This Is Not Going Precisely As Steve Cohen Planned

He may have to do this new hedge fund thing by himself and for free, just to prove that he can.

The "Hug-a-Steve" giveaway isn't attracting as many checks as expected.

In spite of the clear evidence that Steve Cohen has been planning his triumphant return to managing outside capital since the day he accepted a two-year ban on it, reports are that the Big Guy had some serious doubts about his second act as a hedge fund manager. And the weeks and months in advance of the big day—now apparently sometime next month—are doing very little to banish them. The dream of $10 billion in other people’s money to go alongside his own on opening day has been dashed, along with the fantasies of cheering investors parading down Cummings Point Road and throwing bricks of cash onto Point72’s front lawn. What little money he is getting won’t be welcome at his big new London office. And that paltry three-year lockup he reluctantly agreed to? Yea, that’s out now, too.

Point72 no longer plans to lock up investor capital for as long as three years. Those proposed terms had made some investors wary.

I mean, what’s next? Cutting the already ridiculously discounted rates in favor of a more Bill Ackman fee structure? Steve Cohen may be willing to bear these burdens and humiliations, and he’s even—after some difficulty—found some others who will, too. These do not include his top lieutenants, however: They apparently see what’s coming, and don’t like it.

One of Point72 Asset Management’s senior staff -- Jeff Miller, co-head of U.S. trading -- has left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not be identified. Miller had spent more than a decade working for Cohen. He follows global head of trading Phil Villhauer, who, as Bloomberg News reported in October, was leaving after 15 years.

Cohen Loses Another Top Trader Before Hedge Fund Launches [Bloomberg]