Point72 Asset Management, a U.S.-based private family office (FO), is now narrowing its recruiting endeavors to college sophomores. The FO hedge fund, which manages assets worth approximately $11 billion, held its first Sophomore Summit on May 20th at the firm’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The summit mainly addressed a group of hand-picked undergraduate sophomores.
Point72’s Head of Investment Talent Development and Director, Jonathan Jones, said, “The idea for the program was to identify 20 of the most promising sophomores in the country and introduce them to our industry. It’s really part of our effort to reach out early to candidates who show great promise.”
The direction that Point72 has taken is very unique in the hedge fund sector. Typically, before getting a hedge fund job, most graduates are forced to spend at least 2 years in an investment banking analyst program. Hedge funds also face disconcerting issues when recruiting due to dwindling investments in the banking sector. Therefore, top talents in the hedge fund industry are coming up short as more young workers head to Silicon Valley in search of well-paying tech jobs.
Just like some hedge funds, Point72 has also decided to develop and groom its own talent. The firm has already invested substantial amount of resources in talent development. In February last year, they launched Point72 Academy; a paid program that offers training to college graduates who are prospective analysts of the company. The first students of the academy are almost finished with their 15-month program.
The entire talent development journey comprises of three stages, and the Sophomore Summit – an internship program that runs through summer – is just one phase. The Summit is open to college juniors and those who graduate qualify for enrollment at Point72 Academy.
Steven A. Cohen, CEO and Chairman of Point72, was one of the speakers at Milken Institute Global Conference held this month in Los Angeles. During the conference, Cohen acknowledged the undeniable lack of talent in the hedge funds sector. He said, “Our view at Point72 is that talent is very thin. We winnow down the funnel to 2 to 4 percent of the actual candidates we might be interested in. Frankly, I’m blown away by the lack of talent. It’s not easy to find great people.”
Developing raw talent in young research analysts is very important because they are the ones who will become responsible for identifying profitable investment ideas.