Hedge Funds

President of Steve Cohen's Point72 resigns amid sex discrimination lawsuit

Key Points
  • Douglas Haynes, president of Point72, resigned on Friday a little more than four weeks after he was listed as a defendant in a sexual discrimination lawsuit.
  • Point72, run by Steve Cohen, just closed a $3 billion round of outside fundraising.
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Point72's president resigns

Douglas Haynes, president of Point72, resigned on Friday, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The resignation came as the firm closed a $3 billion round of fundraising and a little more than four weeks after Haynes was listed as a defendant in a sexual discrimination lawsuit.

Billionaire Steve Cohen, Point72's chief executive officer, sent an email to employees late Friday in which he touted Haynes' leadership through the family-office period, strengthening compliance and expanding the business internationally, said the person who had reviewed the memo.

Haynes joined the firm four years ago as it was transitioning into a family office. Cohen's earlier hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, was part of a massive probe related to insider trading. Cohen, himself, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with failure to supervise and he was banned from managing outside capital until the beginning of 2018.

Doug Haynes, former President of Point 72 Asset Management.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Cohen announced in the internal email that the firm had closed $3 billion in outside fundraising, the person said. Cohen said the milestone was a natural time to make way for a new type of leader.

But as Cohen was seeking that outside capital, a Point72 employee named Lauren Bonner filed a lawsuit on Feb. 12, accusing Cohen, Haynes and the firm as a whole of creating a culture that was discriminatory toward women.

Haynes was alleged to have written the word "pussy" on a whiteboard in his office and left it there for weeks. Additionally, the complaint says that women employees "regularly and openly discuss the fact that as long as Haynes is President at Point72, 'women will be paid less.'"

When a representative for Point72 was asked whether Haynes' resignation was in connection to the lawsuit, she said "The firm's view remains that the lawsuit is without merit."

Steve Cohen at Point 72 Asset Management.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Additionally, the firm has engaged WilmerHale law firm, the spokesperson said. WilmerHale "will conduct an independent assessment and provide legal advice that will help to improve the firm's policies and procedures, strengthen its culture and foster best practices," she said.

All employees have been invited to speak to WilmerHale confidentially, and the firm will report back to Cohen with its observations and advice, according to the spokesperson.

Cohen will serve as president in the interim as the firm seeks Haynes' replacement.