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SAC Capital to move to smaller, family-based office in accord with SEC

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Sarah N. Lynch

(Reuters) - Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital reached an agreement with U.S. securities regulators on Friday for the once-powerful hedge fund to no longer be an investment adviser, following the firm's guilty plea to insider trading charges last year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's order, stipulating that SAC will stop being an investment adviser on June 30, was widely expected after the government prohibited the firm from managing money for outside clients.

Cohen, who has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, had already restructured SAC Capital and renamed it Point72 Asset Management to signal the change from being a hedge fund to a family office before the June 30 deadline.

Family offices, unlike hedge funds, are not required to register with the SEC and they generally do not manage outsiders' money, preventing them from earning the lucrative performance and management fees charged by hedge funds.

The firm will now manage only Cohen's personal fortune, estimated to be between $9 billion and $10 billion. The hedge fund, which Cohen started with $25 million in 1992, managed $12 billion in assets in February, the SEC said.

At age 58, Cohen joins industry elder statesmen George Soros and Carl Icahn in the transformation of hedge funds into family offices; Soros and Icahn both took that step several years ago.

Separately, Cohen still faces civil charges after the SEC last year accused him of failing to supervise SAC employees who where later found guilty of insider trading.

The case has been postponed until later this year. Cohen has denied the charges.