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SAC to shrink legal entities, hire surveillance officer: letter

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[February 26, 2014]  By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters)  SAC Capital Advisors, the once powerful hedge fund that plead guilty to insider trading charges last year, is streamlining its business units and will hire a chief surveillance officer as it transforms itself into a family office.

The firm, now managing only founder Steven A. Cohen's $9 billion personal fortune, will combine its three U.S. stock divisions and macro business into two new entities slated to start operating in April, Cohen and SAC President Tom Conheeney wrote in a letter to employees, which was seen by Reuters.

SAC's quant business, where traders rely on mathematical algorithms to trade, will operate in a separate, newly formed entity and the firm is creating a new position of chief surveillance officer, the letter said.

"We are also strengthening our compliance structure. We will be augmenting our compliance capabilities with the new position of Chief Surveillance Officer ("CSO"), reporting to Tom," the letter said.

Late last year the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm plead guilty to the government's charges, agreed to a $1.8 billion fine and promised to stop managing money for outsiders. In the letter, Cohen said that former clients got their money back in January.

"We are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure we never go through again what we have experienced over the last few years," the pair said.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Bernard Orr)

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