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.
Mr. Cohen’s firm is putting an end to its long-standing practice of “tagging” trades as best investment ideas that could generate bigger bonuses. The decision to end the tagging of trades immediately was announced on Thursday in a letter to employees of Mr. Cohen’s new firm, Point72 Asset Management. The process of tagging a trade as a best investment idea is one of the practices singled out by federal prosecutors in an indictment of Mr. Cohen’s former hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, which pleaded guilty to insider trading charges nearly a year ago. Federal authorities said the tagging of trades encouraged some traders and analysts at SAC to seek out unlawful inside information. Douglas D. Haynes, the president of Point72, said in the letter to employees that “ending tagging reduces the firm’s regulatory and reputational risks.” [...] The new firm also no longer holds impromptu Sunday morning meetings during which top portfolio managers share some of their best ideas with Mr. Cohen. The Sunday meetings were another hallmark of how SAC had operated.