Over the last several years, as nearly a dozen former SAC Capital employees have been convicted of securities violations, the firm has taken many steps to redefine its image, from one of a bastion of insider trading to one where such actions are not only frowned upon but strictly prohibited. Such steps include but are not limited to: paying over $1 billion in fines; changing its name; and turning itself into a family office. Last month, Point72 Asset Management, AKA the hedge fund formerly known as SAC, even went so far as to announce that it would be monetarily compensating employees for “setting a proper tone and example on compliance and doing the right thing.” You’d think that all of these things– including the fact that a whole bunch of ex-SAC employees are doing time– would go far to deter people currently working at the hedge fund from engaging in insider trading. And yet, someone in Stamford apparently thought it was necessary still to take away one final temptation from them. Read more »
Point72 Asset Management
A few months ago, Steve Cohen brought Doug Haynes in to run his world-class family office, replacing the long-suffering Tom Conheeney. And even though he had just taken over a **wink, wink** family office, Doug just couldn’t help himself: He wants to be president of the best goddamned asset management entity on God’s green earth, he allowed.
Well, even when you’re perhaps the biggest family office on that earth in terms of employees, all of whom can invest san blood-or-marital relations to Clan Cohen, it’s hard to be the premier asset manager in the world when you’re managing money for so few people, only one of whom really has got a lot of scratch. So someone, perhaps, had an idea: Let’s create some new, extremely well-heeled “employees” who can drop by for coffee a couple of times a year and maybe throw nine or 10 figures our way. You know, just to grease the machine until we can get out from under this trading-for-other-people interdict. We’ll call it an advisory board. Read more »
Point72 Asset Management, AKA the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, whose largest client by far is a guy who answers to the name Steve Cohen, has turned in some pretty decent performance so far this year, despite a series of events that have led it to do stuff like, among other things, monetarily compensate employees for staying on the right side of the law. Read more »
Steve Cohen Introduces Incentive Bonus For Employees Who Refrain From Insider Trading (No, Really, This Is Actually Happening)By Bess Levin
Time was, the unofficial policy at (the hedge fund formerly known as) SAC Capital was that one could earn a pretty penny come bonus season if one made the firm a ton of money, and if that money happened to be made through material non-public information well…whatyougonnado? At SAC Capital 2.0 AKA Point72 Asset Management, however, insider trading is not only frowned upon, it’s both officially and unofficially a bad idea and one that could cost you big time on payday (though one would obviously be fired before that, unless payday is the day they get caught).
But just because the company handbook has been rewritten, or Steve Cohen has held a town hall where the words “If we catch you insider trading, I’ll stick my hand down your throat and rip out your spleen” have exited his mouth, or the hedge fund’s propriety trading software has been rewired so that a cartoon Cohen pops up on the screen and says “Remember, I can make it look like an accident” before any trades are placed, doesn’t mean that people can change their ways in a day. Old habits die hard, particularly at a place where those old habits could score you 8 figures a year.
Which is presumably why* someone at Point72 came up with this: Read more »
Point72 Asset Management Adds Another Layer Of “Accountability” Between Steve Cohen And Would-Be Insider TradersBy Bess Levin
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]
F.B.I. Agents Took Inspiration From I Know What You Did Last Summer In SAC Capital Insider Trading CaseBy Bess Levin
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 »