Data Trends for Investment Professionals

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Searching for an Edge with Alternative Data

When Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy Actelion for $30 billion on January 26, 2017, its stock soared almost 20 percent. The deal was the largest in J&J’s 130-year history. This was good news for Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (who had built a stake worth about $766 million), Eton Park Capital Management (whose bet was almost $500 million) and Elliott Management Corp. ($200 million). The three funds, however, did not make their bets blind; they had backed up their belief by good old-fashioned sleuthing. They tracked J&J’s private jet movements with alternative data. According to Bloomberg, “as a Johnson...

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