Point72 Manager Exits After Reckless-Driving ArrestSaijel Kishan
Paul Orwicz, a longtime money manager at billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management LP, departed the investment firm a week after he was arrested for reckless driving in his McLaren supercar in Connecticut.
Orwicz, 46, said in a telephone interview that he resigned last week after his two-year contract with the firm, which manages Cohen’s fortune, lapsed and he’s now pursuing other opportunities within the hedge-fund industry. He said the driving incident was an “unfortunate coincidence” with his exit from Point72, and that he hoped to resolve the matter with the authorities.
Orwicz was arrested Aug. 28 on charges of reckless driving, improper passing and disobeying a police officer signal while behind the wheel of the yellow McLaren in New Canaan, Connecticut, New Canaan News said on its website. An officer at the New Canaan police department said nobody was available to comment on the incident.
“We do not comment on internal personnel matters,” said Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Point72. “The management of Point72 expects our employees, at every level of the organization, to act with professionalism and integrity at all times.” He also declined to discuss Orwicz’s departure.
Orwicz, a fast-car enthusiast, worked at Cohen’s hedge-fund firm, SAC Capital Advisors LP, since 1998 and left to start his own firm, Sursum Partners LP, in 2010. He shuttered the hedge fund two years later and returned to SAC Capital. A founding member of the Monticello Motor Club, which has a private racetrack for luxury sport cars in New York, Orwicz has taken part in a number of national sports car competitions including the BMW Car Club of America Club Racing program.
Orwicz was arrested after a police officer driving an unmarked car saw a yellow McLaren following him very closely, New Canaan News reported, citing police. Orwicz then drove past the vehicle, crossing a double yellow line, the newspaper said. The officer flashed his lights and stopped the McLaren. The officer radioed the supercar’s plate number to the police and as he prepared to leave his car to speak to the driver, Orwicz took off at high speed, New Canaan News said, citing a police report.
Orwicz said in the telephone interview he was driving his McLaren 12C car during dark hours about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from his home when he approached a truck driving at about 20 miles per hour. He said he overtook the vehicle because it was driving slowly, and that the road had a damaged surface so traffic markings were unclear. Orwicz said he stopped his car after the unmarked truck flashed its lights. He said because there was a delay in the driver getting out of the unmarked vehicle, he drove away in fear of being carjacked.
“It was pretty scary,” Orwicz said by phone today. “They didn’t say they were the New Canaan police. I just went home after. It’s sensationalism that I sped off.”
The McLaren 12C, which was initially named MP4-12C, starts at more than $230,000 and is capable of going to 60 miles per hour within 3.2 seconds. The supercar is manufactured by Woking, England-based McLaren Automotive Ltd.
Instead of chasing the supercar, the officer went to Orwicz’s home with other officers, the New Canaan News said. As Orwicz was taken into custody, he said “taking off was a stupid decision” yet he “didn’t understand why the officers were at his house because he didn’t kill anyone or damage any property,” the paper said, citing comments from the police report.
“I’m confused why they arrested me, I don’t understand the charges,” Orwicz said in the phone interview. “I wasn’t speeding and there was no third party involved. I have a clean driving record and I am a law-abiding citizen.”
Orwicz was released on a $1,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court today, according to New Canaan News. He said the court hearing was delayed to later this week.
Orwicz, who graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1990, has been interested in cars since his childhood, according to his biography posted on Monticello Motor Club’s website. He competed in the 24Hours of Daytona race in 2005, the biography said.
Cohen, who has a fortune estimated at $11 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is reorganizing his Stamford, Connecticut-based firm. He renamed it Point72 this year after SAC Capital agreed to stop managing money for clients and pay a record $1.8 billion to settle U.S. charges of insider trading. The firm last month named Douglas Haynes, a former McKinsey & Co. director, president to replace Tom Conheeney.