Point72 taking bigger HK office in Asia buildout

The family office of Steven Cohen, the founder of now-defunct US hedge fund SAC Capital, is expanding aggressively. It is expected to seek external money next year.
Point72 taking bigger HK office in Asia buildout

Point72, the family office of SAC Capital founder Steven Cohen, is set to almost double its floor space in Hong Kong, having hired a raft of executives, AsianInvestor can reveal. This comes alongside continued expansion in the US firm's Singapore and Tokyo branches.

The company, with $11 billion under management, has been aggressively growing in the region in the past couple of years. It is expected to take on its first external clients as a hedge fund manager next year, when Cohen’s ban on running third-party money ends.

Early next year Point72 will vacate York House in Hong Kong's Central district—where it has 11,000 square feet—and move a couple of blocks to 18,700 sq ft premises in Chater House, a property services executive told AsianInvestor. Japan's Mizuho Securities is moving from the latter location across the harbour to Kowloon, reflecting a trend for financial firms to take up cheaper digs outside Central.

Point72 has hired at least seven investment professionals in Hong Kong alone this year, with six of them coming on board since June. It now has 70 individuals holding licences from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), up from 53 at the end of last year and 42 the December before that.

Steven Cohen: His ban rolls off next year
SAC Capital Advisers had shut down after being hit with insider trading charges in late 2013, but Cohen set up Point72 the following year to manage his fortune as well as eligible employees' money. He reportedly aims to raise the firm’s AUM to $20 billion by raising outside capital, once the January 2016 ban on him running external money ceases.
Cohen had been quoted in The New York Times in October last year as saying the firm was “leaning” towards setting up a hedge fund but that a final decision had not been made. 

However, some have suggested that Point72 might find it difficult to attract institutional capital because of the potential reputational risk involved. Still, potential clients might take comfort from the fact that the firm would also be managing money for Cohen and certain employees.

Point72 declined to comment for this story.

New hires 

According to LinkedIn and SFC records, the new investment professionals to have joined the firm in Hong Kong since June include the following:

  • Francis Zhang, who started on August 25 as a portfolio manager of quantitative strategies, having held a similar role at Hutchin Hill Capital
  • Stanley Chen, who took up the role of senior analyst on August 7, having previously worked as an equity research analyst at HSBC Global Asset Management
  • Christina He, who joined on August 3 in as an investment analyst from Goldman Sachs, where she had been an equity research associate
  • Kai Tan, who started on July 13 as equity research analyst, having previously worked at Macquarie Securities as senior research analyst and head of gaming for Asia
  • Michael Teran, who came in on July 10 as an investment analyst for Australian equities from Colonial First State Global Asset Management
  • Patrick Yau, who joined on June 14 as a managing director and portfolio manager from Hong Kong hedge fund Myriad Asset Management

In addition, Shuichi Hiruwaka joined in March as a research analyst, according to his LinkedIn page, but AsianInvestor could not ascertain his previous employer.

Meanwhile, two investment staff have left Point72’s Hong Kong operation this year.

Kevin Cottrell had been a portfolio manager with Point72 until March, having joined SAC Capital in March 2005, according to LinkedIn. He is now co-founder of KCL Capital based in Connecticut.

Hironobu Katoh had been a research analyst until February this year. AsianInvestor could not ascertain what he is doing now. 

Japan and Singapore

Elsewhere, Point72 plans to double its Japan headcount to more than 60 from 30 in the next few years, said Marc Desmidt, chief executive of the firm’s international business, in an interview with Bloomberg last month. The aim is to take advantage of enormous investment opportunities, he noted.

Meanwhile, Point72 had doubled its Singapore team to 27 in November 2016 from 14 in March 2015, said Chris Coward, chief of the office and head of risk for international business, according to a Bloomberg report. He was speaking in November last year at the opening of a new branch that could house 60 employees, adding that the firm planned to make more hires. 

According to its website, Point72 now has more than 1,150 employees worldwide, of which 490 are investment staff. 

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