Here's how much you really earn at Point72, and how hard it is to escape

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Averages can be deceptive things. When we looked at pay at Point72 in London last year and concluded that the average person at Steve Cohen's family office/nascent hedge fund was receiving $251k (£178k), the numbers were heavily skewed by juniors and people in support roles. It seems you can earn much more than that. But don't expect to walk away easily.

The new figures on pay at Point72 are provided in documentation accompanying the lawsuit being brought against Point72 by former "executive" Lauren Bonner.  Point72 is "emphatically" denying the allegations, and some of Bonner's pay figures for male employees are speculative. Her own pay, however, is irrefutable, as are the harsh conditions Point72 imposes upon people who quit.

Bonner manages a team of 14 people at Point72 and deals with "talent analytics," a quantitative area of the HR function which monitors how well portfolio managers are performing. For this, Bonner had a compensation target of $300k base salary and $150k bonus for 2017, followed by $300k base and $225k bonus for 2018. The implication is that bonuses increase dramatically with experience (although Bonner's development of an "industry-leading technology platform" to monitor staff may have helped.) Even better, 80% of Point72's bonuses are cash, with the remaining 20% invested over three years in its own funds.

Bonner claims that she is underpaid, and alleges that another recruiter at the firm is earning $725k "at least." None of her figures have been confirmed by Point72, but it's hard to conceive of fairly mid-ranking recruiters earning similar amounts elsewhere.

Like other hedge funds, however, Point72 doesn't make it easier for anyone to leave - whether they're in HR or (we presume) portfolio management. Bonner's court documents include the confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements she was asked to sign when she joined Point72, and they're pretty harsh.

Point72 stipulates, for example, that ex-employees can't attempt to "hire, retain, engage, supervise (or be supervised by)...any person as an employee, consultant or contractor" with whom they worked during their final 12 months at Point72 for a full two years after leaving. Nor can they solicitate Point72 investors for the same amount of time.

The contract also stipulates that an employee's "inventions, suggestions, concepts, formats, arrangements, developments, ideas, whether or not capable of being patented or copyrighted," belong to Point72  and must not be replicated elsewhere. And that any information regarding the fund, including anything about Steve Cohen and his family, about data sets and the sources of data sets, about formulae, business plans, results, strategies, software, sources, process, materials and "any other information....without limitation" that could reasonably be expected to aid a competitor, or "potential competitor", is the property of the fund and must remain confidential.

Point72 says any new employer must be made aware of these stipulations. In doing so, it arguably renders current employees almost unemployable at rivals - if they're unable to use any of the knowledge gained at Point72 elsewhere, even down to the vague level of "concepts" and data sources, what value would they bring? Very little seems to be the answer.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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