The Point72 Academy was set up by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen to train college graduates to work as investment professionals for the fund.
Students study for 15 months on the paid program before the best start work for Point72, a fund that has over $10 billion in assets under managements. It’s known for trading equities and making macro and quantitative investments, writes Portia Crowe for Business Insider.
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Only 12 of 400 applicants were accepted to the first year of the Point72 program, which offers an alternative to the traditional finance career path. Many hopefuls begin with an internship and then spend two years as an analyst at investment banks before applying for a job at buy-side firms, hedge funds or private equity firms.
Analyst jobs are generally uninspiring, and buy-side firms begin recruiting from the analyst pool around 6 months into the two year contracts. Recruiting is expensive, and new hires often need to be retrained.
Point72 sees the academy as a way of getting a jump on the competition. President Doug Haynes says the academy “will help us get first crack at the next generation of investor talent before they might go elsewhere.”
A safer route to a career in finance?
After their 15 month training course, not everyone is guaranteed a job, but the idea is to keep almost all of the students on. When Business Insider visited the school, they found that all of the students were male, with some having graduated from Boston College, the University of Illinois and some Ivy League schools.
One student, Brian Mulvihill, told Business Insider that he saw the academy as a safer route to finding a job on the buy-side. “It’s really just a matter of, ‘Do I want to join Point72 now — or at least interview for that opportunity now — versus wait another year to try to join a team here?'” Mulvihill said.
He believes that a stint at the academy provides a better chance of landing a job than applying after two years as an analyst. Mulvihill also praised the lifestyle at the academy, claiming that there is more self-motivation to succeed.
None of the students that Business Insider spoke to would reveal how much they were being paid, but one did reveal that the pay is “definitely comparable” to that of a bank analyst.