Steve Cohen Suggests He Is Ready To Retire From Active Trading

Jun 2 2010 | 9:03am ET

Is hedge fund king Steve Cohen ready to retire? That's what the SAC chief told Vanity Fair correspondent Bryan Burrough, who landed the second ever interview that Cohen has granted during his 30-year trading career.

"The idea that he might just walk away in his mid-fifties, it seems ridiculous on its face," says Burrough in a promotional clip for the article, due out in the July issue of the magazine.

"So many issues have dogged Steve Cohen for so long, including years of suggestions that in his rise, especially in his early years, he may have traded improperly—either insider trading or more dicey things like font running," says Burrough. "He doesn't admit to anything, but he does talk at length about the lessons he has learned and how they beefed up their legal defenses to make sure that those types of things don't  happen."

Steve Cohen, after market close, at his desk on the trading floor of SAC Capital in Stamford, Connecticut. Photograph by Annie LeibovitzSteve Cohen, after market close, at his desk on the trading floor of SAC Capital in Stamford, Connecticut. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz


"I walked away thinking that in the early years, this is a guy who probably played pretty fast and lose with information on Wall Street, but as the rules of his game changed, I get the feeling he is a pretty straight citizen these days."

So why would the intensely secretive Cohen, who is number 36 on Forbes’s list of richest Americans, grant an interview to Vanity Fair? Burroughs says he isn't sure, but adds that during the interview he picked up on the fact that Cohen's wife had always wanted to be shot by Annie Leibovitz, "so I think that was the key to our access there."

In the article, Cohen also touches on the meaning of his art collection, which includes masterworks by Warhol, Picasso, Cézanne, de Kooning, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon, Jeff Koons, and Gerhard Richter, as well as how he realized he was a gifted risk taker while he was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania.

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