If he were a doctor instead of a hedge fund manager, the hyper-intense Steve Cohen would probably not be known for his bedside manner. But what the founder of $12-billion-in-assets SAC Capital Advisors may lack in warmth and fuzziness, he seems determined to make up for in charitable impulses. A $50 million grant from his family foundation underwrote a newly opened pediatric emergency department at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital on 166th Street.
“My wife, Alex, and I feel really strongly that we should” give back, Cohen said during a rare public interview with fund of hedge funds manager Anthony Scaramucci at the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference, organized by Scaramacci’s New York based fund of hedge fund firm Skybridge Capital Management, in May. Now the children of Washington Heights are the beneficiaries of that impulse.
Back in 2007, the New York Presbyterian Hospital was looking to raise funds for a new children’s emergency department. John Mack, who was then CEO of the investment bank Morgan Stanley and chairman of the hospital’s board, introduced New York Presbyterian President Dr. Herbert Pardes to his good friend Cohen and his wife, the aforementioned Alex. Dr. Pardes eagerly took a trip up to Stamford, Connecticut to visit the Cohens in their home. It turned out that Alex Cohen not only grew up in its Washington Heights neighborhood but was born in the Presbyterian hospital. “Alex had lived here, she knew the community and she wanted to do something for the families,” says Dr. Pardes. The Cohen Children’s Emergency Department opened last month, with state of the art facilities, not to mention some fine art work on its walls, and the capacity to care for 60,000 children annually. Around 75 percent of the children who pass through the Cohen’s emergence room will be on Medicaid.