Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

  • 06 Oct 2014 at 5:31 PM

Here’s A Thing Bill Gross Said

“I’m in it to whip the pants off anybody competing on the same football field.” [InvestmentNews]

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen is reorganizing the equities business of his Point72 Asset Management investment firm into seven units to improve accountability. The seven units, organized along industry and geography lines, will each be run by a sector executive, according to a memo sent to employees today from Point72 President Douglas Haynes. The executives will supervise all money managers within their unit and be assisted by a sector executive officer overseeing the group’s analysts, the memo said. Each unit will have officers overseeing compliance, risk and research. The changes are effective immediately. [Bloomberg]

Over at the New Yorker today, you will find a long piece exploring the coming undone of the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, now Point72 Asset Management, at the hands of a trader formerly known as Ajai Thomas, now Mathew Martoma. Although nearly a dozen ex-SAC employees have been charged with and convicted of securities fraud over the last several years, it was really the work of work of Martoma, accused in November 2012 of orchestrating “the largest insider trading scheme ever” and found guilty last spring, that was the straw that broke the embalmed shark’s back. Particular details to note:

* While SAC has a history as an extremely cutthroat place to work, where the “down and out” clause means traders are cut loose swiftly and without hesitation, and insults from on high are in no short supply, it was no match for the household of Martoma’s youth, headed by a guy who could teach Steve Cohen a thing or two.

When Martoma’s father first came to America, he was admitted to M.I.T., but he could not afford to attend. He retained a fascination with Cambridge, however, and prayed daily that his oldest son would go to Harvard. Martoma graduated from high school as co-valedictorian, but he ended up going to Duke. Shortly after Mathew’s eighteenth birthday, Bobby presented him with a plaque inscribed with the words “Son Who Shattered His Father’s Dream.”

* Steve Cohen has continued his long and storied tradition of displaying once-living things in boxes at the 72 Cummings Point Road headquarters.

S.A.C. was a notoriously intense place to work. Its headquarters, on a spit of land in Stamford, Connecticut, overlooking the Long Island Sound, are decorated with art from Cohen’s personal collection, including “Self,” a refrigerated glass cube, by Marc Quinn, containing a disembodied head sculpted from the artist’s frozen blood.

* That anecdote that circulating a while back about how Martoma had fainted on his front lawn when approached by the Feds? It wasn’t the mere sight of them, or some sort of line about how they knew he’d been trading on material non-public information that caused him to collapse, but rather this: Read more »

Back in July, Chicago, Wall Street, and the universe, really, were rocked by the prospect of Citadel founder Ken Griffin losing his title as World’s Richest Illinoisan, following the news that he and his wife were getting divorced. For those who haven’t been following the story, a quick refresh:

* July 23, 2014: Ken’s lawyers serve Anne with divorce papers.
* July 23, 2014, later that day: Anne’s lawyer says in a statement that Ken “unilaterally filed a divorce petition…with no notice to either me or my client, knowing full well that she had just left for summer vacation with their three young children and would therefore be unable to respond.”
* July 24, 2014: Ken’s lawyers preemptively put it out there that the couple’s prenup is: “…valid, binding and enforceable…”
* September 2, 2014: Anne Dias Griffin says fuck you and fuck your prenup; says through a lawyer she wants it voided; claims that Ken sprung the prenup on her three days before their wedding, then got her to sign it by suggesting the two see a therapist while failing to mention he was already a patient of said therapist.
* September 3, 2014: Re: allegations by Anne that he’s an absentee father, Ken brings out the big guns: “A source close to Mr. Griffin called the father of three a devoted dad who’s been known to dress as Spider-Man for a school Halloween party and as a prince for a daughter’s birthday party that had a princess theme.”

Which brings us to today. From Ken’s camp, there’s the news that Anne’s already received a sizable chunk of change over the course of their marriage. From Anne’s, it’s that Ken’s changed the locks on their many vacations homes and maybe threatened to take a wrecking ball to their Chicago penthouse? Read more »

  • 03 Oct 2014 at 12:07 PM

So That’s Something


[@cgasparino, earlier re: Bill Gross and conga lines]

  • 02 Oct 2014 at 5:29 PM

Pimco Sees Light At End Of Bill Gross-Shaped Tunnel

The firm, which manages $2 trillion in assets, said on Thursday that its Pimco Enhanced Short Maturity exchange-traded fund had taken in $71 million in new investor money since the firm’s co-founder, Bill Gross, resigned abruptly last week. The fund, traded under the ticker symbol “MINT,” is managed by Jerome Schneider and has $3.7 billion in assets under management, according to the firm. Pimco trumpeted the intake of new investor money into the fund a day after it reported that investors had pulled a record $23.5 billion from its flagship Pimco Total Return Fund in September, with much of that coming on the day Mr. Gross announced he had left Pimco to take a job as a portfolio manager with Janus Capital. [Dealbook]

Josh Gordon is an Fordham business school grad and entrepreneur with a product he’s about to bring to the marketplace. His father is an former Morgan Stanley employee and “conservative guy,” who was probably hoping his son would follow his footsteps onto Wall Street. Maybe the fact that Josh didn’t even affected their relationship. Maybe there was tension at Thanksgiving. Awkward silences that were reminiscent of the feeling in the air after, as a kid, Josh would turn down invitations from his old man to have a catch or go fishing. No matter: father and son have clearly connected now, in their bid to offer people a classier option than whatever they’ve been using to this point to stash their joints and various other vehicles for weed. Read more »

Barclays has banned employees from giving or receiving gifts and entertainment from brokers as the British bank tightens internal controls. The “prohibitions apply regardless of the monetary value or nature of the relevant gift or entertainment,” according to a July letter, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Barclays. The ban applies to relations with so-called executing brokers, who process orders for the bank. Any exceptions require prior approval, according to the letter. Brokers will have to report every six months that they haven’t given or received any presents from Barclays staff. If they have, the item and reason must be explained. [Bloomberg]