The art world is watching to see the fate of billionaire hedge-fund owner Steven A. Cohen.
Bloomberg reports that Cohen’s $14bn SAC Capital Advisors LP is facing an insider-trading case. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has told the hedge fund it is considering suing SAC for alleged insider trading. Federal prosecutors have charged Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital portfolio manager, and the SEC sued him the same day.
Cohen, 56, is worth $9.5bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is also one of the world’s biggest art collectors, with works by Van Gogh, Manet, de Kooning, Picasso, Cezanne, Warhol, Johns and Richter.
His purchases have helped boost prices of artists such as Damien Hirst, whose shark-in-formaldehyde he bought for $8m.
'He is known for his willingness to pay top prices for the best work', Todd Levin, director of New York-based Levin Art Group, said in an interview. 'In the worst case scenario, he might not be able to buy going forward and there will be some disappointed gallerists'.
Since he started his hedge fund in 1992, Cohen has achieved average annual returns of 30%, with just one money-losing year: 2008, when his main fund tumbled 19%.
Cohen started collecting art in about 2001. His taste has shifted from Impressionist to contemporary works.
Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article: