Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A New Name for SAC Capital: Point72

The SAC Capital Advisors headquarters at 72 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, Conn.Marilynn K. Yee/The New York TimesThe SAC Capital Advisors headquarters at 72 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, Conn.
The new name for the billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen’s family office is a signal that he is not about to move anytime soon from the headquarters of his hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors in Stamford, Conn.
In settling upon Point72 Asset Management as the name for the firm’s flagship operation, Mr. Cohen appeared to find inspiration in the address for SAC’s roughly 98,900 square-foot office at 72 Cummings Point Road. The new name, which the firm announced on Tuesday in a letter to employees, should end speculation that Mr. Cohen might seek to relocate to a less spacious building, if his new firm got much smaller than its current 850 employee work force.
“It reminds us of a sense of continuity: our headquarters has been at 72 Cummings Point Road for more than a decade, and we anticipate it will be our home for many years to come,” Tom Conheeney, SAC’s president, said in the letter. “Perhaps more important, the name emphasizes we point to a successful future.”

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There has been a good deal of talk on Wall Street and among hedge fund managers about what Mr. Cohen would call the firm that will manage mostly his own money in the aftermath of SAC’sguilty plea in November to securities fraud charges and its agreement to pay a $1.2 billion penalty.
Some thought Mr. Cohen, 57, might opt to name the firm after some variation of Crown Lane, the name of the exclusive street in Greenwich, Conn., the location of his 35,000-square-foot home.
The new name will become official on April 7, just three days before Judge Laura Taylor Swain of Federal District Court in Lower Manhattan is scheduled to either approve or reject SAC’s guilty plea. Mr. Cohen is hoping the selection of the new name and Judge Swain’s acceptance of the firm’s plea will bring to a close an investigation into allegations of insider trading that has dogged SAC for nearly 10 years.
Last summer, federal prosecutors labeled SAC a breeding ground for illegal traders when it indicted the firm. Eight employees of SAC have either pleaded guilty to insider trading or been convicted at trial.
The most recent verdict came on Feb. 6, when a federal jury in New York convicted Mathew Martoma, a former SAC portfolio manager, of participating in the most lucrative insider trading scheme on record. The evidence during trial put an uncomfortable spotlight on Mr. Cohen, after a crucial government witness testified that an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigationtold him that the primary target of the investigation was Mr. Cohen.
Federal prosecutors have not charged Mr. Cohen with any wrongdoing. But the Securities and Exchange Commission has a pending administrative action against him, accusing him of turning a blind eye to misconduct at his fund. Federal authorities continue to investigate SAC, but a person briefed on the matter said the inquiry was winding down and it was unlikely there would be a criminal prosecution of Mr. Cohen.
Mr. Cohen indicated late last year that as the firm converted to a family office, an investment firm that is less regulated than a hedge fund but does not manage money for outside investors, he would seek a new name for the firm he founded in 1992 with $25 million. Last month, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Conheeney outlined a plan to streamline SAC’s operation and reduce the number of distinct portfolios it operates to manage mainly $9 billion of Mr. Cohen’s money.
Mr. Conheeney said in the letter that besides the flagship, the new firm would also operate a stock trading portfolio in New York under the name EverPoint Asset Management. In Asia, the firm will use both the Point72 and EverPoint names. Traders and analysts currently working for SAC in the United States at the firm’s Sigma and CR Intrinsic divisions will be reassigned to either Point72 or EverPoint.
The firm’s quantitative strategies trading portfolio will be called Cubist Systematic Strategies, a reference, the letter said, to Cubist art. Mr. Cohen is a well-known art collector, who owns a Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog” that sits on the lawn of his Connecticut mansion.
Mr. Cohen has also said he wants to hire a former federal prosecutor or securities regulator to monitor trading at his investment firm in response to the insider trading investigation.
It appears that Mr. Cohen settled upon the new name for his firm at least a month ago. Corporate filings in New York reveal the three new firms were registered on Feb. 4. But Mr. Cohen held off on disclosing the new names when he announced his plans for streamlining SAC’s operation on Feb. 25.
Mr. Conheeney, without directly mentioning the trading scandal, ended the letter on an optimistic note and said better days were ahead for the firm, which last year at its peak managed $14 billion.
“We have been through a great deal during the past few years,” he said. “Our new names, combined with the other changes we have announced, are intended to help us to move forward.”

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