Meet Steve Cohen, the controversial hedge-fund billionaire who just agreed to buy the New York Mets and owns mansions in some of America's swankiest ZIP codes

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Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen will add the New York Mets to his already impressive portfolio of luxury real estate and modern art.

Cohen first invested $20 million in the Mets in 2012, Bloomberg reported. That investment paid off. Bloomberg valued Cohen’s stake at $90 million in 2017 — a 350% increase in five years. 

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Cohen, however. His hedge fund pled guilty to securities and wire fraud in 2013, and Cohen himself was banned from investing for two years following a lawsuit with the SEC, Bloomberg reported.

A representative for Cohen declined Business Insider’s original request for comment on Cohen’s career, assets, or the Mets acquisition in December 2019.

Keep reading to learn more about Steve Cohen.

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Steven A. Cohen, 64, is a New York native.

The son of a piano teacher and a garment manufacturer, Cohen was born in Great Neck, New York in 1956, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Cohen earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, according to Forbes.

Cohen built his $10.1 billion fortune running hedge fund Point72 Asset Management.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, the hedge fund now has over $17 billion under management according to Bloomberg. Cohen founded the firm, then called SAC Capital, in 1992.

Forbes ranked Cohen as the eighth highest-earning hedge fund manager in the United States in 2018, but did not include him on the list in 2019.

Cohen may not have made his fortune legally. His firm pled guilty to securities and wire fraud in 2013.

SAC Capital paid $1.8 billion in fines, according to Bloomberg. A separate lawsuit brought by the SEC in 2016 resulted in Cohen being banned from managing others’ money for two years, according to Refinery29.

The firm was renamed Point72 Asset Management when it reopened in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

The case didn’t seem to phase Cohen, who threw a house party in the Hamptons two days after the charges were announced.

The event, which Reuters described as “lavish,” was attended by dozens of guests. The party was planned before the charges were announced to “show support” for ovarian cancer research, but not raise funds for the cause.

Sources told Reuters that $2,000 worth of tuna was ordered for the event. 

Cohen was also accused of financial wrongdoing during his first divorce.

Cohen’s ex-wife Patricia Finke accused him in 2009 of hiding assets from her during their 1990 divorce, therefore limiting her settlement, according to Bloomberg. Finke sued Cohen in federal court, but the case was later dismissed. Finke is appealing the dismissal, Bloomberg reported.

Cohen remarried in 1992 to Alexandra Garcia.

The couple met through a dating service and now have seven children, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The family lives on a 14-acre estate in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The 35,000-square-foot house is worth more than $14.8 million, Business Insider previously reported.

The estate and Cohen’s other personal assets, not including his art collection, are worth an estimated $400 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Cohen has a vacation estate in East Hampton, New York.

Located on Further Lane, the home has 10 bedrooms and spans 9,000 square feet, according to Reuters

Jerry Seinfeld has a home on the same street, Business Insider previously reported.

He has yet another mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

The $35 million mansion has 12,664 square feet, nine bedrooms, and 13 bathrooms and was once owned by actor Glenn Ford, Business Insider’s Stephanie Yang reported.

Cohen also owns two apartments in Manhattan’s West Village, one worth $23.4 million and the other worth $38.4 million, according to Business Insider.

Cohen also owned a triplex in the West Village, which he sold for $30 million in May 2019.

The condo, which is in the Abingdon, a luxe condominium building in the West Village, was nicknamed the “Abingdon Mansion,” Business Insider’s Katie Warren reported. It sold after just 32 days on the market, according to Christie’s International Real Estate, which represented the sale. He bought the home for $23.4 million in 2013.

The unit features a white Carrara marble staircase with wrought-iron railings, oversized picture windows, multiple gallery walls designed to display Cohen’s art collection, a dramatic black-and-white chef’s kitchen with a separate butler’s pantry, and a large private gym.

Cohen collects modern art.

Cohen owns impressionist paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, and contemporary pieces by Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. There is also an $8 million 14-foot shark preserved in formaldehyde designed by Damien Hirst in the collection, Business Insider previously reported.

Cohen also once owned an Andy Warhol portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, which he sold at auction for $47.5 million in 2015, Bloomberg reported at the time.

The collection was valued at $1 billion in 2015, sources told Bloomberg.

Cohen’s expensive taste does not end there. He reportedly spent $100,000 for Food Network star Guy Fieri to spend the day with him.

Fieri was paid to give Cohen a dining experience similar to those portrayed on Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Page Six reported in 2013. The two reportedly became close friends afterward.

A representative for Cohen denied the story to Page Six, but said the pair do know each other.

A character in Showtime’s drama “Billions” is partially based on Cohen.

Cohen inspired the character Bobby Axelrod, according to Forbes. Played by Damian Lewis, Axelrod is a “brilliant manager of a hedge fund who can wield pop culture references as effectively as he can play the stock market,” Refinery29‘s Elena Nicolaou wrote. Axelrod and Cohen share roots in New York’s middle class and take similar plea deals after their firms face charges of insider trading, according to Refinery29

He was a supporter of the Mets long before agreeing to buy the team, but the Mets aren’t the first team Cohen has expressed interest in.

Cohen first invested in the New York baseball team in 2012, buying a 4% stake for $20 million, according to Bloomberg. That investment paid off. Bloomberg valued Cohen’s stake at $90 million in 2017 — a 350% increase in 5 years. 

In the same year that Cohen first invested in the Mets, he, investment firm Guggenheim Partners, and basketball star Magic Johnson made an unsuccessful bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bloomberg reported.

Cohen first considered doubling down on his investment in the Mets in December 2019, but the deal fell through and was put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic began. At the time, Cohen was in talks to buy an 80% share of the New York Mets for $2.6 billion, Markets Insider reported.

Now, more than nine months later, the Mets and Cohen announced that they reached a deal for the billionaire to buy a 95% share of the team for a reported $2.4 billion to $2.45 billion.

“I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” Cohen said in the statement.

Source: businessinsider
Meet Steve Cohen, the controversial hedge-fund billionaire who just agreed to buy the New York Mets and owns mansions in some of America's swankiest ZIP codes