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December 05, 2018  

Point72 Cutting Top Recruiter After Nov. Loss

Point72 Asset Management is dismissing its top talent scout after posting a sharp monthly loss for November.

As head of recruiting for the $13 billion multi-strategy operation, Jonathan Jones is responsible for hiring analysts and portfolio managers for Point72’s investment team, which currently numbers about 550. Point72 told Jones this week that it’s letting him go, but he’ll remain employed by the Stamford, Conn., firm for up to six months as part of a transition, sources said.

It’s unclear if the move was directly tied to Point72’s performance last month, when its Point72 Capital fund lost 5.5%. That surely ranks among the sharpest monthly losses for Point72 or its predecessor, SAC Capital. Over the years, Point72 founder Steve Cohen has demonstrated a willingness to quickly fire underperforming staffers.

In an appearance at the 92nd Street Y in New York last month, Cohen said Point72 had raised $5 billion since reopening to outside investors at the beginning of the year. The firm spent two years on the sidelines under terms of an insider-trading settlement with the SEC.

Cohen also sought to manage expectations about performance. “I don’t think returns over the next two years are going to be very good,” he said at the event. “If the market hangs in there, there’s just going to be marginal returns.”

Word has it that most of the big multi-strategy managers lost money in November — in some cases marking a second consecutive month of losses. Such funds typically employ rigorous risk controls with the aim of delivering conservative returns while avoiding losses.

Jones joined Point72 in 2015 from BlackRock, where he held a senior recruiting post.