Planet Business

Fri, Nov 23, 2012, 00:00


Getting to know: Steven Cohen

The poker-playing, art-collecting founder of hedge fund SAC Capital has been linked to one of the most lucrative insider trading schemes uncovered by regulators in the US. Cohen is not accused of any wrongdoing, but prosecutors have charged Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at CR Intrinsic, an SAC Capital Fund, who recommended trading in Elan and Wyeth shares to the hedge fund owner.

Cohen (56) founded SAC in 1992, after spending 14 years at another firm, Gruntal Co, where his trades earned profits of about $100,000 a day. Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at more than $8 billion and ranks him as the 35th richest man in the US.

He honed his risk-taking skills by playing poker, which he took up in high school. About 12 or 13 years ago, he took up art collecting. In 1999, he bought Edvard Munch’s Madonna for more than $11 million, which is a lot of money for a picture of a pop star.

He also owns work by Jackson Pollock and reputedly forked out $25 million for pieces by Warhol and Picasso.

Originally from Great Neck, New York, where his father ran a garment business, these days he lives in Connecticut.

In Numbers 

Franklin Templeton’s Irish Government bonds


The total that US investment house Franklin Templeton holds in Irish bonds. That’s a big bet on Government claims that we’re on the way back – and a big worry if the firm has to unwind its position in a hurry.


The single biggest stake, wagered on the benchmark 10-year bond due in October 2020.

The Lexicon: Seamless payment experience

From Starbucks, a world-leading, best-in-class, creative purveyor of jargon-heavy press releases. We have absolutely no idea what it means.

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