If we had to guess, we’d say that chances are, no one has ever built a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund on being a nice guy. So we’re not exactly surprised to find that Steve Cohen runs SAC Capital with an iron, albeit slightly doughy, fist. Cohen, who sits on the trading floor himself, keeps the temperature at SAC at 69 degrees, so no one dozes off or is otherwise comfortable. He hates noise, so the phones don’t ring, they light up. Every Sunday night, he requires his portfolio managers to call in with predictions for the week ahead for the companies they follow. And even if you manage to get through all that, you still might piss Cohen off. “He was a pretty good yeller and screamer back in the day,” a former colleague tells Bloomberg Markets. “He ripped into everybody.” Still does, apparently.
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.
But those who work at the House of Cohen are not always kept in a state of grim, cold, butt-clenching fear. There’s some positive things. The money, for one. And occasionally, like an abusive husband who suddenly brings home flowers, the big guy bestows on his employees a gift. The gift of laughter.
The boss has a sense of humor that’s dry, along the lines of Jerry Seinfeld, former employees say. In September 2008, before Lehman’s bankruptcy, Cohen sent a companywide e-mail: “It’s all up to the government now. I have no idea what will happen. Good luck to you all. This is a recording.”
Hahahhaha — okay, that’s enough, stop laughing. You’re on the clock; this is not your time, this is Steve Cohen’s time, you miserable, pathetic worm, or else we’re going to have to bring out the whiteboard markers.
Cohen Trades Secrecy for Golf With Investors Lured by 30% Gains [Bloomberg Markets]