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If you have no experience whatsoever, Stevie Cohen wants you

Typically speaking, hedge funds don’t do all that much hiring right out of school, preferring to let investment banks do most of the training before plucking the cream of the crop. Well, Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management isn’t your typical hedge fund. In fact, it’s no longer even a hedge fund. But it may be again sometime soon.

The firm, formerly known as SAC Capital Advisors, just announced that it is launching a campus recruiting program, despite the fact that it can no longer manage outside money and employs a smaller staff. The hedge fund was forced into becoming a family office after settling a civil insider trading suit last year.

“The [Point72] Academy develops undergrads straight out of college into highly-skilled investors on an accelerated timeline,” the firm said in a newly-launched website. “We are committed to building from within, to promoting homegrown talent,” Point72 spokesman Mark Herr told Bloomberg.

The details, as one would imagine, are sparse, but the site now hosts two new positions: summer analyst and a junior equity financial analyst.

The question that many are likely asking is why would a firm that recently closed regional offices and let people go need a campus recruiting program? One answer is that Point72 has seen plenty of triage over the last two years, with veteran traders and portfolio managers moving on to other firms with better public reputations and, of course, the ability to manage outside assets.

Plus, the firm has been making major cultural changes to rid itself of the insider trading stench it developed as eight former employees were charged with the crime. Bringing in fresh, moldable recruits is one way to do just that.

Still, the cynic in you has to at least consider a report last month from Bloomberg that suggested the firm may be positioning itself for a hedge fund resurrection. Sources close to the firm said they are confident the company will, at some point, manage outside capital once again, though Point72 denied that any of those conversations have taken place.

The hope was born from an appeals court decision to throw out two insider trading convictions, essentially rewriting what constitutes insider trading from a legal perspective. Cohen may look to push the SEC to change his lifetime ban to a three-year sentence, according to the report. If that happens, Point72 will have plenty of recruiting needs.

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AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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