Family Office

Hedge Fund Tycoon's Family Office Aims To Expand In London - Report

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 19 January 2016

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The business managing the family money of hedge fund figure Steven Cohen intends to expand staff and operations in London to exploit European opportunities.

Point72 Asset Management, the family office of hedge fund tycoon Steven Cohen that was created out of his hedge fund business, is expanding and seeks more than 40 traders and analysts for its London office, according a news report.

The firm, with assets of more than $11 billion, will staff the office with 50 to 70 people “about 80 percent investment professionals, the rest support staff,” the company’s President Doug Haynes was quoted as saying today by Bloomberg. The comment comes shortly after Point72 confirmed to WealthBriefing that it had hired a chief executive for Asia in a new role to go after business in that region. The CEO is Marc Desmidt, who joins from fund management titan BlackRock. At that firm, Desmidt held the role of head of strategic product management in Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

As far as the European market is concerned, Haynes was quoted as saying there is considerable opportunity for Point72. Cohen’s old firm, SAC Capital Advisors, no longer takes in external client money as part of a deal with US regulators concerning shortcomings at SAC. That old firm is now running down legacy client business, while the money of Cohen’s family is held in Point72.

The development would represent a step forward for Cohen, one of the most prominent hedge fund operators of recent years. About three years after facing a potential lifetime ban on managing money for clients, Cohen received regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission in January this year to return to managing money for external clients as early as 2018. The agreement with the SEC settled allegations that Cohen failed to supervise a convicted insider-trader at SAC Capital Advisors. The SEC said that in addition to banning Cohen from managing external client money until early 2018, his “family office firms will be subject to SEC examinations and the firms must retain an independent consultant to conduct periodic reviews of their activities to ensure compliance with securities laws”.

“Before Cohen can handle outside money again, an independent consultant will ensure there are legally sufficient policies, procedures, and supervision mechanisms in place to detect and deter any insider trading,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said. 

Expansion
Regarding the latest expansion ambitions, Point72’s Haynes was quoted as saying that the firm, which currently employs “six or seven” people in London may “not necessarily” become a hedge fund.  “There is no guarantee we will be re-admitted by the SEC in 2018," he said.

Point72 is one of a number of family offices created by hedge fund bosses, such as George Soros, who have shut the door to non-family money as new US regulations have come into force over the hedge fund industry. Point72 primarily invests in discretionary long/short equities and makes quantitative and macro investments. Headquartered out of Stamford, Connecticut, the firm has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

Among recent family office news in Asia, Australian billionaire Raphael Geminder says it intends to create a family office called the Kin Group. Other hedge fund businesses that have decided to close down certain business lines or return outside capital are TigerShark Management, Loeb King Management and JAT Capital.

 

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