The Softer Side of Steve Cohen’s Life of Leisure

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Photo: Ronda Churchill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

At a rare public appearance yesterday in front of a room full of hedge-funders and investors in Las Vegas, SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen told his peers that life isn't just about enviable returns, berating incompetents, or keeping the office thermostat at a punishing 69 degrees. "Investing is what I like to do," said Cohen, but that still leaves room for leisure pursuits. The one-on-one conversation on stage at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference happened just hours after Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty of fourteen counts of insider trading. But Cohen seemed sanguine about the federal vultures circling around his "Big Book" of trades, saying that the SAC has a strong compliance culture and is cooperating with the probe.

In his spare time of trying to get out of Attorney General Preet Bharara's crosshairs, Steve said he works out religiously and has lost twenty pounds, "underscoring his determination to stay put — for now," adds Reuters, who maybe knows something the rest of us don't. Cohen may reserve his Sunday nights for forcing his staffers to brainstorm investments, but Saturdays are for finding ways to spend that wealth. His love of buying fine art all started when a colleague showed Cohen his collection of Dutch Masters:

"I thought those paintings are really kind of dark and ugly," Cohen recalled, remembering that he was quickly hooked on collecting lighter and brighter works instead. "That has become a great way to spend a Saturday — going down to the galleries."

That's right, just keep it light and bright — drive those dark thoughts away.

SAC's Cohen Faces Pressure but Sticks With Investing [Reuters via NYT]