Though Steven A. Cohen has been barred from trading other people's money for the better part of the last two years, nothing has prevented him from methodically engineering a complicatedmarketing and investing apparatus that will allow him, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2018, to launch back into his hedge fund role with the speed and grace of a Formula 1 car blasting out of the pit. Since much of his old SAC Capital has been placed in suspended animation as family office Point72, the new Steve needs only to press a few buttons to get the whole show back on the road again.
Well, that and hire a new head trader, because Phillipp Villhauer is not waiting around:
“For 15 years, Phil Villhauer has been an integral member of the firm’s family,” Mr. Cohen and Point72’s president wrote Tuesday in an internal email that was reviewed by The New York Times. “We are sad to let you know that he is retiring from Point72.”
Villhauer, you may remember, happens to be the trader who took the call from Cohen – after Cohen took the call from Matthew Martoma – to ditch SAC Capital's position in Elan, and to do so with “limited visibility.” He later inquired after the emotional wellbeing of the “big guy,” which was evidently useful knowledge for surviving the day-to-day under Cohen.
Now Villhauer's insights into the Big Guy's inner turmoils will be far more attenuated. It's not clear why Villhauer chose this particular moment to retire – and not like, say, anytime between 2013 and now – but look at it from his perspective. What, precisely, are the prospects for a $20 billion hedge fund launch overseen by a 61-year-old with a checkered regulatory history and a newfound interest in The Quants?
Retirement sounds nice, actually.