After zero long years since he gave up being a hedge fund manager, Steve Cohen is finally gearing up for his triumphant return. Though he's played coy about whether he actually wants to take in new cash, it's increasingly clear that yes, there will be a SAC Capital v. 2.0, and you, the institutional investor, can soon get a taste:
ShoreBridge Capital Partners, the company hired last year to gauge interest in a such a fund, has told prospective clients to expect a trove of marketing materials in the next several weeks, according to people familiar with the plans. It will include due diligence documents, track records and other information investors need to decide whether they will pony up cash for the new firm, Stamford Harbor Capital.
It's interesting that the new vehicle really needs this whole promotional blitz when a 3x5 note card with the words “STEVE COHEN WANTS YOUR MONEY” would probably rake in the $20 billion rumored to be Stamford's asset goal. But there are a few reasons why Cohen and co would want to hit the ground running.
Thanks to the SEC's insufficient appreciation of the art of black edge, Cohen has had only his own cash to invest for the past few years. This arrangement might be suitable for the Druckenmillers and Soroses of the world, but for Cohen the whole family-office thing delivers less of a thrill than playing with other people's money. It also lacks that special high only management fees can provide. And Cohen has a billion tax-related reasons to see some fees coming in the door sooner rather than later.
But given his precarious legal situation, Cohen can't go out himself, hat in hand, to raise investor cash. Instead, the hedge fund he co-owns but does not supervise has to send a company founded by his longtime marketing guy to go around shoring up investments. And that's just the beginning of the cross-pollination going on in the Cohen-verse:
While Cohen is clearly the star attraction of the new venture, ShoreBridge has been trumpeting the role of his lieutenant, Perry Boyle, who last year was named chief investment officer at Stamford Harbor, the people said. Boyle joined SAC in 2004, and was most recently head of discretionary investing at Point72 before he was shifted to Stamford Harbor, which has a mailing address adjacent to Point72’s Stamford headquarters.
All the behind-the-scenes activity is consistent with the understanding that the SEC's so-called ban on Steve Cohen's hedge fund career was more of a temporary time-out, a trip to the penalty box that still allowed him to get out on the ice a bit and direct traffic, if not actually touch the puck. Or to use a more apt hockey analogy, perhaps Cohen has just been clearing the rink.