Gruntal And Co: Out Of This Cocoon A Beautiful Butterfly Spread His Wings

Those of you who haven't spent a good deal of time poring over the biographical details of Steve Cohen, as though you were preparing to write a dissertation on The Big Guy, may not be aware that he was not in fact born on the Stamford trading floor, wearing glasses and a zip-up fleece. In fact, there was life before SAC Capital and actually a time when Cohen did not work at a place where the office bore his initials in the lobby in 12-foot font. Cohen grew up on Long Island, the son of a dressmaker  and after college got his start at a company called Gruntal & Co, which a former employee who worked there at the same time as SC describes in tremendous detail today.
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Those of you who haven't spent a good deal of time poring over the biographical details of Steve Cohen, as though you were preparing to write a dissertation on The Big Guy, may not be aware that he was not in fact born on the Stamford trading floor, wearing glasses and a zip-up fleece. In fact, there was life before SAC Capital and actually a time when Cohen did not work at a place where the office bore his initials in the lobby in 12-foot font. Cohen grew up on Long Island, the son of a dressmaker, and after college got his start at a company called Gruntal & Co, which a former employee who worked there at the same time as SC describes in tremendous detail today.

The company was like the Wild West, with employees carving out niches for themselves and running them like mini-fiefdoms, according to former employees. It did not have polish. When Gruntal was based on Wall Street, in downtown Manhattan, “they had a huge ventilator in the middle of the room, blowing the air around, and a dirty, gross carpet,” recalls Don Jans, who was an institutional bond salesman at the company in the 1990s. “I remember going to visit the office and seeing this trader-girl, in a muumuu, talking on the phone,” Jans says. “She was eating a cheese Danish with one hand and smoking a cigarette in the other.”

Jans does not provide more information about this woman but it seems safe to assume she was the BSD of Gruntal who took Cohen under her wing and promised to teach her little appretience how with hard work and gumption, he too could one day wear a muumuu to work* and demand the respect of Wall Street.

Where Hedge Fund Mogul Steve Cohen Learned to Trade [Bloomberg Businessweek]

*Some of you may be saying to yourselves, "But Bess, he doesn't wear a muumuu to work..." He doesn't wear a muumuu to work YET. Because he hasn't reached this lady's status. No one has.

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New York Times Finds A Weird Way To Kick Steve Cohen When He's Down

As you may have heard, things have not been going tremendously well for Steve Cohen of late. Two days before Thanksgiving, the government went public with its case against a former SAC Capital employee, Mathew Martoma, who it accused of masterminding the largest insider trading scheme ever. Cohen was neither charged nor mentioned by name in the criminal complaint, but he did make an appearance playing the role of "Portfolio Manager A," a part we have previously mentioned one does not want to portray, if it can be avoided. Then on Wednesday, it was disclosed that SAC had received a Wells notice, indicative of the SEC's plan to sue the fund and if that wasn't enough, sources also claimed investigators are considering naming Cohen personally in the suit, to boot. So things are not exactly going his way right now and what he could really use is a break. The government dropping all charges against Martoma and publicly stating it will stay out of the Big Guy's business forever starting right this second seems out of the question but even some small act of kindness would probably help. Allowing him to pass you on 95. Telling him he looks nice today. Asking, "Have you been working out?" Sending him humorous YouTube videos with a sweet note like, "Hang in there, bud. You're in my thoughts..." On the flip side, you know what he doesn't need? Wildly libelous claims that it's going to take a lot more than a "Correction" to forgive.

Steve Cohen Bought Himself A Little Pick-Me-Up

As you may have heard, the last number of months have been a bit tough on hedge fund manager Steve Cohen. In November, one of his former employees, Mathew Martoma, was accused of orchestrating "the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever," in a criminal complaint in which Cohen was referenced as Portfolio Manager A. A week later, the Times lopped 21,000 square feet off his house. Earlier this month, he had the pleasure of setting the record for the largest insider trading fine ever, at $614 million, a sum that does not even put this whole thing behind him, as the settlement "doesn't preclude the Securities and Exchange Commission from pursuing Cohen himself in the future." So you'll excuse the Big Guy if he felt the need to indulge in a little retail therapy recently.

Steve Cohen Gives 215 Million (And Counting) Fingers To The Universe

In the news this week you will find two stories of men soothing what ails them through retail therapy: that of Friday Night Lights writer Buzz Bissinger, who confessed in the pages of GQ to spending over $600,000 at the House of Gucci in a leather fetish/bondage binge that resulted in him coming to own 'eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves' and Steve Cohen, who will not be held down by SEC settlements topping half a billion dollars or bulls-eyes on his back. Earlier this week it was reported that the SAC Capital founder had picked up Picasso's Le Rêve for $155 million as "a gift to himself" and now he's got a place to put it:

Doctor Who Tipped Off SAC Manager Wasn't Conspicuous About His Wealth Except When He Was Telling Strangers On Planes About All The Fancy Hotels And Limo Rides Insider Trading Afforded Him

As you may have heard, in addition to the salary he was paid by the University of Michigan, Dr. Sidney Gilman made about $100,000/year through his side-gig advising "a wide network of Wall Street traders."  That network included included Mathew Martoma, recently charged with running “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever,” based on the information he received from Gilman, who made it a habit of leaking highly confidential information to the former SAC Capital employee. While most people that engage in fraud can't help but spend their ill-gotten gains in a flashy way that attracts unwanted attention (expensive cars, private jets, chinchilla fur coats) the Times reports that Sid Gilman's supplementary income "was not readily apparent in his lifestyle in Michigan." For instance, no second home and no bragging to his colleagues about his life on Wall Street. Still, on at least one occasion, the doctor couldn't help but let the underage girl sitting next to him on a flight home know that she was in the presence of a BSD.

Things Could Be A LOT Better At SAC Capital Right Now

Back in October, we detailed a list of things that, if you are the hedge fund manager who goes by the name Steven A. Cohen, you really don't want to hear first thing in the morning. They included: “The fleeces are on back order”; “Your ex-wife is in the lobby”; “There’s a photographer here who said he’s been authorized to shoot you wearing a king’s robe and crown for a set of playing cards”; “You’ve been outmaneuvered for the Toledo Mud Hens. But I hear the Binghamton Mets may be available.” Today we must update that list to include another thing, perhaps THE thing,* that people delivering news to Cohen don't want to relay. Paraphrasing but any variants on: "Mr. Cohen, we've received a Wells notice and by the way, they're considering naming you personally."

What Does A Phone Dedicated Exclusively To Receiving Calls From Steve Cohen Look Like?

Past the two Bentleys in the driveway and beyond the pool and mini water park, the home theater and a sports bar hung with enough memorabilia to equip a basketball team, Tom DeMark has his office -- a dark, wood- paneled lair with six computer screens. The office abuts the master bedroom of his Scottsdale, Arizona, home, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its December issue. It has to, DeMark says, because he often gets up after midnight to scrutinize charts of stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies to see if his numerical system for predicting their behavior is working. Since he started in the investment business in 1971, DeMark has advised some of the biggest names on Wall Street, men such as Paul Tudor Jones and Leon Cooperman. He’s a consultant to Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, which manages $14 billion, and John Burbank, founder of $3.4 billion Passport Capital LLC. SAC and Passport each own a piece of DeMark’s company, Market Studies LLC. DeMark has a phone on his desk that’s dedicated to Cohen. Seems like the obvious possibilities are: a) b) c) d) e) other Follow-up question: how many other people have Steve-only phones? Surely DeMark is not alone. DeMark Fibonacci Charts Embraced by Cohen Lure Investors [Bloomberg Markets Magazine]