By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, March 11 (Reuters) - Steven A. Cohen, whose hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider trading, is changing the name of his firm to Point72 Asset Management as it shifts focus to managing his own assets from serving as a hedge fund for wealthy investors following an agreement with the U.S. government.
"SAC will give way to a new flagship name for the parent holding company, Point72 Asset Management, where our management and back office employees will primarily reside," Tom Conheeney, SAC's president, wrote to employees in a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Speculation had been mounting on Wall Street over what Cohen would call his firm and whether he might move out of the office building at 72 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, Connecticut, now that the firm is taking on a smaller footprint.
The name change reflects the firm's expectation that it will remain in Stamford at its headquarters "for many years to come," Conheeney's letter said. It is also meant to signal a new beginning for the firm. "We have been through a great deal during the past few years. Our new names, combined with the other changes we have announced, are intended to help us to move forward," he wrote.
The two new long/short trading divisions will do business as Point72 Asset Management (Point72) and EverPoint Asset Management (EverPoint). The MultiQuant business will operate as Cubist Systematic Strategies (Cubis).
The new names will become effective on April 7, completing the firm's transformation from a hedge fund, which oversaw $14 billion for wealthy clients at the start of last year, to a family office which will primarily manage Steven A. Cohen's personal fortune, estimated most recently by Forbes at $11 billion.
SAC was forced to stop managing outside money as part of its plea with the U.S. government when it agreed in November to pay $1.2 billion to settle securities fraud charges. Prosecutors charged the firm with insider trading after investigating the firm for years. Steven A. Cohen, who founded SAC in 1992 with $25 million, was never charged with any wrongdoing.
Cohen said recently that the firm has about 850 employees; it once had roughly 1,000.