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August 25, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

President of Steven Cohen’s hedge fund resigns in midst of discrimination lawsuit

Point72 Asset Management President Doug Haynes has resigned in the wake of a lawsuit accusing the hedge fund of discriminating against women. The move coincides with an independent assessment of Point72’s culture ordered by company founder Steven A. Cohen.

Steven A. Cohen and Doug Haynes.

Cohen will serve as president and CEO of the Stamford company while a search for Haynes’ replacement is undertaken. Haynes joined the firm in 2014, replacing Tom Conheeney, one of several executives to leave the company during an insider trading investigation related to S.A.C. Capital Advisors, the precursor to Point72.

S.A.C. pleaded guilty to those charges in 2013 and paid $1.8 billion in penalties, but Cohen was never charged as an individual. In a January 2016 settlement of a related civil suit brought by the SEC, Cohen was prohibited from managing outside money until January of this year.

In the wake of the scandal, Point72 was established in 2014 and S.A.C. ceased all operations in 2016.

No official reason for Haynes’ departure was given, although the lawsuit brought against him, Cohen and Point72 in February by Lauren Bonner, an associate director at the firm, may have played a part. Among other things, the suit claims that the company paid female employees less than their male peers, while maintaining a “boys’ club” atmosphere.

Bonner’s suit alleges that a whiteboard with the word “pussy” on it was displayed in Haynes’ office and claims that Haynes referred to a female executive as a “dumb blonde.” Point72 has denied the allegations.

According to its website, Point72 currently manages $11 billion and employs 1,150 people. Because Cohen was banned from managing outside money for two years, Point72’s fund is largely made up of Cohen’s own money. Forbes magazine listed Cohen’s personal fortune at $14 billion as of the beginning of this month.