Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Cohen firm has new name, still makes big money

Point72 Asset Management launches
Point72 Asset Management launches

The private fund company Point72 Asset Management, the former SAC Capital, launched officially Monday with about $9 billion in funds and a year-to-date return of close to 10 percent through March, according to people familiar with the matter.

The size and rate of return remains in line with its former life as a hedge fund that traded public money.

Point72, a moniker that was drawn from the fund company's address at 72 Cummings Point Rd. in Stamford, Conn., was unveiled in March in an employee memo. But because it was still working out the technicalities of changing names and returning some remaining money to outside investors through the first quarter, the firm only started doing business with the new logo, email and letterhead on Monday.

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In an internal email issued Monday morning, the company's president, Tom Conheeney, praised employees for their loyalty.

Read MoreSAC's Cohen considering settling civil case with SEC

"We have stayed together and kept our cool through some incredibly difficult years," he wrote. "We battled back from people expecting that we would close our doors and go out of business."

Much has changed during the five months since Nov. 4, when SAC agreed to stop managing external capital as part of settling criminal insider-trading charges with the Justice Department for a total fine of $1.8 billion.

As part of the accord, which is expected to be officially approved by a judge at or before a scheduled sentencing hearing Thursday, SAC agreed to return the public-investor money it managed to its owners—many of whom had pulled funds already—and restrict its investment capital to assets owned either by founder Steve Cohen, his family members or employees of the fund company.

SAC also realigned its organization, naming new heads of trading, hiring a former federal prosecutor to act as a compliance consultant and retaining a sophisticated data-mining company to enhance its monitoring of employees to spot potential misconduct. Along the way, the firm also lost some key analysts and portfolio managers, who decamped for other hedge funds or to pursue outside interests, like philanthropy.

Read MoreTop SAC manager to leave, start his own hedge fund

As a result, Point72's current headcount of about 850 is a slimmed-down version of the more than 1,000-person team SAC once was. To incentivize key money managers to stay on board, Cohen is now paying employees retention bonuses and urging crucial players to sign two-year contracts.

Nearly all SAC's public funds have been returned at this point (the exceptions are some illiquid, or hard-to-trade assets that will be sold for cash through the course of the next few quarters), and the company has focused on trading the $9 billion or so in assets contributed by Cohen and other insiders.

Since early 2014, the company has returned 7 percent to 8 percent on those assets, said one of the people familiar with the matter. January, this person said, was a particularly flush performance month, and February was strong as well, but March led to some modest losses from long positions in tech stocks, among other things.

Read MoreAnd so they go: SAC loses two more star traders

In 2013, SAC was reportedly up more than 20 percent.

In a telling line of the morning's memo, Conheeney spoke of the mark the former hedge fund had made in the business.

"At its best, SAC was looked upon as the industry's leading long/short hedge fund, the place where everyone wanted to work and be," he wrote. "Our goal, certainly my goal, is to see us reach those heights as Point72, but in a manner that no one can ever claim is the result of anything other than your hard work, integrity and smarts."