Steven A. Cohen: All Hail the Hedge Fund King
Mr. Cohen, who is commonly called Steve, was born on June 11, 1956, in Long Island. The third of eight siblings, Steve studied economics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. However, his mind wasn’t always on academic matters: Steve loved stocks so much that he would trade them in between his classes.
After graduating from the Wharton School in 1978 with a B.S. in economics, Steven Cohen took a position as a junior trader in the options arbitrage group at boutique investment banking and brokerage firm Gruntal & Co. There, Steve managed proprietary capital for 14 years before starting his own investment business.
Even in his first job at Gruntal, Steve was earning his stripes as a whale in the making: according to Wall Street lore, he made $8,000 his first day and was soon bringing in around $100,000 on a daily basis. Be it fact or hyperbole, the legend of Steven A. Cohen was gaining momentum and the financial community took notice.
It was only inevitable that Steve would go solo with his own hedge fund, so in 1992 Mr. Cohen rented office space nine floors above Gruntal to start SAC Capital. Launched with $25 million and staffed with some of his former fellow traders at Gruntal & Co., SAC Capital eventually grew its assets under management to $16 billion.
Solidifying Steve Cohen’s legend was the fact that SAC Capital became the world’s highest-returning hedge fund at that time. Amazingly, SAC Capital averaged net annual returns of 30% from 1992 to 2013; perhaps even more amazingly, SAC Capital’s trading accounted for 2% of all of the stock market’s activity in 2006.
2006 was also the year that Steven A. Cohen was dubbed the Hedge Fund King in a Wall Street Journal article. Understand, though, that he could just as easily be called the Art King due to his extensive (and expensive) art collection, along with the fact that Mr. Cohen serves on the Boards of Trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Or, for that matter, we could also name Steve Cohen the Philanthropy King: the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, established in 2001, has made substantial donations over the years to causes involving children’s health, education, veterans, and the arts.
But let’s not kid ourselves: he’s on the
And that’s where the tale of the Hedge Fund King ends, at least for now. Assuredly, there will be no lack of surprises in store as Steven A. Cohen proves himself, time and again, as financial royalty.