How Hedge Fund Manager Steve Cohen Lost 20 Pounds

steve cohen gagosian
A slimmed down Cohen (right) next to art fame ball Larry Gagosian

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Steve Cohen is at the SALT conference in Las Vegas, where Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge (a fund of funds) interviewed him.Big takeaways: he’s not retiring any time soon, the fund is not going to switch strategies – it is staying a long/short equity fund (seems obvious), he employs 100 portfolio managers, and he manages 10% of the fund but everything goes through him.

On a personal note — he lost 20 pounds! 

What were the factors contributing to his success?

An “examination” of his trades by the Feds, probably, for one. (Another hedge fund manager knows all about this diet. 20 lbs is not quite as impressive as Raj Rajaratnam’s weightloss, but Cohen’s trades were under significantly less federal scrutiny in the past few months.)

Also, Saturdays spent wandering around galleries might have something to do with it, too. He told (asked?) Scaramucci

“It’s a great way to spend a Saturday, going down to the galleries?”

And the big one: He works out 3x a week.

In sum, the Steve Cohen Diet = [Work out 3x per week] + [Wander around art galleries] +/- [federal investigation]

Other insights about the trading beast:

  • “I went to college in Philadelphia…I didn’t go to class a lot. I used to hang out outside brokerage firms and look at the tape through the window. They got tired of seeing me hang outside and invited me in. It wasn’t a theoretical education, it was a real education.”
  • “I had a portfolio manager who was into Dutch Old Masters and they were really ugly. I said, “I don’t like that stuff, but I like this Impressionist stuff.” The art world is a place where people will educated you and once I got started I just loved doing it. I’ve met so many people I never would have met. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday, going down to the galleries?”
  • “I’m going to be 55 years old, I just lost 20 pounds. I work-out three times a week and I see no reason to not continue what I’m doing what I’m doing because I enjoy it.”

Click here to read the whole transcript from Dealbreaker >

And check out this awesome interview with Cohen from 2001 >