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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Maureen Chang
Chang needs to wow her boss, Point72 Asset Management chairman and CEO Steven Cohen, with the talent she finds.
Speaking at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles this May, hedge fund manager Steven Cohen remarked on the scarcity of top traders and investors. “Frankly, I’m blown away by the lack of talent,” said the founder, chairman and CEO of Point72 Asset Management. “It’s not easy to find great people. We whittle down the funnel to maybe 2 to 4 percent of the candidates we’re interested in. Talent is really thin.”
At Point72, Cohen’s approximately $11 billion family office, it’s Maureen Chang’s job as a director in investment talent development to assist with identifying those 2 to 4 percent who make the cut for a seat on the investing team at the Stamford, Connecticut–based firm.
Chang, 35, began her own Wall Street career at Merrill Lynch & Co. After earning an economics degree from Tufts University in 2003, the Worcester, Massachusetts, native moved to New York. Chang, whose parents are small-business owners, first worked for a technology start-up and for financial services data provider Dealogic. But she soon followed her older brother into banking, getting a job in equity research at Merrill Lynch in New York, where she reported to an analyst who covered investment banking.
Despite winning a promotion to associate, Chang recognized that life as an equity analyst — following one group of companies forever — wasn’t for her. In 2007 she switched to specialty sales, staying in that role through the global financial crisis and after Bank of America Corp. acquired Merrill Lynch as part of the government-brokered emergency measures of late 2008 aimed at fending off a broader collapse of the investment banking industry. The merger resulted in a surfeit of people in several roles, and Chang was among those who found themselves on the outside. She quickly landed a post in institutional equity sales with independent broker-dealer ISI Group in New York, where she stayed before moving to Point72 early last year. Cohen is counting on Chang to help build up his bench.
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