Point72’s Haynes Resigns as Cohen Seeks a New Type of Leader

March 17th, 20188:39 am @

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Doug Haynes, president at Steve Cohen’s hedge fund, has stepped down from his post after guiding the firm for four years in the wake of an insider trading scandal.

The resignation from Point72 Asset Management comes as Cohen stages a comeback as a hedge fund manager after a two-year ban, raising $3 billion in capital from outside investors, Cohen said in a memo to employees Friday seen by Bloomberg. Cohen said that the transition from a family office “is a natural point to make way for a new, different type of leader.”

Cohen will serve as president and chief executive officer during the search for Haynes’s replacement. A representative for the firm declined to comment.

Haynes, a former McKinsey Co. director, was hired in 2014 and led efforts to revamp Cohen’s business after it pleaded guilty to securities fraud and paid a record fine. As president of the firm, Haynes — who sports cuff links with the Point72 logo — said Cohen hired him to “reset” the business, according to a 2016 interview he gave to recruiting website OneWire. 

Building Compliance

To help repair the firm and prepare it to accept client money again, Haynes hired a 50-person compliance team that sits in the center of the trading floor with Cohen. They monitor emails and phone conversations and have veto power over hires, Bloomberg has reported.

Some former employees have complained that as Cohen prepared to take client money, Point72 grew top-heavy with executives, many of them consultants like Haynes. He and the other executives imposed rules on traders that restricted their ability to make money by requiring them to be more hedged or not allowing them leeway in the way they managed their portfolios. 

Several executives left the firm as its prepared to take on outside capital. Since the middle of last year, the departures have included Chris Corrado, chief technology officer, Phil Villhauer, head of global trading, Michael Zea, chief of strategy, Seetharam Gorre, chief information officer, Marc Greenberg, director of research and portfolio manager Qaisar Hasan.

Discrimination Lawsuit

The resignation also comes about a month after an employee filed a lawsuit against the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm, Cohen and Haynes. The suit alleges discrimination against women and a culture of sexism. 

Lauren Bonner, an associate director at the hedge fund, accused Haynes of using an inappropriate term on a white board in his office and leaving it there for weeks, among other things, according to the complaint filed in federal court in New York in February. Point72 denied the claims, and asked a judge to seal her complaint and force the claims to be heard in arbitration.

Cohen’s email to staff didn’t reference the lawsuit.

In January, a ban lifted that had prevented Cohen from trading client money. It was applied after his old hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, agreed in 2013 to pay a $1.8 billion fine to U.S. authorities. Cohen returned client money as part of that settlement and the firm’s name was changed to Point72.

Since settling the charges, the firm embarked on a company-wide effort to overhaul compliance and recruit young talent. Haynes pioneered a program called Point72 Academy to recruit heavily from universities to rebuild a bench of investment talent. Haynes has said that Point72 adheres at all times to professionalism and the “highest ethical standards.”

Marketers speculated last year that Cohen’s next act as a hedge fund could raise $10 billion for the relaunch. Cohen said in Friday’s memo that the $3 billion brought in exceeds the firm’s target, calling it “the most successful external long/short equity fund raise since 2011.”

He also mentioned that the fundraising wasn’t finished, saying that Perry Boyle — who’d been tapped as investment chief for the new hedge fund — would continue in an investor relations role “as we complete the raise.” The memo also said that Boyle, who’d previously run equities for Point72, would resume his position overseeing stocks for the firm.

    Article source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-17/point72-s-doug-haynes-resigns-as-president-at-hedge-fund-firm