UPDATE 1-Former SAC Capital Advisors President Conheeney leaves firm

Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:35am EDT

(Adds details on Conheeney, Cohen's firm, new president)

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON Aug 18 (Reuters) - Thomas Conheeney, who was president of Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors during the years the hedge fund was being investigated for insider trading, has stepped down from the position at successor organization Point72 Asset Management, Point72 said on Monday.

Douglas Haynes, a former McKinsey & Co director who joined the firm earlier this year as managing director for human capital, will succeed Conheeney as president at Point72 Asset Management. Conheeney will stay on at the firm in an advisory role until the end of the year.

Conheeney spent 15 years at SAC, leading the firm first through the financial crisis and then the insider trading investigation which ended last year when the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm pleaded guilty to insider trading and agreed to stop managing money for outside clients.

He signed many memos to employees and investors, updating them as SAC laid off employees, returned money to outside clients and eventually transformed itself from one of the world's most successful hedge funds into a family office.

Point72 is now managing Cohen's personal fortune, estimated to be around $10 billion and will leave the firm as a very sizable investor within the hedge fund industry. SAC took its name from its founder's initials and the new name is a nod to the firm's long-time headquarters, located at 72 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, Connecticut.

Cohen has never been charged criminally but still faces a civil administrative action in the matter.

The New York Times first reported Conheeney's departure.

Conheeney is the latest prominent employee to leave Cohen amid the fallout from the insider trading case, the government's biggest in it years-long investigation. The firm has shrunk from about 1,000 employees last year to about 850 now.

In February, Steven Kessler, chief compliance officer at SAC, left, and roughly one dozen portfolio managers have left the firm in the last months. To be sure, Cohen has been hiring as well, recruiters said, noting that he has employed mostly new analysts.

One of the most prominent portfolio managers to leave Cohen is Gabriel Plotkin, who is departing at the end of the year to launch his own fund with Cohen's financial blessing. The new firm will be called Melvin Capital, in honor of Plotkin's late grandfather. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)