Our People / Steven Cohen

© 2008-2012 Daruma Asset Management, Inc.

Steven Cohen — Trader

My interest in the stock market began in the mid-‘70s. My mother’s father’s name is I. Bystock, so I felt destined to be a trader. Going with my other grandfather to the brokerage house, watching him read the tape and listening to him talk trades with his broker just made the feeling stronger.

My career began underground in 1986, in the basement of a building just off Wall Street, working for Citibank in depository operations. I learned all there is to know about how settlement problems are addressed. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to join a training program that Citibank was running for its high-net-worth product. I passed the Series 7 and Series 63 exams in the fall of 1987. Memories of that infamous Monday, October 19th and the comparisons to 1929 still seem fresh.

Starting in the late 1980s, my career has been focused on the specialized discipline of trading less-liquid small-cap stocks. In 1989, a coworker suggested that I interview at Schroder Capital Management for the trader position, which focused in large part on trading small-cap names. The interview went so well that I was handed a phone list of brokers, a sheet with orders and told to get to it. After working on the sell side at Gordon Haskett starting in 1995, I returned to the buy side at Valenzuela Capital Management in 1997. Since early 2000, I have been fortunate to be part of the team at Daruma, working with people I trust, respect and enjoy.

The business of trading has changed a lot since I started working here. In my view, many market participants today trade based on the fear of being wrong, working an order all day as opposed to capturing an opportunity when the time is right. In this same spirit, market activity also is increasingly driven by traders seeking to achieve the average price for the day — something called VWAP, or Volume-Weighted Average Price. To me, settling for VWAP is like saying, “I want to be an index fund. I am happy being average.” I don’t want to be average. I work hard to achieve a track record as a trader in the same way that Daruma’s investment team works hard to achieve a performance track record.

Our People


Mariko Gordon, CFA
Founder, CEO and CIO

Brad McGill
Senior Research Analyst

Neal Tully
Senior Research Analyst

Mark Miller
Senior Research Analyst

Michael Bostler
Research Analyst

Leslie Jensen
Research Assistant

Steven Cohen


David Gerber
Chief Operating Officer &
Chief Financial Officer

Veronica Stork
Chief Compliance Officer

Robert Motch
Director of Operations

Naomi Lyum
Firm Administrator

Kristen Malone
Portfolio Accountant