Bloomberg learned a lot on their recent tour of SAC Capital’s Stamford office.Their cover story this month is all about the hedge fund and its founder, Steve Cohen. What they found reveals a lot about what it’s like to work at SAC:
- You might sit next to Cohen (he sits right in the middle of the trading floor)
- Phones don’t ring, they just light up. Cohen doesn’t like the noise. (We also know he has a thing against the whirring sound computer fans make.)
- The temperature is exactly 69 degrees (kind of cold, to keep people perky)
- Cohen yells “Do you even know how to do this f—ing job?” frequently
- But he’s funny. He emailed everyone before Lehman collapsed in 2008: “It’s all up to the government now. I have no idea what will happen. Good luck to you all. This is a recording.”
- Portfolio managers either make money or they’re fired. They usually last about 4 years. (20 portfolio managers were fired or resigned in 2008.)
- Everyone works weekends (at least Sunday, when everyone has to call Cohen between 5 and 9 pm and give him updates on the companies they follow.)
- The interview process can take 14 months and the background check is really extensive. The joke is that Cohen will find out the name of a candidate’s second-grade teacher.
- If you send “Stevie” an idea that makes money, you get paid “something extra.”
- You will most likely make a TON of money: Cohen charges a 3 and 50 (3% management fee and as much as 50% of profits.)
- Your IMs and emails are monitored by a staff of 20 “compliance officers”
- If you’re a manager, you’ll have to sign a contract with a “down-and-out” clause. It means that if you lose 5 per cent from your peak assets, SAC can take away half of what remains. Suffer a 10 per cent loss, and you could be out.
- The office is kind of like a small scale art gallery – with works by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol hanging near the trading floor.
Also, a lot of people are in total awe of him.
And one of SAC’s portfolio managers says working there is like working for the New York Yankees (it always wins and everyone who is not a fan is a hater.)His awesome lifestyle might have something to do with it.
The guy lives in a $14.8 million Greenwich mansion that has an indoor basketball court, an outdoor ice rink and a two-hole golf course (see left).
He’s also got an art collection worth around $450 million.
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