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Ivy Schmerken
Ivy Schmerken
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Hedge Fund Titan’s Shopping Spree: Cohen’s $60M Bet on Hamptons Real Estate

SAC Capital Advisors’ founder Steve Cohen purchased a home for $60 million with an ocean view in East Hampton last week, topping a frenzy of deal making amidst resolving a pending settlement of insider trading matters with the SEC.

It’s turning out to be an expensive month for Steve A. Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors. Known for his rapid -fire style of trading in equities, Cohen appears to be buying and selling real estate properties at a frenzied pace, reports today’s New York Times.

Last week, Cohen purchased an ocean front mansion in East Hampton, Long Island for $60 million last week. Surrounded by windows, facing the bluffs, the beautiful home looks like a painting, straight out of Wuthering Heights.

According to the New York Times, the home was listed for sale last week, but Cohen also owns another home “further” down the same road. Separately, the hedge fund manager has put his duplex apartment on the market, which is located in the Bloomberg Tower on the upper east side of Manhattan, for $115 million.

See details of the listing for the 10,000 square foot home, here in "Hedge Fund Titan Buys Hampton Property for $60 million."

Two days ago, reports surfaced that Cohen had purchased Picasso’s Le Rev painting for $155million, one of the highest price paid by a private collector.

[Cohen Buys Picasso's Painting 'Le Rev' for $155 Million]

But all of this wheeling and dealing in real estate and art is happening just as Cohen is about to pay $616 million to U.S. securities regulators to settle two insider-trading cases with the government. A hearing in a Manhattan federal court was scheduled for today, where Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court, will review the terms of the settlement.

Reuters is reporting that the judge “ended the hearing without making a decision on whether to approve it.” According to Reuters, the judge is considering whether to “to condition approval of the settlement on the outcome of a pending appeal by Citigroup Inc of another judge's rejection of a $285 million SEC settlement. "What the court is suggesting here is not extraordinarily novel," he said.

If the settlement is approved, SAC Capital Advisors is expected to write a check to the government to settle the allegations of illegal practices, but since Cohen is said to own 60% of the firm, the Times suggests this is really coming out of “his pocket."

But clearly that payment is barely making a dent in Cohen’s personal wealth estimated at over $9 billion, as he has gone on a spending spree in real estate. It’s also a sign that Cohen is a savvy investor when it comes to flipping properties, moving in and out of real estate deals, perhaps selling one short and hedging with another.

Unlike Warren Buffet, who has lived in the same home in Nebraska for decades, and who could well afford to buy an island, like many Wall Street titans, Cohen owns several homes.

While Cohen’s main home is located in Greenwich, Conn., which has a basketball court and a two-hole golf course, he owns several other properties. He bought up a property in the West Village for $38.8 million last year, according to the NY Times article.

But I wonder how the SEC will look upon this frenzy of activity? Does it seem as if he is celebrating the resolution of his legal problems with the SEC? Does it appear excessive? Too much celebration could give the appearance of not taking things seriously. Perhaps the values were such that he could not wait to buy these properties. Conspicuous consumption can also be a way to relieve stress.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio
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