SAC Capital Advisors, the once-mighty hedge fund that has been in embroiled in numerous insider trading investigations, is getting a new name.
The company will be renamed Point72 Asset Management, according to a memo sent to employees Tuesday morning. The new name is a reference to the address of its headquarters in Stamford, Conn: 72 Cummings Point Road. The change with take effect next month.
"We have been through a great deal during the past few years," the memo said. The new name is "intended to help us to move forward."
SAC Capital pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges last year, agreeing to pay a fine exceeding $1.8 billion and to close its doors to outside investors.
The SAC in SAC Capital stands for the initials of its founder, Steven A. Cohen. While Cohen has been in the federal government's cross hairs for years, he has not been charged criminally with any wrongdoing. But a number of his lieutenants have pleaded guilty or been convicted of insider trading charges.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Cohen last year, accusing him of failing to properly supervise employees who committed insider trading. He has denied the allegations.
Still, the insider trading convictions of SAC employees has hurt the company. SAC has returned money to outside investors and now operates as a "family office." That means it can only manage Cohen's money and that of his employees. But that's a lot of money. Cohen had an estimated net worth of $9.4 billion as of last September .
Of course, SAC isn't the first corporation to change its name due to trouble.
AirTran Airways was previously known as ValuJet Airlines. The airline made the name switch after a 1996 Florida crash that killed 110 people and a merger with a smaller airline. AirTran is now owned by Southwest(LUV). Tobacco company Phillip Morris changed its name to Altria(MO) in 2003 in an attempt to disassociate itself from the negative health effects of cigarettes.
More recently, Intel(INTC) dumped the McAfee name from its security business due to the exploits of McAfee's eccentric founder.