Billionaire Steve Cohen has lost his top trader ahead of his supersize hedge fund launch

Billionaire Steve Cohen’s longtime top trader is leaving ahead of the hedge fund manager’s expected supersize return to managing outside money.

Phil Villhauer is leaving Cohen’s family office, Point72, after working for Cohen since 2002, the New York Times reported earlier Tuesday, citing an internal memo.

Villhauer got his start at SAC Capital, which was shut down for insider trading. Cohen turned SAC into an $US11 billion family office following a settlement with the government. Cohen is widely expected to accept outside money again starting next year, when a ban on him managing outside money ends.

A spokesman for Point72 confirmed that Villhauer is leaving and declined to comment further.

Cohen’s relaunch is highly anticipated on Wall Street. Business Insider previously reported that investors are expected to pony up a minimum of $US100 million for the chance to invest.

A person with direct knowledge of the launch earlier told Business Insider that the new fund is targeting close to $US2 billion in outsiders’ money — a steep drop from previously cited figures nearing $US10 billion.

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