At long last, the pretense that Steve Cohen’s return to the hedge fund industry (which is not really a return at all, but whatever) is lifting: Now, in addition to the third-party marketer and fee structure and growing global footprint and ramped-up hiring and shadow-boxing with British regulators and all the rest of it, there’s something tangible and not easily deniable in a “we’re just trying to run the best damned family office we can” sort of way: a marketing deck for Stamford Harbor Capital that’s been seen by real potential investors, albeit not all that many of them.
Until now, though, investors, advisors, and others in the hedge-fund industry said Cohen's representatives had limited themselves to vague and almost bizarrely hypothetical conversations about the fund along the lines of: If a particular person named Steve Cohen happens to launch a fund, and that fund happens to open next year, what would it take for an investor to sign on?
"It was a lot of wink wink, nudge nudge," said one person, who spoke of meetings before the documents were sent this week.
There is also the matter of the service providers being lined up, including cap intro folks who’ll get to pitch potentials on the twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest with the great man, now at the low, low price of a 2.5% management fee and $100 million minimum investment, which are the sorts of things that family offices don’t really need but that hedge funds do.
Even still, however, there are those clinging to the belief that Cohen will not, in fact, begin managing outside money again. Including, the rumors and water-cooler talk on Cummings Point Road say, Steve Cohen himself.
Privately, Cohen has expressed doubts about whether he should come out again, a potential investor who also knows Cohen personally said. Cohen's family office hasn't recently posted the kind of 30% annual returns that he was once famous for….
Staffers at Point72, which has been investing Cohen's billions since SAC got shut down, have been largely kept in the dark. They were unsure until recently whether Cohen would open up again. Those who know Cohen personally say the same.
So why, wracked with self-doubt and with his heart not in the project, would Papa Bear be willing to put himself out there? To risk getting hurt again? To deal with slings and arrows like the following?
For at least two investors Blagdon has reached out to, and other potential investors who have yet to hear from him, the answer is a blatant "no…."
It would be "willful ignorance" to think Cohen didn't have some hand in the trading, or at least know about it, one person in the industry said.
Open your eyes (and hearts), people: Steve Cohen is not doing this for himself! He doesn’t need the money, even if it would come in handy when that tax bill shows up or during his next visit to Christie’s. It’s not even about redeeming his good name. No: Coming back, in the face of the scorn and sniggers, isn’t about raking in a cynical $250 million a year just for sitting on people’s money. It’s about helping people. It’s about not disappointing his fans and his dependents. It’s practically a philanthropic effort for this man focus his time and attention on managing outside capital at these ridiculously low rates.
Staffers said they hoped that Cohen would raise outside money – it would show a sense of permanency for their jobs and would make it less likely that Cohen would shut the operation down voluntarily, a person familiar said….
He has an army of admirers, often those who were made rich by him, either by working for him directly or by investing with him. Many think he has never done anything wrong, and that he's the greatest investor of all time.