Forced by an insider-trading scandal to cool his heels managing his own fortune, SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen may be plotting his comeback.
Cohen is quietly preparing to return to the hedge fund industry and begin managing outside money, Fox Business Network reports, citing friends and business associates of the billionaire. Cohen’s firm, Point72 Asset Management, said he had “no plans to raise outside capital.” But other signs say otherwise.
According to FBN, in the wake of SAC’s guilty plea to insider trading charges, Cohen has been working to distance himself from that period in the firm’s history. The firm’s name-change and the departure of a number of high-level executives, including that of President Tom Conheeney this week, are all designed to demonstrate to regulators that Cohen’s operation really has changed.
In addition, Cohen has built a high-powered legal team—recently adding David Boies, one of the top litigators in the country—to defend himself against any allegations of wrongdoing.
The hoped-for resumption of his hedge-fund career is perhaps not much of a surprise. For months Cohen battled any settlement that would force him to stop managing outside money, and is still fighting a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit that seeks to bar him from the industry for life. Cohen has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
There are other signs that Cohen isn’t satisfied managing his own $11 billion fortune. In the press release announcing Conheeney’s departure and replacement by former McKinsey & Co. partner Douglas Haynes, Haynes said he and Cohen planned to make Point72 “the industry’s premier asset management firm.”
“You don’t generally consider a family office a ‘premier asset management firm,’” a person close to Cohen told FBN. “Steve wants to come back.”