Cohen to Reward Ethical Behavior With 4% Bonus at Point72

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen
Steven Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Captial Advisors LP. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen, whose hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP shut down this year to settle charges of unprecedented insider trading, plans to reward employees at his new investment firm for demonstrating ethical behavior.

Starting next year, some of the managers and analysts at Stamford, Connecticut-based Point72 Asset Management LP can earn an extra bonus of as much as 4 percent of compensation if they demonstrate adherence to the firm’s compliance policy and ethical standards, contributions to the community and repeated strong investment performance, Mark Herr, a spokesman for the firm, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

“Are you setting a proper tone and example on compliance and doing the right thing? Are you setting the right tone and doing the right things to develop your analysts?” Herr said of the new program, called “Rewarding What Matters.”

Employees can earn the bonus by, for example, raising issues with compliance, suggesting policy changes and serving on charitable boards. Herr cited Nick Tiller for showing community leadership. The money manager, who retired from SAC last year, founded Sustainable America to help alleviate food and energy shortages.

The new policy is the latest step in a series of management and organizational changes that were announced by Cohen’s firm, after SAC stopped handling client money this year and reached a $1.8 billion settlement with the U.S. The hedge fund pleaded guilty to making hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits and fostering a criminal culture. SAC money managers were among the highest-paid in the industry and could earn 15 percent to 25 percent of profits they produced.

Personal Fortune

Cohen, 58, has transformed the firm into a family office to handle his personal fortune and changed its name from SAC, which are his initials. The firm oversees $9 billion to $10 billion down from as much as $16 billion in 2008. Staff at the investment firm has dropped to about 850 from almost 1,200.

Recent departures include general counsel Peter Nussbaum and money managers Chandler Bocklage and Ted Orenstein. Solomon Kumin, the former chief operating officer, has set up Folger Hill Asset Management LLC with backing from Leucadia National Corp. Tim Schneider, Pete Avellone and Shoney Katz all joined Citadel LLC’s Surveyor Capital.

The new bonus program is part of an effort that includes attracting top talent, Herr said.

Haynes Hired

Cohen hired Douglas Haynes, a former McKinsey & Co. director, earlier this year to be a member of the firm’s senior management after they worked together on the board of New York charity Robin Hood Foundation. In August, he replaced Tom Conheeney as president, who is leaving at the end of the year. Haynes this week sent a memo to employees outlining a reorganizing of the company’s equities business into seven units to help improve accountability.

Point72 earlier hired Palantir Technologies Inc., a Central Intelligence Agency-backed software maker, to boost surveillance and created a new position, chief surveillance officer, naming a former assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Vincent Tortorella, for the role.

The new bonus system was unveiled during a meeting Point72 management held last weekend in Manhattan, Herr said.

Eight former SAC money managers and analysts have pleaded guilty or been convicted of using confidential and material information to profit, and two have settled with federal regulators without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Cohen has denied wrongdoing and isn’t charged with a crime. He is the subject of an administrative proceeding by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that alleges he failed to supervise two senior employees.

In August, U.S. prosecutors asked the SEC to delay its proceeding against Cohen for a second time because criminal cases against his former employees were continuing.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected to reflect the proper title for Haynes at McKinsey.)

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE