Steven A. Cohen

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For other persons with a similar name, see Stephen Cohen.
Steven A. Cohen
Born (1956-06-11) June 11, 1956 (age 60)
Great Neck, New York, U.S.
Residence Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Alma mater Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)[1]
Occupation Founder, Point72 Asset Management
Hedge fund manager
Salary US$1.55 Billion (2015)[2]
Net worth Increase US$13 Billion (Sep 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Patricia Finke (m. 1979; div. 1990)
Alexandra Garcia (m. 1992)
Children 7[1]

Steven A. Cohen (born June 11, 1956) is an American hedge fund manager. He is the founder of Point72 Asset Management (a family office) and S.A.C. Capital Advisors (a hedge fund), both based in Stamford, Connecticut. He is also a noted art collector.[3]

He had an estimated net worth of $13 billion as of Sep 2016, ranked by Forbes as the 72nd richest man in the world.[1] Cohen is 30th overall in the U.S.[4]

One of the most successful hedge fund managers ever, Steve Cohen may have shut down his SAC Capital hedge fund after it pleaded guilty to insider charges, but he continues to successfully trade his own money. [5] In July 2013, amid multiple charges against employees of S.A.C. Capital Advisors,[6] the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought civil charges against Cohen himself, accusing him of failing to prevent insider trading.[7] In November 2013, S.A.C. Capital pleaded guilty to insider trading violations, agreed to stop managing funds for outsiders, and paid a $1.8 billion fine.[8][9] In January 2016, Cohen reached a settlement with the SEC on the civil charge, in which he is barred from managing money for outside investors until 2018.[10]

Early life[edit]

Cohen grew up in a Jewish family [11][12] in Great Neck, New York, where his father was a dress manufacturer in Manhattan's garment district, and his mother was a part-time piano teacher.[13] He has 7 other brothers and sisters, in which he is the 3rd oldest. From oldest to youngest: Marty Cohen, Gary Cohen, Steven Cohen, Cindy Cohen, Donald Cohen, Stacey Cohen, Wendy Cohen, and Russell Cohen. He took a liking to poker as a high school student, often betting his own money in tournaments. Cohen credits the game with teaching him "how to take risks."[13] Cohen received an economics degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He was a brother of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, Theta Chapter.[14][15] While in school, a friend helped him open a brokerage account with $1,000 of his tuition money.[13]


After Wharton, Cohen got a Wall Street job as a junior trader in the options arbitrage department at Gruntal & Co. in 1978, where he eventually managed a $75 million portfolio and six traders.[13]

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.[14] Cohen was running his own trading group at Gruntal by 1984, and continued running it until he started his own company, SAC.[14]

In 1992, Cohen started SAC Capital Partners with $20 million of his own money; as of 2009, the firm managed $14 billion in equity.[16] Originally known as a rapid-fire trader who never held trading positions for extended periods of time, Cohen now holds an increasing number of equities for longer periods of time.[13][17]


In 2016, Forbes Magazine estimated Cohen's fortune at $13 billion in September 2016, ranking him the 30th richest person in the United States.[18]

In 1998, the Cohen family purchased a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) home on 14 acres (57,000 m2) in Greenwich, Connecticut.[19]

His 2005 compensation was reportedly $1 billion,[20] considerably higher than his 2004 compensation ($450 million),[21] 2001 compensation ($428 million),[14] and 2003 compensation ($350 million).[22] In addition, Cohen owns 7% of search engine Baidu[23] and owns 5% of SSD design firm OCZ Technology.[24]

In February 2015, Forbes listed Cohen as the #1 Highest-Earning hedge fund manager.[25] In December 2013, Cohen's New York penthouse in the highly coveted Bloomberg Tower was listed for sale for 98 million dollars.[26] Cohen is one of the minority owners of the New York Mets, and holds a four percent stake in the baseball team.[27]

Art collector[edit]

Picasso's Le Reve , which Cohen purchased from Steve Wynn for US$150 million in 2012

Cohen began collecting art in 2000, and has since become a prominent collector, appearing on Art News magazine's "Top 10" list of biggest-spending art collectors around the world each year since 2002,[28] and Forbes magazine's "Top Billionaire Art Collectors" list in 2005.[29] He began spending a substantial proportion of his assets on art in the early 2000s.[30] A 2015 estimate valued his art collection at about $1 billion.[31] Also in 2015, he reportedly bought the world's most expensive sculpture, Alberto Giacometti's Man Pointing.[32]

In the 2000s, Cohen's SAC Capital owned between 4.7% and 5.9% of the stock of Sotheby's auction house.[33] S.E.C. filings in 2009 showed that SAC had sold all of its Sotheby's stock.[34]

Cohen is reportedly building a private museum for some of his artwork on his Greenwich property.[33] He owns or has owned artworks by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Jeff Koons, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.[31][35][36][37]

Cohen's tastes in collecting changed quickly from Impressionist painters to contemporary art. While he has collected works from important emerging artists such as Adam Pendleton,[38] he is most famous for collecting 'trophy' art—signature works by famous artists[29]—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.[39]

He has purchased some unusual art works. In 2006, Cohen remarked that repairing his suspended shark artwork (Hirst's Physical Impossiblity), a cost estimated to be a minimum of $100,000, was an "inconsequential" expense. Since the original shark was over 10 years old, it had begun to rot.[40][41] It was replaced with another shark in 2006.[42] Cohen has also placed Marc Quinn's Self, a head sculpture made of frozen blood, in the SAC lobby.[41]

In 2006, Cohen attempted to make the most expensive art purchase in history when he offered to purchase Picasso's Le Reve 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[43] until early November 2012, when Cohen finally acquired the painting for $150 million.[44]


Cohen and his wife Alexandra have donated over quarter of a billion dollars over the last decade to projects involved in health, education, arts & culture, and New York community.[45] The Cohens have donated large sums to a number of hospitals, with a particular focus on pediatric care.[citation needed] They gave the Long Island Jewish Medical and the North Shore University Hospital $55 million to expand pediatric care.[citation needed] The Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at the NY Presbyterian Cornell Weill Medical Center received a $50 million donation.[citation needed] 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.[46] Cohen has committed $30 million toward research to accelerate development of biomarker tests and drug-based therapies for the conditions.[47]

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation gave a grant in excess of $100,000 to the Bruce Museum of Arts and Science in 2014, to support arts education and family programming.[48]

In April 2016, Cohen committed $275 million to establishing mental health centers for veterans and their families nationwide. The first two opened in Texas in the following months; centers in Los Angeles and Philadelphia are scheduled to open by the end of 2016, and a total of 25 are planned by 2020.[49][50][51][52]


Dubbed "the hedge fund king" in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article, Time Magazine ranked him 94th in 2007 on its annual Time 100 list of most influential people.[13][17] In 2011 he was included in the 50 Most Influential ranking of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.[53]


On November 20, 2012, Cohen was implicated in an alleged insider trading scandal involving an ex-SAC manager, Mathew Martoma.[54][55] The SEC brought charges against a number of other S.A.C. 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.[56] Martoma sought to have his conviction overturned in 2015;[57] he was the eighth present or former SAC Capital employee found guilty on insider-trading charges.

Cohen was not directly named in the 2012 indictment, but was referred to as "Portfolio Manager A" "according to people familiar with the matter."[54] The SEC later brought a civil lawsuit against Cohen, concerning his supervisory duties toward Martoma and Michael Steinberg, a senior employee and confidant of Cohen's.[58] The case against Steinberg was dropped in October 2015, weakening the SEC's case against Cohen. Cohen's civil case was settled in January 2016; the agreement prohibits Cohen from managing outside money until 2018.[58]

The hedge fund itself pleaded guilty to similar criminal charges in a $1.8 billion November settlement that required it to stop handling investments for outsiders. Criminal charges were never brought against Cohen himself, but Dr. Sidney Gilman, the star prosecution witness against Martoma, testified that FBI agents told him Cohen was the investigation's ultimate target.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Cohen has been married twice:[13][60]

  • In 1979, he married Patricia Finke,[61] a New York native from a working-class background who grew up in the Washington Heights, Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. They had two children together. They divorced in 1990.[62][63]
  • In 1992, he married Alexandra Garcia, a working single mom of Puerto Rican Catholic descent who also grew up in Washington Heights. They have four children together.[12][64] They live 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).[13][60]

Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees of Brown University and the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation.[15][65][66]

In 1999, the publicity-shy[13][14] trader granted one of his first on-the record interviews to Daniel Strachman for his book Getting Started In Hedge Funds (Wiley 2000).

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.[67] On March 30, 2011, the United States District Court in Lower Manhattan dismissed the case, saying Ms. Cohen’s claims amounted to little more than speculation and rumor.[68]

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.[69] It also revived claims of racketeering and breach of fiduciary duty, while upholding the dismissal of an unjust enrichment claim.[70][71][72]

Political donations[edit]

In 2015, Cohen and his wife donated $2 million to a Super PAC supporting the presidential candidacy of Chris Christie.[73][74]


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  25. ^ Vardi, Nathan (February 25, 2015), "The 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers & Traders", Forbes 
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  27. ^ Svea Herbst-Bayliss (February 23, 2012). "SAC's Cohen buys small stake in New York Mets". Reuters. 
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  32. ^ Smith, Emily (June 8, 2015). "Man who bought the world's most expensive sculpture revealed". Page Six. 
  33. ^ Maneker, Marion (March 6, 2009). "Steven Cohen Buys Significant Sotheby's Stake". Art Market Monitor. 
  34. ^ Taylor, Kate. "Art Collector's Hedge Fund No Longer Owns Sotheby's Stock". ArtsBeat. NY Times. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  35. ^ Goldstein, Matthew (January 19, 2016). "Morgan Stanley Provides Billionaire Steven Cohen With Loan Secured by Art". New York Times. 
  36. ^ Vogel, Carol (October 12, 2006). "Works by Johns and de Kooning Sell for $143.5 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  37. ^ Vogel, Carol (November 18, 2006). "Landmark De Kooning Crowns Collection". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  38. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (April 16, 2015). "Adam Pendleton: The Making of an Art-World Star". The Wall Street Journal. 
  39. ^ Smarthistory - Hirst's Shark: Interpreting Contemporary Art, video, Beth Harris, Sal Khan and Steven Zucker commentators, 7:49. accessed December 19, 2012
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  43. ^ "My Weekend in Vegas". The Huffington Post. October 16, 2006. 
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  45. ^ "Steven A. Cohen - Wall Street Donors | Individuals | Foundations - Inside Philanthropy". Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  46. ^ Kime, Patricia (November 5, 2014). "Medical tests for PTSD and TBI not far off". Military Times. 
  47. ^ Gordon, Amanda (April 6, 2016). "Steven Cohen Pledges $275 Million to Veteran Mental Health Care". Bloomberg. 
  48. ^ Bind, Barbara (November 9, 2014). "With new grant, Bruce Museum adds family programs". Greenwich Time. 
  49. ^ Kime, Patricia (November 5, 2014). "Medical tests for PTSD and TBI not far off". MilitaryTimes. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  50. ^ Repko, Melissa (June 8, 2016). "New Addison clinic offers free counseling for DFW's many veterans and their families". Dallas Morning News. 
  51. ^ Kuz, Martin (May 9, 2016). "New clinic offers free mental health services for veterans, families". San Antonio Express News. 
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  61. ^ "American Law Daily: First Amended Complaint: PATRICIA COHEN, Plaintiff, STEVEN COHEN, DONALD COHEN, BRETT LURIE, EDWARD BAO, SAC CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC., DONALD T. COHEN C.P.A., P.A., and GRUNTAL & CO. L.L.C., Defendants" (PDF).  filed April 5, 2010
  62. ^ New York Magazine: "Divorced, Never Separated" By Steve Fishman March 28, 2010
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  66. ^ "Robin Hood Foundation - Board of Directors". The Robin Hood Foundation. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
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  68. ^ Ex-Wife’s Suit Against Steven Cohen Is Dismissed March 30, 2011
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  71. ^ Chung, Juliet (April 3, 2013). "New Divorce Fight for SAC's Cohen". The Wall Street Journal. 
  72. ^ Juliet Chung (April 3, 2013). "Court revives lawsuit against SAC's Cohen". MarketWatch. 
  73. ^ "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race". New York Times. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  74. ^ "The Wall Street kingpin behind the attack on Kasich's ties to Wall Street". 

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