SAC's "ruthless", "pressure packed" culture


So what's it like to work at SAC Capital?

For some, it might be the pinnacle of success, a chance to work at a top performing hedge fund where the potential rewards are tops in the industry. On the other hand, the downsides are scary. DealBook describes SAC as a "high-stress, pressure-packed culture" and "a ruthless place where those who helped Mr. Cohen make money would earn fortunes, while laggards could be fired abruptly, even for a single wrong-way trade."

For some analysts at "an information-driven hedge fund like SAC, the temptation to exploit the expert-network relationship was immense."

That is precisely what proved to be the downfall of Mathew Martoma, who worked closely a neurology professor at the University of Michigan and a specialist in Alzheimer's disease who also "moonlighted as a consultant for Gerson Lehrman."

The professor was shockingly open with confidential information and soon ended up on the radar of investigators. He has agreed to testify for the government, and will no doubt prove to be a top witness if Martoma case ever goes to trial. In the end, Martoma was fired from SAC, labeled a one-trick pony for the incredible trades that generated so much for himself and for Cohen.

One might think that his rough treatment at the end of his SAC Capital stint would incent Martoma to testify against Cohen. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Most likely, he fears Cohen more than he fears the prospect of going to jail for a very long time.

For more:
- here's the article
- here's a Bloomberg article on his choice

Related articles:
Still time to flip Martoma?
Will Steve Cohen be indicted?
Insider trading indictment has SAC angle