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Indian-American accused of insider trading found dead in apparent suicide

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Sanjay Valvani

Sanjay Valvani

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Sanjay Valvani, a partner at Visium Asset Management who last week was charged with insider trading, was found dead at the age of 44 inside of his Brooklyn home in an apparent suicide.

New York City police were called to his home on Monday evening, where they found a knife near his body and a suicide note. Valvani died after an apparent, self-inflicted slash to the neck, a spokeswoman said.

“We mourn the tragic loss of Sanjay, a devoted father, husband and friend,” Jacob Gottlieb, Visium’s founder, said in a statement Tuesday.

After Valvani’s arrest last week, Visium liquidated four of its hedge funds. Vilvani, considered to be Gottlieb’s right-hand, brought in more than $32 million from trades in drug companies using secret tips, according to federal prosecutors. His lawyer, Barry Berke, maintained his client’s innocence against the charges.

At Visium, Valvani was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of specialty-pharmaceutical stocks. His consistent outperformance of other hedge funds led competitors to question Visium employees about the confidence Valvani had in specific trades he made, according to a former colleague. Valvani managed as much as $2 billion, including borrowed money, before he was placed on leave in April.

A child of Indian immigrants, Valvani had been a presence at Visium since its inception in 2005. He began his career as a sell-side associate at Solomon Smith Barney and partnered with Gottlieb as an analyst at Balyasny Asset Management in 2003. Just two years later, Gottlieb spun out his health-care strategy, bringing along a team of 20 investment professionals including Valvani, to start Visium.

“I really had to convince Jacob Gottlieb that I was hungry to join his hedge fund,” Valvani said in a profile by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he got an MBA. “I work hard and try to be the best at what I do, which is why a hedge fund is so suitable for me — here I have a lot of control over my own destiny.”

At its peak earlier this year, Visium managed a portfolio of $8 billion. Last week, the company told clients that it had come to terms of an agreement to sell a multi-sector hedge fund to AllianceBernstein LP, and plans to close its other funds.

Valvani is survived by his wife, Harjot Sandhu, a former first-grade teacher and his children.

Visium becomes the largest hedge fund in the industry to have employees linked to criminal activities since the government began investigating billionaire Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors. That firm pleaded guilty to federal insider-trading charges in 2013, agreeing to pay $1.8 billion and was forced to shut its doors.

Stefan Lumiere, a former money manager at Visium, was also charged in the case. He’s been accused of mismanaging securities at Visium, and a third former Visium employee, Chris Plaford, pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges.

Since he passed away before his case was resolved, the court was forced to drop the charges against Valvani, meaning he died an innocent man.

“This is a horrible tragedy that is difficult to comprehend,” Berke, Valvani’s lawyer, said. “Sanjay Valvani was a loving father, husband, son and brother and committed friend, colleague and mentor. We hope for the sake of his family and his memory that it will not be forgotten that the charges against him were only unproven accusations and he had always maintained his innocence.”

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Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

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Roma Khanna

Sean Combs Announces Roma Khanna CEO of Revolt TV

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Sean Combs has announced Roma Khanna the CEO of Revolt TV.

“As Revolt continues to grow as a brand and expand globally, I knew we needed a seasoned executive with a proven track record to keep the momentum going and help me lead the network into the future,” said Combs. “Roma is that person. She has the experience and tenacity to build on Revolt’s success and as we continue to influence content and culture around the world.”

“After decades of building large-scale businesses in TV and media, I am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside visionary Sean Combs to get hands-on and redefine content models with a view to building a modern, relevant, global cultural brand,” said Khanna. “Revolt is ready to create and curate content and super-serve its audience on its own TV platform and beyond, living and breathing with its audience wherever they might be.”

Revolt says the company’s mission is to build on its platform to offer long- and short-form content revolving around hip-hop music and culture. According to Revolt’s website, “REVOLT is focused on expertly curating the best of the best in music and engaging youth in social conversation – on-air, on-line, on-demand. The multi-genre, multi-platform network offers breaking music news, videos, artist interviews, exclusive performances, and original programming.”

Revolt claims to have over 50 million young adult consumers through television, digital properties, social and mobile. REVOLT is accessible 24/7 – anytime, anywhere, any screen.

Khanna left MGM, where she served as president, in late 2015. She helped launch FX’s “Fargo” and History’s “Vikings.” She spent three years as president of global networks for NBC Universal’s international networks wing. She also oversaw the development of Hulu hit “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Revolt had been without a CEO for a year, since Keith Clinkscales left the company last August. Revolt launched as a linear channel in the U.S. in October 2013 and has since expanded to Africa and the Caribbean.

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Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

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Vas Narasimhan

Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Switzerland-based biotech giant Novartis says Indian American physician Vas Narasimhan will take reins as CEO on Feb. 1.

The 41-year-old Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005. He currently serves as the company’s Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. He is also a member of Novartis’ Executive Committee.

“Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas,” said current Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the U.S. I’m confident that Vas will be an excellent successor.”

Joerg Reinhardt, chairman of the Novartis board of directors, said the company anticipates “a smooth transition, as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor.”

Narasimhan graduated from Harvard Medical School. He also has a master’s in public policy from the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He earned undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago.

Prior to joining Novartis, he worked at McKinsey & Company, first as a consultant and then as an engagement manager.

An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Narasimhan has held a number of positions at Novartis.

Reinhardt expressed confidence in Narasimhan’s ability to lead the company to “expected next growth phase … The strength of Novartis is our ability to drive science-based innovation. Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between Research and Development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements. As a physician, he has a strong patient focus and a genuine humane perspective and care for the mission and values of Novartis. As a result, the Board of Directors is confident that Vas is the right choice to lead Novartis on our expected next growth phase, driving innovation and further strengthening our competitive position.”

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Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya to raise $500M for a large fund

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Charmath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Palihapitiya is listed as CEO of “blank check company,” Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings. The company plans to raise $500 million in its IPO and subsequently acquire emerging private businesses that have little incentive to go public.

“Our mission is to create an alternative path to a traditional IPO for disruptive and agile technology companies to achieve their long-term objectives and overcome key deterrents to becoming public,” the filing said.

Palihapitiya has often condemned the traditional venture model and expressed his admiration for billionaire Warren Buffett, who erected Berkshire Hathaway into one of the World’s largest publicly-traded holding companies over a half century.

Social Capital is going to be more like a “bastard stepchild of Berkshire Hathaway and Blackstone and BlackRock” than a traditional venture firm, Palihapitiya said at an event in 2015.

One of Palihapitiya’s goals in the venture is bringing together “technologists, entrepreneurs, and technology-oriented investors,” the filing said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Palihapitiya’s team is planning to meet with investors soon, then initiating the IPO shortly thereafter on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hedosophia has offices in Hong Kong and London. Ian Osborne, CEO of Hedosophia, will be president of the new holding company. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates and former Twitter executive Adam Bain are among the Board members.

Palihapitiya spoke to Diya TV moments after the Warriors championship win in 2017

 

 

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