Hedge Fund Titan Buys Hamptons Property for $60 Million
Steven A. Cohen is known for his rapid-fire trading style, moving in and out of stocks with dizzying speed at his hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors.
He seems to be taking a similar approach to his real estate.
Mr. Cohen reached a deal last week to pay $60 million for an oceanfront property on Further Lane in East Hampton, on Long Island, according to a person with direct knowledge of the sale. The home, which was listed for sale late last week, is down the road from one he already owns. At the same time, he has put on the market his duplex apartment in the Bloomberg Tower on the East Side of Manhattan, this person said. His asking price: $115 million.
News of Mr. Cohen's real estate activity surfaced a day after reports that he purchased Picasso's "Le Reve" for $155 million from the casino owner Stephen A. Wynn. The acquisition is one of the priciest private art deals ever completed. He has quietly offered other works from his vast collection up for sale, according to several dealers.
Mr. Cohen's conspicuous consumption comes amid continuing scrutiny of his business practices. SAC is at the center of the government's broad investigation into insider trading at hedge funds. Earlier this month, Mr. Cohen, 56, signed off on two settlements in which the fund agreed to pay federal securities regulators $616 million to resolve accusations of illegal conduct at SAC.
On Thursday morning, Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan is set to hold a hearing to consider the terms of the agreement, which requires his approval. SAC has resolved the cases without admitting nor denying wrongdoing, a settlement practice used by the government that has come under criticism from some judges for being too lenient.
Mr. Cohen is not expected to attend the settlement hearing, but if Judge Marrero signs off on the agreement, the $616 million will effectively come out of Mr. Cohen's pocket. The fine is being paid by the SAC management company, of which Mr. Cohen owns 100 percent. SAC investors will not absorb any of the cost.
The $616 million would put only a modest dent in Mr. Cohen's net worth, which is said to be nearly $10 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is one of a handful of hedge fund managers who have redefined wealth on Wall Street. Investors like John Paulson of Paulson & Company, which made a fortune betting against the mortgage market, and Carl C. Icahn, the activist investor currently bidding for Dell, have recently earned billions of dollars in a single year.
Many of them have homes in the Hamptons, a favorite summer getaway of the Wall Street set. In 2007, Mr. Cohen bought a home there on Further Lane, one of the Hamptons' most desirable addresses because of its water views, for about $18 million. But it is behind an oceanfront property owned by James Chanos, another hedge fund manager.
Now Mr. Cohen can claim an ocean view. A couple of doors down from his other house, his new 10,000-square-foot home sits on seven acres with a tennis court and pool. "High ceilings, antique oak and limestone floors, barn-style double-height family room, media room, large oceanview master suite plus six additional bedrooms," said the listing. Mr. Cohen's house is a quarter mile from the Maidstone golf club, where he is not a member.
The property was previously owned by Robert B. McKeon, a founding partner of the investment bank Wasserstein Perella. Mr. McKeon committed suicide in September at the age of 58.
The $60 million purchase is among the most expensive real estate sales transacted on Long Island's South Fork. It is unclear whether Mr. Cohen is selling his first Further Lane house.
Ed Petrie, the real estate broker at Sotheby's International Realty who had the exclusive listing, declined to comment, as did Jonathan Gasthalter, an SAC spokesman.
Mr. Cohen is a charter resident of the Bloomberg Tower on Lexington Avenue, which also goes by the name One Beacon Court. He paid about $24 million in 2005 for the 10,000-square-foot property on the 51st and 52nd floors.
If Mr. Cohen got the $115 million that he is asking for his Bloomberg Tower pad, it would be the highest-priced sale to date of a Manhattan apartment.
Two duplexes at One57, a tower now under construction in Midtown, are under contract with unnamed buyers for $90 million. If completed, those deals would surpass the $88 million sale of a penthouse at 15 Central Park West owned by the financier Sanford I. Weill to a Russian billionaire, for his daughter.
Mr. Cohen's primary dwelling is a home in Greenwich, Conn., which has a basketball court and a two-hole golf course, and he owns other real estate in New York. Last year, he purchased a property in the West Village on Washington Street for $38.8 million.