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Point72 Names an SAC Holdover as U.S. Trading Head

Steve Cohen’s family office and hedge fund conducted a full search, but selected one of its own, Dan Lota, for the role.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

After six months of searching, Point72 Asset Management — Steve Cohen’s family office and hedge fund firm — has found a new head of U.S. trading in an veteran employee.

Dan Lota, the firm’s interim head of U.S. trading for the last six months, will stay in that role permanently, the Stamford, Connecticut-based asset manager announced Tuesday, May 1.

Lota is taking over the role after former head of U.S. trading Phil Villhauer retired from the firm in October 2017, the New York Times reported at the time. A spokesperson for Point72 did not return a phone call and email seeking comment on Villhauer’s departure. 

Lota has worked for Point72 and its predecessor SAC Capital Advisors for fifteen years, according to the announcement. The firm did engage in an external search for Villhauer’s replacement, but ultimately selected Lota. 

“In his 15 years at Point72, Dan has built strong relationships with Steve, portfolio managers, within the trading team, and has developed a deep institutional knowledge of the firm,” said Massoud Heidari, co-head of Point72’s  global trading unit, called the Central Liquidity Group. 

According to the release, Lota will assume his role immediately.

Point72 has recently left behind at least some of its legal troubles. On April 3, a New Jersey judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Fairfax Financial Holdings against Cohen and SAC Capital back in 2006, which alleged a short-selling conspiracy. 

[II Deep Dive: New Jersey Judge Dismisses Fairfax Lawsuit Against Steve Cohen]

In February, however, a female employee filed a gender discrimination lawsuit claiming that male executives favored men for promotions and raises. Cohen asked the judge to throw out the case soon after it was brought, but the judge declined that request. 

Cohen had also been banned from trading on behalf of others for two years in 2016, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said he failed to properly supervise employees who engaged in insider trading at SAC Capital.

He then created Point72 to invest his own wealth, staffing it more like an asset management firm than a family office. The restriction lifted at the beginning of 2018, and Cohen’s team once again began running outside capital

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