There's a big question hanging over the most anticipated hedge fund launch in history

  • Steve CohenPoint72Steve Cohen.

    Steve Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire banned from managing outsiders’ money, has been prepping a fund via an external firm.

  • The big question is how much Cohen’s new fund will raise.
  • Reports about how much fresh money the new fund will target have varied — up to $US10 billion on the high end.
  • That has frustrated Cohen and the people who work for him.
  • The target is closer to $US2 billion.

Unless your name is Steve Cohen, the only thing you can say for sure about the billionaire investor’s return to the hedge fund world is that it’s going to be highly watched.

Cohen, via an external marketing firm, has been laying plans to manage other people’s money for the first time since shutting three years ago, and right now people have more questions than answers about what it will look like.

Reports of the fundraising target have varied wildly. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Cohen was seeking to raise about $US9 billion, which, combined with his roughly $US11 billion family office would lead to a $US20 billion fund. Bloomberg News
reported last month that investors have been told the fundraising target is between $US2 billion to $US10 billion.

A person with direct knowledge of the plans tells Business Insider that Cohen’s Stamford Harbour fund is likely to aim closer to $US2 billion in fresh funds.

Several people familiar with the matter say that the fund was never expected to be as large as $US10 billion. Cohen and the people working for him have been frustrated about the large numbers floating around. They create expectations that he may not be able to meet — making it seem like he missed his own goal, some of the people say. At $US10 billion, the launch would be the largest ever for a new fund.

A spokesperson for Cohen and Stamford Harbour declined to comment.

To be sure, even $US2 billion is large by the standards of new hedge funds and it’s not uncommon for hedge-fund managers to keep things vague so they don’t wind up having to defend a smaller-than-expected capital raise.

Of course, Cohen isn’t quite in line with other new fund managers — he comes with both a record for astonishing returns and the legacy of an ugly insider trading investigation that got his fund, SAC Capital, shut down.

It’s clear that there’s been some movement toward the fund launch. Some potential investors have received documents outlining the potential fund, but non-disclosure agreements are keeping them from revealing much of the detail, people close to the situation said. Everyone who spoke with Business Insider asked not to be named discussing private matters.

The documents indicate investors will need to put in $US100 million to gain access to the new fund and pay more than 2.5% in management fees, Business Insider earlier reported. Those terms are steep by hedge fund standards, but not entirely unexpected for a manager with Cohen’s reputation.

Doug Blagdon, who previously headed marketing at SAC Capital Advisors, is leading the marketing effort at an external firm, ShoreBridge Partners. The effort has been relatively small scale and led separately from Cohen.

Cohen is mostly known for long-short equity investing. He has been running a family office called Point72 Asset Management, with some $US11 billion of his personal fortune and that of some staffers, since 2014 after he agreed not to manage other people’s money and return outside investors’ capital. The agreement came after a years-long insider trading investigation at SAC that ended with a conviction for one of Cohen’s subordinates but not him. His failure, according to the SEC, was to supervise those traders as head of SAC Capital. SAC also pleaded guilty and paid a record fine, $US1.2 billion, to settle insider-trading claims.

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