Longtime SAC Capital compliance chief Steve Kessler is leaving the hedge fund firm after nine years, according to an internal memo issued Friday. Two SAC traders were recently convicted of insider trading, and the firm has been plagued with inquiries during his oversight.
Kessler, who will leave his job Feb. 28, plans to tend to family and philanthropic issues, according to the memo. He will remain an advisor to the firm until the end of the year.
John Casey, a senior manager within SAC's compliance unit, will succeed Kessler on an interim basis. Casey, who first joined SAC in 2005 and returned in 2012 after working for two years at another firm, provided witness testimony about the firm's attempts to curb insider-trading activities at the trial of Michael Steinberg, an SAC tech trader who was convicted late last year.
In the memo, SAC president Tom Conheeney praised Kessler for his "dedication and grace during very trying times."