Steve Cohen

stevecohensaccapitalThis December will mark five years since Patricia Cohen, Steve’s first wife, came back into his life with the fury of a thousand Preet Bhararas. To celebrate, he’s going to smother her with a pillow. Just kidding, that’s for year six. For five, he’s going with this: Read more »

  • 16 Oct 2014 at 2:36 PM

Steve Cohen Makes Money For Steve Cohen

Point72 Asset Management, AKA the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, whose largest client by far is a guy who answers to the name Steve Cohen, has turned in some pretty decent performance so far this year, despite a series of events that have led it to do stuff like, among other things, monetarily compensate employees for staying on the right side of the law. Read more »

Time was, the unofficial policy at (the hedge fund formerly known as) SAC Capital was that one could earn a pretty penny come bonus season if one made the firm a ton of money, and if that money happened to be made through material non-public information well…whatyougonnado? At SAC Capital 2.0 AKA Point72 Asset Management, however, insider trading is not only frowned upon, it’s both officially and unofficially a bad idea and one that could cost you big time on payday (though one would obviously be fired before that, unless payday is the day they get caught).

But just because the company handbook has been rewritten, or Steve Cohen has held a town hall where the words “If we catch you insider trading, I’ll stick my hand down your throat and rip out your spleen” have exited his mouth, or the hedge fund’s propriety trading software has been rewired so that a cartoon Cohen pops up on the screen and says “Remember, I can make it look like an accident” before any trades are placed, doesn’t mean that people can change their ways in a day. Old habits die hard, particularly at a place where those old habits could score you 8 figures a year.

Which is presumably why* someone at Point72 came up with this: Read more »

Over at the New Yorker today, you will find a long piece exploring the coming undone of the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, now Point72 Asset Management, at the hands of a trader formerly known as Ajai Thomas, now Mathew Martoma. Although nearly a dozen ex-SAC employees have been charged with and convicted of securities fraud over the last several years, it was really the work of work of Martoma, accused in November 2012 of orchestrating “the largest insider trading scheme ever” and found guilty last spring, that was the straw that broke the embalmed shark’s back. Particular details to note:

* While SAC has a history as an extremely cutthroat place to work, where the “down and out” clause means traders are cut loose swiftly and without hesitation, and insults from on high are in no short supply, it was no match for the household of Martoma’s youth, headed by a guy who could teach Steve Cohen a thing or two.

When Martoma’s father first came to America, he was admitted to M.I.T., but he could not afford to attend. He retained a fascination with Cambridge, however, and prayed daily that his oldest son would go to Harvard. Martoma graduated from high school as co-valedictorian, but he ended up going to Duke. Shortly after Mathew’s eighteenth birthday, Bobby presented him with a plaque inscribed with the words “Son Who Shattered His Father’s Dream.”

* Steve Cohen has continued his long and storied tradition of displaying once-living things in boxes at the 72 Cummings Point Road headquarters.

S.A.C. was a notoriously intense place to work. Its headquarters, on a spit of land in Stamford, Connecticut, overlooking the Long Island Sound, are decorated with art from Cohen’s personal collection, including “Self,” a refrigerated glass cube, by Marc Quinn, containing a disembodied head sculpted from the artist’s frozen blood.

* That anecdote that circulating a while back about how Martoma had fainted on his front lawn when approached by the Feds? It wasn’t the mere sight of them, or some sort of line about how they knew he’d been trading on material non-public information that caused him to collapse, but rather this: Read more »

As you’ve probably heard, yesterday afternoon Mathew Martoma née Thomas was sentenced to 9 years in prison for orchestrating “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever” during his time at SAC Capital. Understandably upset and perhaps having also read the civil complaint in which their son’s boss was identified as “Portfolio Manager A,” mom and dad had this to say:

Speaking on the sidewalk outside the old federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Martoma’s parents said he had been wrongly convicted. The couple asked why Mr. Martoma’s former boss, Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire investor who founded SAC, was not also charged with insider trading if their son had done something wrong.

And also:

“…the man who made all the money is on a yacht, my son is going to jail.”

While there is obviously a touch of bias involved here, these statements seem relatively reasonable, whereas the arguments offered for why Martoma/Thomas was found guilty… Read more »

  • 21 Aug 2014 at 3:58 PM

Steve Cohen Betting On Steve Cohen

Now, people close to Cohen say he has quietly and methodically launched a multi-pronged effort to eventually make his full return to the hedge fund business, even if many legal experts say the odds are low that he will prevail. “I would say Steven Cohen’s chances are about as good as Michael Milken’s would be” for returning the securities business, said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, referring to the tarnished junk bond pioneer. Still, Coffee added, “a lifetime ban allows you to reapply five years later for readmission,” meaning it’s not impossible. [FBN]

Something you probably know about Steve Cohen is that the last number of years have not been so kind to him. Almost a dozen of his employees have been charged with and convicted of securities fraud. The government won’t let him manage outside money. He had to rename his fund, rendering a warehouse full of SAC fleeces useless. No one will buy his apartment. The New York Times thinks his house is only 14,000 square feet. He just wrote a check for $848 million, money that could’ve gone toward Super Duper Weenie products or Guy Fieri cookbooks. It’d be enough to make anyone want to get into bed, pull the covers over their head, and shut out the world, which is exactly what Cohen was doing earlier this year.

So when his wife wanted to attend a little party in East Hampton this weekend, it surely took some convincing. “It’ll be good to get out, Steve,” she probably said. “I bet they’ll serve cocktail franks.” “Alec Baldwin will be there; you loved him in Glengarry Glen Ross and Along Came Polly.”

One or all of these temptations clearly struck a chord, and Cohen decided that yes, he would be nice to get out and mingle. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize that Bloomberg‘s exacting eye would be watching. Read more »