Would you work for your former enemy if the pay was good?
What you are about to read is not a fable. Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital who has topped the SEC’s most wanted list for over a decade, is looking to open the firm’s doors to more law enforcement – with pay!
Now operating a family office known as Point72 Asset Management, Cohen is actively recruiting former prosecutors and agents from the FBI in an apparent attempt to permanently rid the firm of the bad actors and culture that made it synonymous with insider trading, according to the New York Times. As a reminder, eight former employees have either pled guilty or been convicted of the charge and Cohen is still facing a civil suit over his “failure to supervise.”
Whether it’s “window dressing,” as one analyst supposed, or a legitimate attempt to establish a culture of ethics and, you know, stop committing crimes, can be debated. But the firm is looking to hire either way.
The only problem is that none of the fish are biting. The Times is reporting that, despite promises of huge hedge fund-like salaries, none of the agents or prosecutors who have been contacted have shown any interest. When you spend the better part of a decade trying to put someone behind bars and failing, you don’t feel like working for them, apparently. Time will tell, but you have to figure someone will be brazen enough to jump the fence for a hefty paycheck.
Cohen’s latest maneuver follows several other similar attempts to clean up the organization, or at least its image. Point72 set up a bonus program aimed at rewarding ethical employees, pulled a bonus program that may have encouraged insider trading, hired a new compliance chief and brought on a software maker to improve internal surveillance, all within the last few months.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the realm of the rich and eccentric, Bill Gross took part in his first major interview since leaving Pimco in a cloud of dust. He was asked a blunt (but kind of fair?) question: are you “a little bit crazy?” He said “no.” So there’s that.
Associate and VP Interview: What You Need to Know (eFinancialCareers)
Here are the differences between the interview processes at the associate and VP levels, along with some notes on the potential stigmas associated with lateral moves at both levels.
Why Are You Really Looking? (eFinancialCareers)
You want a new job in finance? Fair enough – it’s that time of year. But before you succumb to the urge to switch employers, try running some safety checks on your impetus for quitting.
Jefferies reported poor quarterly results on Tuesday, highlighted by a 73% slump in fixed-income revenue. That’s bad news for more than just Jefferies. The investment bank, which reports a full month ahead of larger banks, is a harbinger for the industry in general. Expect more of the same from competitors.
Are Insider Trading Laws Loosening? (WSJ)
The SEC has dropped an insider trading case just a week after a critical ruling that overturned two previous insider trading convictions. The facts are clear: it’s going to be much harder for prosecutors to prove their cases going forward.
‘We’re Global, We’re Mobile, We’re Aiming to Please’ (Dealbook)
The Carlyle Group has a (terrible) tradition of making fun, lighthearted holiday videos. This year’s version features co-chief executive David Rubenstein impersonating Dr. Dre with his own private equity themed rap. Put your second-hand embarrassment goggles on.
Where Morgan Recruits From (Business Insider)
Following up yesterday’s post on what schools Goldman Sachs recruits from is a second iteration featuring Morgan Stanley. Baruch College, City University of New York is a good incubator, apparently.
Six Seconds to Impress (Business Insider)
Here’s something rather depressing if you spent hours slaving over your resume. Recruiters spend an average of six seconds looking at your CV. All they glance at is your name, current company, whether you are presently employed and your education. They ignore all that other mumbo gumbo.
Buzz Around the Office
The Internet Is Gullible (Gawker)
Yes, the story of the 17-year-old student who reportedly made $72 million in the stock market during his lunch breaks was completely made up. He’s never bought a stock. Ever.
Quote of the Day: “Bond people are boring sometimes. I think the vast majority of the public understands exactly who I am.” – Bill Gross