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Point72’s Head of Global Macro Sara Vavra Leaves Hedge Fund

Bei Hu and Katia Porzecanski

(Bloomberg) -- Sara Vavra, the head of global macro at Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, has left the firm after about two years, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vavra was among the most senior female executives at the firm. She joined the $15 billion hedge fund in 2017 from Laurion Capital Management and departed earlier this week, said the people, who asked not to be named. Jae Ho Kim will fill the position while a permanent replacement is found.

Vavra’s exit comes just weeks after Tokyo-based money manager Marie Yamaguchi also left, the people said. Yamaguchi, who focused on trading Japanese stocks, joined Point72’s predecessor firm SAC Capital Advisors in 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Point72’s hiring practices and treatment of women have come under scrutiny after talent-analytics executive Lauren Bonner sued the firm in 2018 claiming it hired and promoted fewer women than men and paid her less than male counterparts with equal or fewer responsibilities. The firm has denied the claims.

Vavra and Yamaguchi couldn’t be reached for comment, while a representative for Point72 declined to comment. Their departures are unrelated, one of the people said, and the firm has recently hired several women.

Last month Point72 hired London-based money manager Genevieve Kahr to focus on investing in U.S. and European media and telecommunications stocks, the person said. Earlier this month, Arezu Moghadam joined as head of quantitative analytics within Point72’s Market Intelligence unit, and Yi Zhang joined as a senior quant developer at Cubist Systematic Strategies, the hedge fund’s quant business.

In her role at Point72, Vavra was responsible for supervising the performance and professional development of the firm’s macro portfolio managers and their teams, according to her profile on the firm’s website.

The global macro business, which is run by several portfolio managers, is up 8.5% this year through September, a person familiar with the matter said.

Vavra was the first woman to join Point72’s policy committee, according to Bonner. At the time of her lawsuit, Point72 employed one female money manager out of 125, and only 21% of its new hires in 2017 were women, the complaint says.

Broadly speaking, the overall industry lacks women in investment and management roles. Women make up just 11% of senior staff at hedge funds, and just 10% of the employees on portfolio management teams, according to a February report by Preqin.

(Updates with performance of macro business in 8th paragraph.)

--With assistance from Hema Parmar and Gregory Calderone.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bei Hu in Hong Kong at bhu5@bloomberg.net;Katia Porzecanski in New York at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, ;Katrina Nicholas at knicholas2@bloomberg.net, Peter Vercoe

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