Hard to believe, there was a time when Steven A. Cohen was not all that well-known on Wall Street outside of the hedge fund industry. Some even used to confuse the then-paunchy hedge fund trader with a popular magician with the same name.
But it’s true. In fact, a decade ago, BusinessWeek (pre-Bloomberg takeover) did a cover story about Cohen and his then-$4 billion SAC Capital Advisors, calling the once super secretive investor, “The most powerful trader on Wall Street you’ve never heard of.”
Today, however, it’s almost a rarity when a major business publication or website (that’s you Dealbreaker) doesn’t have a story about Cohen and his currently $15 billion hedge fund (subject to change depending on how much in outside investor money gets returned at the end of this month). Whether it be the long-running inside trading investigation, his failed attempt to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, his impressive growing art collection or his sizeable charitable donations, Cohen and his firm are always making news. A few years back, we even did a story on SAC Capital’s resident golf pro and how he would line up golf outings for SAC traders with corporate executives.
But Cohen, for better or worse, has moved beyond the business pages to the popular press. And while he’s not yet fodder for People magazine or TMZ, consider just how mainstream Cohen and his embattled hedge fund empire have gone.
Last month, Vanity Fair did a big piece likening the prosecutorial hunt of Steve Cohen to Captain Ahab and the hunt for Moby Dick. It was a nice read with a great graphic illustration, in which Cohen is the great whale and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, with spear in hand, plays the part of Ahab. It’s a great image, but one we’ve seen before. For Vanity Fair, this the second time in three years that Cohen has gotten star treatment. In that earlier story, Cohen tried to show a more warm and cuddly side. And to help further that image, Cohen and his wife Alexandra Cohen sat for a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz, whose famous for her photo portraits of the rich and famous.