Friday, October 1, 2010

Oracles-Steven A. Cohen

Steven A. Cohen (born 11 June 1956) is a hedge fund manager and the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Connecticut-based hedge fund focusing mostly on equity market strategies.

Early life
Cohen grew up in Great Neck, New York, where his father was a dress manufacturer in Manhattan's garment district, and his mother was a part-time piano teacher.[1] He took a liking to poker as a high school student, often betting his own money in tournaments. Cohen credits the game to teaching him "how to take risks."[1] Cohen received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.[2][3] While in school, a friend helped him open a brokerage account with $1,000 of his tuition money.[1]

[edit] Business
After Wharton, Cohen got a Wall Street job as a junior trader in the options arbitrage department at Gruntal & Co. in 1978, where he eventually managed a $75 million portfolio and six traders.[1]

His first day on the job at Gruntal & Co., he made an $8,000 profit. He would eventually go on to make the company around $100,000 a day.[2] Cohen was running his own trading group at Gruntal by 1984, and continued running it until he started his own company, SAC.[2]

In 1992, Cohen started SAC Capital Partners with $20 million of his own money; today the firm manages $14 billion in equity.[4] Originally known as a rapid-fire trader who never held trading positions for extended periods of time, Cohen now holds an increasing number of equities for longer periods of time.[1][5]

[edit] Wealth
Forbes Magazine estimates Cohen's fortune at $10.5 billion in 2009, ranking him the 87th richest among the world's billionaires.[6].

In 1998, the Cohens purchased their 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) home on 14 acres (57,000 m2) in Greenwich, Connecticut.[7]

His 2005 compensation was reportedly $1 billion[8], considerably higher than his 2004 compensation ($450 million),[9] 2001 compensation ($428 million),[2] and 2003 compensation ($350 million).[10]

In addition, Cohen owns 7% of search engine Baidu [11].

[edit] Personal life
Cohen lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife, Alexandra, and seven children — two being from a previous marriage.[1][12]

Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees of Brown University and the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation.[3][13][14]

In 1999, the publicity-shy[1][2] trader granted one of his first on-the record interviews to Daniel Strachman for his book Getting Started In Hedge Funds (Wiley 2000).

In December 2009, Steven A Cohen and his brother Donald T Cohen were sued by Steven's ex-wife Patricia Cohen for racketeering and Insider Trading Charges.[15].

[edit] Art collector
Cohen began collecting art in 2000, and over the past several years has become a prominent collector, appearing on Art News magazine's "Top 10" list of biggest-spending art collectors around the world each year since 2002,[16] and Forbes magazine's "Top Billionaire Art Collectors" list in 2005.[17] To date, Cohen has bought around $700 million worth of artwork;[18] in 2003, the New York Times reported that in a 5 year period, Cohen spent 20% of his income at art auctions.[19]

Cohen owns between 4.7% and 5.9% of the stock of Sotheby's auction house, which has been described as a "significant stake."[20]

He is reportedly building a private museum for some of his artwork on his Greenwich property.[21] In the winter of 2005 it became known that in 1999 Cohen had bought Edvard Munch's "Madonna". Reportedly this was for $11.5 million, a record price for any Munch painting to this date.

His tastes in collecting changed "quickly" from Impressionist painters to contemporary art. He also collects 'trophy' art—signature works by famous artists[17][22]—including a Pollock "drip" painting from David Geffen for $52 million and Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a piece that the artist had bought back from Charles Saatchi for $8 million. In the last two years, he reportedly paid $25 million each for a Warhol and a Picasso. He is a top patron of the Marianne Boesky art gallery.[vague]

In 2006, Cohen remarked that repairing his suspended shark artwork, a cost estimated to be a minimum of $100,000, was an "inconsequential" expense. Since the shark itself is over 10 years old, it has begun to rot and requires replacement.[23] The replacement shark has already been caught;[24] once the exhibit is fixed, Cohen will have it moved into his SAC office.[25] Cohen has also placed Marc Quinn's Self, a head sculpture made of frozen blood, in the SAC lobby.[26]

In addition, in 2006 Cohen bought a landscape entitled "Police Gazette” by artist Willem de Kooning for $63.5 million from David Geffen.[27] Also in 2006, Cohen attempted to make the most expensive art purchase in history when he offered to purchase Picasso's Le Reve from casino mogul Steve Wynn for $139 million. Just days before the painting was to be transported to Mr. Cohen, Mr. Wynn, who suffers from poor vision, accidentally thrust his elbow through the painting while showing it to a group of acquaintances inside of his office at Wynn Las Vegas. The purchase was cancelled, and Mr. Wynn still holds the painting.[28] In November 2006, Cohen purchased another Willem de Kooning painting, Woman III, from David Geffen for $137.5 million.[29]

[edit] Recognition
Dubbed "the hedge fund king" in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article, Time Magazine ranked him 94th in 2007 on its annual Time 100 list of most influential people.[1][5]

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