Steven A. Cohen
Steven A. Cohen
|Born||June 11, 1956|
Great Neck, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania|
|Occupation||Hedge fund manager|
|Known for||Founding and leading:|
S.A.C. Capital Advisors &
Point72 Asset Management
Insider Trading Record Fine $1.8bn
|Net worth||US$14.1 billion (February 2020)|
(m. 1979; div. 1990)
Steven A. Cohen (born June 11, 1956) is an American billionaire hedge fund manager. He is the founder of hedge fund Point72 Asset Management and now-closed S.A.C. Capital Advisors, both based in Stamford, Connecticut. He owns one of the world's most valuable private art collections, worth over $1 billion, which includes notable artworks such as Koons's Rabbit, Picasso's Le Rêve, and Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Cohen is currently a minority owner of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball, and will become majority owner pending approvals.
In 2013, the Cohen-founded S.A.C. Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines ($900 million in forfeiture and $900 million in fines) in one of the biggest criminal cases against a hedge fund. Cohen was prohibited from managing outside money for two years as part of the settlement reached in the civil case over his accountability for the scandal. The hedge fund agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud and to close to outside investors.
Early life and education
Cohen grew up in a Jewish family in Great Neck, New York, where his father was a dress manufacturer in Manhattan's garment district, and his mother was a piano teacher. He is the third of seven brothers and sisters. He took a liking to poker as a high school student, often betting his own money in tournaments, and credits the game with teaching him how "to take risks." Cohen graduated from John L. Miller Great Neck North High School in 1974, where he played on the school's soccer team.
Cohen received an economics degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. While in school, a friend helped him open a brokerage account with $1,000 of his tuition money.
1978―1992 Gruntal & Co.
In 1978, after graduating from Wharton, Cohen got a Wall Street job as a junior trader in the options arbitrage department at Gruntal & Co. His first day on the job at Gruntal & Co., he made an $8,000 profit. He would eventually go on to make the company around $100,000 a day and eventually managed a $75 million portfolio and six traders. Cohen was running his own trading group at Gruntal & Co. by 1984, and continued running it until he started his own company, SAC.
Throughout the late 1980s, the Securities and Exchange Commission became suspicious that Cohen had used inside information in December 1985 when he bet that RCA and GE would merge, ahead of the announcement. The SEC called him to testify, but he refused to answer any questions, invoking his right against self-incrimination. Then, the SEC started looking into his other investments from the same period, especially those involving Brett K. Lurie.
1992 Founds S.A.C. Capital Advisors
In 1992, Cohen started S.A.C. Capital Advisors with $10 million of his own money and another $10 million from outside capital. The company's name 'SAC Capital' derived from Steven A. Cohen's initials.
In 2003, the New York Times wrote that "SAC is one of the biggest hedge funds and is known for frequent and rapid trading." In 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that while Cohen was once a rapid-fire trader who never held trading positions for extended periods of time, he now holds an increasing number of equities for longer periods of time.
As of 2009, the firm managed $14 billion in equity.
2012―2016 SEC Investigation
On November 20, 2012, Cohen was implicated in an alleged insider trading scandal involving an ex-SAC manager, Mathew Martoma. The SEC brought charges against a number of other SAC employees from 2010 to 2013 with various outcomes. Martoma was convicted in 2014, in what federal prosecutors billed as the most profitable insider-trading conspiracy in history. The SEC later brought a civil lawsuit against Cohen, alleging his failure to supervise Martoma and Michael Steinberg, who was a senior employee and confidant of Cohen's. Cohen settled his civil case with regulators in January 2016; the agreement with the SEC prohibited Cohen from managing outside money until 2018.
S.A.C. Capital Advisors "pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in 2013 and paid $1.8 billion in penalties" and was required to stop handling investments for outsiders. Cohen "escaped criminal indictment himself despite being the living, breathing heart of S.A.C. Capital," but Dr. Sidney Gilman, the star prosecution witness against Martoma, testified that FBI agents told him that Cohen was the investigation's ultimate target. He was featured in a January 2017 New Yorker article titled, "When The Feds Went After The Hedge-Fund Legend Steven A. Cohen".
2016 Point72 Ventures
In 2016, Forbes Magazine estimated Cohen's fortune at $13 billion, ranking him the 30th richest person in the United States. Cohen was dubbed "the hedge fund king" in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article. His 2005 compensation was reportedly $1 billion, considerably higher than his 2001 compensation of $428 million. In February 2015, Forbes listed Cohen as the highest-earning hedge fund manager in 2014. In December 2013, Cohen's New York penthouse in the Bloomberg Tower was listed for sale for $98 million.
Cohen is a minority owner of the New York Mets, with a 8% stake in the baseball team.On August 27, 2020, news sources announced that Cohen had entered into exclusive negotiations with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to buy a controlling interest in the Mets. On September 14, 2020, it was announced an agreement was made to give Cohen majority control of the Mets, pending approval from MLB owners.
Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation - Cohen and his wife Alexandra have donated to projects involved in health, education, arts and culture, and the New York community. In 2014, the Cohen Foundation provided funding, via the New York University Langone Center, for the study of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
In 2019 the foundation contributed $50 million of the more than $400 million raised for the New York Museum of Modern Art. The museum announced in 2017 that MoMA's largest contiguous gallery will be called the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions. Cohen is on the board of the MoMa and LA MOCA.
Cohen Veterans Network - In April 2016, Cohen announced the creation and a commitment of $275 million to the Cohen Veterans Network. The CVN's goal is to establish mental health centers for veterans and their families throughout the U.S. The goal is the establishment of 20-25 centers by 2020.
Begins collecting art - The New York Times reported that Cohen began seriously collecting art in 2000. Cohen's tastes and collection began with Impressionist painters, acquiring works by Manet and Monet, after which he moved quickly into contemporary art.
While he has collected works from important emerging artists such as Adam Pendleton, he is most famous for collecting 'trophy' art—signature works by famous artists—including a Pollock drip painting from David Geffen for $52 million and Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a piece that the artist had bought back from Charles Saatchi for $8 million.
In 2006, Cohen attempted to make the most expensive art purchase in history when he offered to purchase Picasso's Le Rêve from casino mogul Steve Wynn for $139 million. Just days before the painting was to be transported to Cohen, Wynn, who suffers from poor vision due to retinitis pigmentosa, accidentally thrust his elbow through the painting while showing it to a group of acquaintances inside of his office at Wynn Las Vegas. The purchase was canceled, and Wynn still held the painting until early November 2012, when Cohen finally acquired the painting for $150 million.
In May 2019, Cohen bought Jeff Koons's Rabbit for $91.1 million, the purchase was made through Robert Mnuchin, and was the most expensive work sold by a living artist at auction at the time.
Scope and housing the collection - Cohen owns or has owned artworks by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Jeff Koons, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. In 2015, he reportedly bought the world's most expensive sculpture, Alberto Giacometti's Man Pointing. A 2015 estimate valued his art collection at about $1 billion. Cohen is reportedly building a private museum for some of his artwork on his Greenwich property. Cohen has also placed Marc Quinn's Self, a head sculpture made of frozen blood, in the SAC lobby.
Legacy and awards
In 2008, he was inducted into the Institutional Investors Alpha's Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Fame along with Alfred Jones, Bruce Kovner, David Swensen, George Soros, Jack Nash, James Simons, Julian Robertson, Kenneth Griffin, Leon Levy, Louis Bacon, Michael Steinhardt, Paul Tudor Jones and Seth Klarman.
Cohen has been married twice. In 1979, he married Patricia Finke, a New York native from a working-class background who grew up in the Washington Heights, Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. They have two children together. They divorced in 1990.
In 1991 Cohen met Alexandra Garcia, a single mother of Puerto Rican descent. Garcia grew up in Washington Heights, moving there from her original home in the projects of Harlem. They have four children together. Before some of the children got older, Cohen and Alex lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, with their seven children (their four children along with Alexandra's prior child and his two children with his first wife, Patricia). In 1998, the Cohens purchased a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) home on 14 acres (57,000 m2) in Greenwich.
Racketeering and insider trading charges
In December 2009, Cohen and his brother Donald T. Cohen were sued by Steven's ex-wife Patricia Cohen for racketeering and insider trading charges. On March 30, 2011, the United States District Court in Lower Manhattan dismissed the case, but on April 3, 2013, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said a lower court had erred in dismissing fraud-based claims by his former spouse and revived the lawsuit. The appeals court also revived claims of racketeering and breach of fiduciary duty, while upholding the dismissal of an unjust enrichment claim.
Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Pierre Leval said Patricia Cohen had made a “plausible” allegation that Steven Cohen had concealed the $5.5 million during negotiations on a separation agreement in 1989, which preceded the divorce. The revival of the lawsuit comes amid mounting pressure on Steven Cohen over an insider trading investigation that led to the arrest of Michael Steinberg, one of Cohen's closest confidantes at SAC Capital. SAC affiliates reached two civil insider trading settlements totaling nearly $616 million with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. SAC neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in either case.
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|url=value (help). http. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
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- PBS Frontline documentary To Catch a Trader
- When Wall Street Writes Its Own Rules
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- Steven Cohen Accused of Failing to Prevent Insider Trading
- Focus on Art collection - "A New Prince of Wall Street Buys Up Art" – New York Times 2005 article profiling Cohen's art collection
- Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation - Official Website