Saturday, March 06, 2010

Bloomberg profiles SAC's Steve Cohen

Bloomberg has published a lengthy profile of trader and SAC Capital founder, Steve Cohen. If you're not already familiar with the now-legendary hedge fund manager, you will be by the time you finish reading it.

Here's an excerpt from, "Steve Cohen's Trade Secrets".

"...Though Cohen attends more golf and other outings than he once did, most days the balding, blue-eyed, stocky investment manager does what he knows best: He trades. He has a perch in the middle of the Stamford floor, and his bets account for about 10 percent of profits -- down from more than 50 percent 10 years ago.
He doesn’t like noise, so the phones on the floor don’t ring; they light up. He prefers jeans and sweaters to suits and looks more like a tax accountant on casual Friday than a trading titan running a $12 billion hedge fund firm.
Near the trading floor hang pieces from Cohen’s extensive art collection, which includes works by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Cohen maintains the temperature on the trading floor at 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) to make sure no one dozes. If a portfolio manager or analyst can’t answer a question about a stock, Cohen is likely to lash out. “Do you even know how to do this f---ing job?” is a standard barb, current and former employees say.
Portfolio managers make money, or they’re fired. They usually last about four years..."
Aside from this overview, I found the first half of the article to be largely weighted towards scandal (or hints of it) and an account of how SAC weathered the rough seas of 2006-2008. 

I have to say that I was interested in hearing more about Cohen's background and his methods of stock trading, which the latter part of the article tries to address (a difficult task as Cohen would not comment for this piece).

If you want to get a fuller, more personal view (though possibly dated) of Cohen's trading style, check out his interview in Schwager's Stock Market Wizards and check out the related article links below.

Related articles and posts:

1. Steve Cohen opens up to Paul Tudor Jones - Finance Trends.

2. Steve Cohen interview w/ Jack Schwager (preview) - Google Books.