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Spare a thought for the common foot soldier


The American Dream, 2019.

. . . hey who is this guy anyway?

When the Securities and Exchange Commission leveled insider trading charges against hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman in September 2016 for his trades in a company called Atlas Pipeline, some expected it would end to one of Wall Street’s most storied careers. Cooperman, a former Goldman Sachs partner, helped create the firm’s over $1 trillion asset management business and then left in 1991 to start hedge fund Omega Advisors, becoming a billionaire and managing assets that peaked at nearly $10 billion.

The SEC had offered Cooperman the opportunity to settle charges if he agreed to a five-year industry ban, but he instead chose to contest the charges, vowing in public appearances to fight to keep his reputation intact after roughly 50 years on Wall Street. Now, just months before the insider trading case was set to move to trial, it appears Cooperman has triumphed.

On Thursday evening, documents in a Pennsylvania court show Cooperman has settled the insider trading case with the SEC without admitting wrongdoing or agreeing any industry bar. As part of the settlement, which still has to be approved by courts, Cooperman will fork over a total of $4.9 million in fines and penalties and agree to have an independent compliance monitor at his fund. Importantly, the settlement means Cooperman’s hedge fund, Omega Advisors, will be able to stay in business and potentially even seek new outside funds. Presently, Omega manages some $3.6 billion in assets, most of it being Cooperman’s own money after heavy investor redemptions, some of it due to the SEC’s case.

Personally I’d keep me head down a little more after that little skirmish, but I guess that’s why I’m not a master of the universe.

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