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Steve Cohen expands international FO recruitment programme

By Michael Finnigan

Point72 Asset Management, the family office of infamous American hedge fund investor Steve Cohen, is expanding its graduate training programme to include 15 new international students from Asia and Europe.

Entitled Point72 Academy Program, the 12-month training course teaches recent college graduates to master the financial analysis and research skills needed for investment recommendations.

The expansion of Point72's programme points to a wider issue facing family offices in 2016: the recruitment and retention of quality employees. 

According to the Global Family Office Report 2015 by Campden Wealth, in partnership with UBS, the typical tenure for senior executives in a family office is roughly a decade, whereas the retention of investment staff and administrative staff is far less.

The report suggests that staff retention will become increasingly important in coming years, and that bonuses and other non-salary benefits are the best way to maintain employees—they might also consider training, education and opportunities for career advancement.

“The Point72 Academy has transformed the way we hire and prepare young investor talent,” said Jaimi Goodfriend, academy director. “We were blown away and, frankly, humbled by the talent and success of our first academy class. We have successfully added each graduate from the class of 2015 to our investment platform.

Point72's decision to further invest in the programme by recruiting students internationally supports their aggressive growth strategy in Asia and Europe, according to Goodfriend, but he says it also helps to capture multicultural talent that is critical for diversity of thought.

The family office has also seriously expanded its workforce in recent years: under the oversight of Marc Desmidt, chief executive officer of Point72's international business, Point72 has doubled the size of its workforce in London and hired 31 people in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo offices in nine months.

The deadline for applications for Asian and European students is 16 October 2016 and 23 October 2016, respectively.

Point72 was founded in 2014 as the family office successor to SAC Capital Advisors, a hedge fund established by Cohen in 1992 which paid $1.2 billion (€867 million) in a settlement with the US Securities & Exchange Commission over insider trading. As of 2015, Point72 employed approximately 1,000 people and focuses primarily on discretionary long/short equity investing and makes quantitative and macro investments.