Insider

Inside the network of dozens of spin-off hedge funds from billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen

Summary List PlacementSteve Cohen's decades-long career in finance has made him billions of dollars across two different hedge funds and led to the creation of more than 80 other firms. Dozens of people who have worked for the famed stock picker — who was forced to close his first fund...

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Summary List Placement

Steve Cohen’s decades-long career in finance has made him billions of dollars across two different hedge funds and led to the creation of more than 80 other firms.

Dozens of people who have worked for the famed stock picker — who was forced to close his first fund after a yearslong battle with the Justice Department — have gone on to found their own funds.

Notable names to come from now-closed SAC Capital and Cohen’s current fund, the $20 billion Point72, include the founder of the $8 billion fund Melvin Capital, Gabe Plotkin, and the founder of $1.8 billion Honeycomb Asset Management, David Fiszel, as well as shuttered funds like Tourbillon Capital, from the HumanCo founder Jason Karp, and Hutchin Hill, from the Millennium portfolio manager Neil Chriss.

Recent launches include Charlie Antrim’s Walnut Level Capital, Ladd Fritz’s Polarity Investment Partners, and Jonathan Lin’s L2 Capital, while Cohen’s former right-hand man Tom Conheeney is still in the process of getting his EmeraldRidge Advisors up and running.

Former employees of the New York Mets owner have started funds around the world, with alumni putting down roots in places like Sidney, Hong Kong, London, and various cities across the US. (Story continues below graphic. A searchable table of the names is at the bottom of the article.)

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Cohen’s first fund, SAC, was forced to close at the end of 2013, though the liquidation of tough-to-sell assets pushed the closure date off for a few years. As a result of the DOJ’s investigation, one of his traders ended up going to prison for insider trading, and the firm had to pay a $1.8 billion fine.

Many employees continued to work for Cohen at his family office, Point72 Asset Management, named after its Stamford, Connecticut, office location, managing his multibillion-dollar fortune as well as their own wealth.

In 2018, after the Securities and Exchange Commission lifted Cohen’s two-year ban on managing outside capital, he relaunched his hedge fund under the Point72 moniker and has been growing it steadily since.

Many who have worked for Cohen have also gone on to start companies that have nothing to do with hedge funds. Karp is the most obvious example, with his health-centric food company growing rapidly and signing on celebrities like Scarlett Johansson to consult on products.

The former trader Bill Shufelt also started a food and beverage company, nonalcoholic brewery Athletic Brewing, while Bryan Binder — a onetime portfolio manager at SAC — cofounded the esports tech platform Vindex in 2019. Bree Jones, who was a vice president of data analytics for Point72, started the affordable-housing-focused real-estate development company Parity in Baltimore in 2018.

Since relaunching his hedge fund, Cohen has been focused on talent development as the large multistrategy hedge funds battle one another — and Silicon Valley — for the cream of the crop.

At Point72, this starts for an entry-level analyst with the Academy, the firm’s 10-month crash course on all things investing. The firm’s Launchpoint program boasts of its ability to help its emerging portfolio managers launch their teams and understand how to run a business.

Stats from the firm’s site state that roughly half of the managers to come out of Launchpoint were internal promotions while others came from outside the firm, and more than 80% of the managers who have launched their portfolio using the platform since 2016 are still at the program. 

“I want a place where people can do what they do best and feel free enough to try different things. If we’re squashing new ideas, we’re going to go nowhere,” a quote from Cohen reads on the site. 

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