Hedge fund: Be good, your bonus depend on it!

Wouldn’t you like to work for a firm that would pay you a bonus for being ethical, following your company’s compliance policy, suggesting helpful policy changes, and contributing to your community by perhaps being on a charitable board? That is exactly what Point72 Asset Management, billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s transformed hedge fund family office that manages between $9 billion and $10 billion, has decided to announce to employees as the new “Rewarding What Matters,” program. Is it only communication to attract more fund or is it a deep sincere switch?

What is the reason for doing this? They want to change the company’s reputation from the days when they, as SAC Capital Advisors LP, paid large bonuses for huge sums of money brought in. However, it was discovered that the money was earned through sometimes illegal and less than ethical means. That resulted in eight SAC Capital analysts and money managers being found guilty or being convicted of using confidential and material information to profit, and the firm having to pay $1.8 billion in penalties.

Some current managers and analysts can possibly see as much as a four percent bump in compensation if they follow the firm’s ethical standards, bring concerns to the compliance department, make helpful policy suggestions, and be upstanding members of the local community as well as, of course, continuing to put up good numbers.
This bonus program is also expected to limit employee turnover that has occurred in the hedge fund since it stopped trading outside money. Traditional bonuses were also increased last year, and top portfolio managers were reportedly asked to extend their two-year contracts. In addition, a Central Intelligence Agency-backed software maker, was hired to boost internal surveillance. A new position, chief surveillance officer, was created, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Vincent Tortorella, was hired for that role.

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