Cohen launched his Stamford-headquartered hedge fund in 1992 with only $25 million. Today the fund has $14 billion assets under management and employees around 900 people globally.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Cohen came into prominence as a powerful Wall Street trader for his grand slam returns.
He’s been in the spotlight for a different reason.
Late last year, he was identified as “Portfolio Manager A” in the latest insider trading case against former CR Intrinsic (a subsidiary of SAC) portfolio manager Mathew Martoma. The New York Times recently reported that Cohen and others at the firm also received subpoenas to testify before a grand jury in the case.
It’s well-known that Cohen is the ultimate target of the government in their crackdown on insider trading.
While he has been implicated in the latest insider trading case, it’s important to keep in mind that he has not been charged with any wrongdoing. In fact, he may never be charged.
He’s maintained that he acted appropriately.
Now let’s get to know Cohen better.
He’s a Long Island native. He grew up in a middle class family and had a lot of siblings.
In high school, the billionaire worked at a supermarket.
He graduated from Wharton with a degree in economics.
He studied economics at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Outside of class, he traded stocks and beat his friends at poker. He was in a fraternity, too.
He started his career on Wall Street at Gruntal & Co. He essentially became a legend on his first day.
After graduating in 1978, he went to Wall Street to work for at boutique investment banking and brokerage firm Gruntal & Co. as a junior trader in the options arbitrage group.
We’ve all heard the Wall Street legend that he made $8,000 his first day and was bringing in around $100,000 each day.
He became a star at Gruntal and was running his own group of traders.
Then in 1992, he launched SAC Capital in the same building as Gruntal.
The super-secretive SAC Capital is one of those closely followed hedge funds on Wall Street. Here are some details about it what the trading floor is like:
Here’s how the Wall Street Journal described the trading floor in a 2006 article:
The 20,000-square-foot trading room at SAC Capital Advisors, chilled to 70 degrees to keep traders alert, was hushed. Mr. Cohen, who sits at its center, likes it that way. Phones blink rather than ring. Computer hard drives had been moved off the trading floor to eliminate hum. Rows of traders wearing SAC fleece jackets watched Mr. Cohen nervously, waiting for an order to sell shares.
Another interesting tid-bit about SAC is Cohen hired an in-house psychiatrist for his traders.
SAC makes up a significant chunk of trading on the Street.
Back in 2006, the WSJ reported that SAC’s trading accounted for 2% of all of the stock market activity.
As you can imagine, this would make them a desired client on the Street.
Cohen first became a household name on Wall Street in the late 1990s and 2000.
Cohen has been married two times. In 1979, he got married to his first wife. The marriage didn’t last long.
When he was 23 years old, Cohen married Patricia Finke.
They had two children together and got divorced in 1988.
Years later, Patricia tried suing Cohen alleging he was running a racketeering scheme and hid millions from her.
In 2009, Cohen’s ex-wife Patricia alleged that he hid millions from her and some of that money had come from insider trading in RCA shares back in 1985 before it was acquired by General Electric.
The case was ultimately dismissed in 2011.
He met his current wife through a dating service.
Cohen met his wife Alexandra (Alexandra Garcia) through a dating service in 1991 after he divorced his first wife.
Alexandra was a single mom of Puerto Rican descent who grew up in Washington Heights.
They have four children together.
Source: Vanity Fair
The Cohen family lives in this jaw-dropping massive Connecticut mansion.
One thing to know is that he hates being called ‘Stevie.’
On the Street, Cohen is often referred to as “Stevie.”
He apparently hates that nickname.
He’s incredibly media-shy.
Cohen rarely gives press interviews. He did, however, give a rare interview in 2010 to Vanity Fair.
What’s more is there are very few photographs of him.
He did make an appearance on a talk show back in the 90’s where he talked about sleeping with his ex when he was dating Alex.
Wikimedia Commons/ Jose Oquendo
It’s widely known that Cohen is press-shy and super-secretive.
However, back in 1992 he made an appearance on an incredibly famous Hispanic talk show, “Cristina” (she’s like a Latin American Oprah) in an episode called “He Acts Like Her Husband, Too.”
During the episode, Cohen talked about sleeping with his ex-wife when he started dating Alex, his current wife. He stopped when he got engaged.