Steve Cohen, Jewish philanthropist and new Mets owner, sets sights on championship

“I don’t want to just get in the playoffs,” Cohen said during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “I want to win a championship.”

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Steve Cohen closed the deal with Sterling Partners last Friday to become the new owner of the New York Mets. The Great Neck, NY native is taking over the team from Fred and Jeff Wilpon with a hefty $2.475 billion price tag.

Cohen, a major Jewish philanthropist, is now the wealthiest owner in Major League Baseball. His wealth accumulates to an estimated $14 billion. Currently, Cohen operates Point72 Asset Management.

“I don’t want to just get in the playoffs,” Cohen said during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “I want to win a championship.”

Cohen graduated from the Wharton Business School in 1978 with a degree in economics. From there, he became a stock trader, seeing immediate success in the 1980s. By 1992, his new company, SAC Capital Advisors, boasted a multi-million dollar portfolio. Cohen’s success began to grow, as did his wealth.

But his company did get into trouble. In 2012, the SEC accused the firm of insider trading. The SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Cohen for not supervising former manager Mathew Martoma, who was convicted in 2014 for the scandal. Cohen settled the civil suit in 2016.

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Cohen’s purchase of the Mets came after months of negotiations and competition from former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez with his fiancee Jennifer Lopez.

Eventually, Cohen secured a deal with Sterling Partners, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio almost rejected the sale, citing SAC Capital’s scandal. Reportedly, de Blasio preferred Rodriguez and Lopez for political reasons.

Cohen himself was never personally implicated in the scandal.

Cohen’s wife will operate the Mets Foundation, which “funds and promotes a variety of educational, social and athletic programs.”

“She’s done a great job leading our family foundation,” Cohen said of his wife. “She gets involved and really knows the communities and organizations that we support.”

The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation has donated $625 million to various causes, including an investment at NYU Langone to help students study PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.