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SAC's Steve Cohen To Close Flagship Fund

Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors is officially closing his flagship fund, beginning August 1. It is being called a 'soft close,' but the distinction from a hard close is not obvious. It will no longer accept additional money from new investors or existing investors.

  • Stephen Taub

Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors is officially closing his flagship fund, beginning August 1.

It is being called a “soft close,” but the distinction from a hard close is not obvious. It will no longer accept additional money from new investors or existing investors.

Earlier reports suggested he was mulling some sort of decision.

A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

“I love it,” proclaimed one SAC investor, who prefers his funds not grow too large, especially from hot money that tends to bail out of funds in general at the first whiff of underperformance.

Growing assets for growth sake has never been a major priority for Cohen. At year-end, he ran $12 billion, which placed him 34th on II’s Hedge Fund 100 list, down from number 27 the prior year. He currently manages $14 billion, shaking off recent headlines linking former employees to regulatory actions.

In fact, so far this year Cohen is way outperforming the largest funds. SAC’s flagship fund is up 10 percent while many of the most famous multistrategy funds are losing money, including funds run by luminaries such as Paul Tudor Jones II, Bruce Kovner, and Louis Bacon.

In contrast, in the first half of this year, the $24 billion Brevan Howard Fund was up less than 4 percent, $23 billion Baupost was up less than 3 percent, $20 billion Highbridge Capital Corp. was up a little more than 1 percent and $19.6 billion OZ Master Fund was up 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, several funds run by John Paulson — whose firm manages a total of $36 billion — were down in the upper teens in the first half.

Further proof that many hedge fund managers may have large cojones when they are trading, but that size does not matter when it comes to performance.