, Zhang said.“I challenged him because for a young CEO, I am always concerned about their maturity,” he said. “The golden era for tech investment, when low-hanging fruit was abundant, is over, so investors need to hunt extra hard.”As for Wang, if Keep succeeds long term and makes him rich, he may turn to Zhang someday. “You have to park your money somewhere,” he said. “You might as well give it to someone you know and trust.”(Updates with Jeneration investment in Grab in 22nd paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:43:01 -0400

Retirement savers cash in after shrugging off stock market woes in the spring -

Retirement savers cash in after shrugging off stock market woes in the springThe coronavirus-fueled stock market sell-off in March didn't prevent workers from piling money into their nest eggs, according to a new study from Fidelity Investments.

Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:01:07 -0400

Apple boss Tim Cook joins the billionaires club -

Apple boss Tim Cook joins the billionaires clubThe company's share price has soared, helping to boost the personal wealth of its chief executive.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:20:19 -0400

Occidental posts $8 billion loss, outlines oil production cuts -

Occidental posts $8 billion loss, outlines oil production cutsOccidental, which borrowed heavily to finance last year's $38 billion purchase of rival Anadarko Petroleum, cut the value of its oil and gas properties by $6.6 billion, joining BP, Chevron and Total in massive write-downs as the industry now expects energy prices to stay low for years. Its oil and gas production will fall 13% this quarter over last, and another 5% in the fourth quarter, to 1.16 million barrels of oil and gas per day, the company said. In the Permian, where it became the largest operator through the Anadarko purchase, shale output will drop 37% this year, it said.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 22:54:27 -0400

Inovio to begin mid-to-late stage study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate in September - Mon, 10 Aug 2020 22:52:38 -0400
Gold Price Forecast – September Correction Targets -

Gold Price Forecast – September Correction TargetsThe near-term trends in precious metals reached extremes – a temporary top is becoming likely. A daily close below $2000 in gold would confirm a spike-high top and beginning of a 1 to 2-month correction.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 20:37:27 -0400

Vaxart’s (VXRT) Stock Will Surge 130% From Current Levels, Says Analyst -

Vaxart’s (VXRT) Stock Will Surge 130% From Current Levels, Says AnalystVaccine specialist Vaxart (VXRT) reported 2Q20 earnings last week, but since its vaccine candidates are all in development, the results themselves were of little importance. More pertinent for investors were updates on the pipeline’s progress. Specifically, Vaxart’s COVID-19 oral vaccine candidate.As the only oral vaccine to be selected for inclusion in the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, Vaxart’s offering has shown promise in pre-clinical trials, with a Phase 1 study expected to begin sometime in 2H20.While Vaxart’s incredible rise this year (shares are up by over 2,500%) has been solely COVID-driven, the company has other vaccines in development. These include its H1N1 influenza oral tablet vaccine, which recently progressed through a BARDA-funded Phase 2 challenge study evaluating its efficacy against Sanofi's Fluzone. This study yielded positive results.Additionally, Vaxart has established a working relationship with vaccine leader Janssen, who will make use of Vaxart’s proprietaryVAAST platform and its R&D skills to develop immunogenic oral vaccines.With several other manufacturing and scale up collaborations in place (Emergent BioSolutions, Kindred Bio, and Attwil Medical Solutions) and a cash position of $140 million, B.Riley FBR analyst Mayank Mamtani argues Vaxart is set to capitalize on its newly elevated position. In addition to keeping an eye on the COVID-19 vaccine candidate’s progress, the 5-star analyst looks ahead to results from the Janssen collaboration and tells investors to take advantage of the recent market fluctuations.Mamtani said, “We expect these data to provide incremental validation for the proprietary VAAST platform and VXRT's R&D capability to produce immunogenic oral vaccines, targeted specifically to the lung mucosa. The recent pullback in shares, ~45%-plus off its 52-week high, despite an impressive stock move year-to-date, i.e., 2500%, is unwarranted, in our view, given our core thesis of VXRT being well positioned to emerge as one of the key players in the second wave of vaccines.”Mamtani, therefore, reiterated a Buy rating and has a $22 price target on the shares. What does this mean for investors? Upside potential of a whopping 130%. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)Only one other analyst has been tracking Vaxart’s progress over the past three months. The additional Buy rating bestows on Vaxart a Moderate Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $14.50, there’s room for a 54% uptick in the coming months. (See Vaxart stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 19:03:29 -0400

How Does Moderna Stack Up in the COVID-19 Vaccine Pricing Wars? Analyst Weighs In -

How Does Moderna Stack Up in the COVID-19 Vaccine Pricing Wars? Analyst Weighs InThe narrative surrounding COVID-19-focused pharma companies is developing a new tone. While none of the players involved in the race to bring a vaccine to market have reached the final regulatory hurdles just yet, progress is being made with several Phase 3 trials already taking place.The talk is now centered around the issue of pricing – how much each company plans to sell its vaccine for.On the clinical trial front, mRNA vaccine maker Moderna (MRNA) is among the pack’s leaders. A Phase 3 clinical trial for mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, kicked off last week and data should be published before the year is over, or best-case scenario, by as early as October.Moderna has several small volume agreements in place to supply $400 million-worth of the potential vaccine, which price the vaccine in the $32-$37 range. Per a recent presentation, Moderna implied it values the vaccination at roughly $300 per course. So, this pricing is far lower than what Moderna would like to sell mRNA-1273 for.However, given the current climate and the public’s desperate need for a vaccine taken into account, Chardan analyst Geulah Livshits believes the pricing plan “would place Moderna towards the top end among other recently-announced government agreements.”For 100 million doses, BNTX/Pfizer’s candidate is priced at $1.95 billion, Johnson & Johnson’s at $1 billion, Sanofi/GSK’s at $2.1 billion, and Novavax’s at $1.6 billion. AstraZeneca’s candidate is priced at $1.2 billion for 300 million doses. So, at the bottom end of Moderna’s pricing plan, mRNA-1273 would cost $3.2 billion per 100 million doses.For Livshits, the implications of such a premium are clear.“We believe it might be challenging for Moderna to negotiate higher pricing relative to other players given what have thus far been (to us) overall similar clinical and preclinical profiles, and therefore see a high likelihood of pricing large-volume contracts in the mid-high teens per dose range," the 5-star analyst said.All in all, Livshits keeps her Buy rating on MRNA as is, while the price target stays put too. At $95, the upside potential is 32%. (To watch Livshits’ track record, click here)Among Livshits’ colleagues, Moderna remains a popular pick. MRNA's Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 12 Buys and 3 Holds. The average price target is only a touch below the Chardan analyst’s, and at $93.67, could provide gains in the shape of 30% in the year ahead. (See Moderna stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:46:43 -0400

Canopy Growth shares spike 8% and wins a price target boost at Cowen as cannabis beverages impress -

Canopy Growth shares spike 8% and wins a price target boost at Cowen as cannabis beverages impressCanopy Growth shares jumped nearly 8% after its latest results showed a narrower than expected loss and a hot start for its cannabis beverages.

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:13:48 -0400

Cummins Gets Long-Term Engine Supply Deal With Navistar -

Cummins Gets Long-Term Engine Supply Deal With NavistarDiesel engine leader Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) will supply medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus engines to Navistar International Corp (NYSE: NAV) through the next two emission cycles, or 2026."This new long-term agreement with Cummins, in combination with our proprietary powertrains, will offer International customers the most competitive and fuel-efficient engines in the market," said Phil Christman, president of operations for Navistar. Navistar also will spend less to meet future emissions regulations, he said,80-Year Partnership Continues Cummins has supplied engines and transmissions to Navistar for more than 80 years. Its selection makes Cummins Navistar's preferred supplier for International Trucks and IC Buses in the U.S. and Canada. That includes B6.7 and L9 engines for International MV and HV Series trucks. Those engines also are used in Navistar's IC Bus CE and RE Series school busses. "Navistar is a critical partner to Cummins," said Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of Cummins' Engine Business unit."We believe the International LT Series trucks paired with the Cummins X15 Efficiency Series and Eaton Cummins Endurant HD transmission provides the best fuel economy, improved uptime and overall [total cost of ownership] or our mutual long-haul customers,"Federal emissions for diesel-powered engines become more stringent in 2024 and in 2027. Cummins recently launched the federally compliant 2021 greenhouse gas X15 Efficiency Series. It claims the 15-liter engine is the most reliable and highly fuel-efficient available."Extending this relationship through a long-term partnership ensures that both companies will be able to collaborate and meet the challenges of the next emissions cycles and beyond."Cummins Supplies Most Truck Makers In North America Cummins also supplies Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ: PCAR) with engines for its Kenworth and Peterbilt brands. It also was selected to supply B 6.7-liter engines to a new medium-duty entry for Mack Trucks.Cummins supplied 34.7% of the diesel engines used in the trucking industry in the first half of 2020, according to began shipping its X12 engine to DTNA's Freighliner for use in the Cascadia day cab and sleeper models in the second quarter. Freightliner accounted for 53% of Cummins' lighter Class 8 engines, according to articles: Cummins' melting fuel heater leads to big Navistar recallNavistar rebuilds share as products and services grow customer baseCummins dives into hydrogen business as traditonal engine business stallsClick for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.See more from Benzinga * Daily Infographic: Who Is Responsible For Freight Damage? * Trucking Companies Caught In Trump's Payroll Tax Deferment Order * Cathay Pacific Strips Seats From 777 Aircraft For Cargo(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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