What You Should Know About Billionaire Steve Cohen, the Potential New Owner of the New York Mets

December 5, 2019, 11:43 PM UTC

Billionaire Steve Cohen is in negotiations with the New York Mets to buy an 80% stake in the team, but to a lot of sports fans, he’s an unknown.

The 63-year-old hedge fund manager is already an investor in the team—he  dropped $20 million for a stake in 2012—and is valued at $9.2 billion in the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. The deal, as of Thursday evening, still isn’t done, but if it gets there, here’s a look at some of the potential new owner’s other interests, which may or may not reflect how he’ll run the team.

He’s a hedge fund manager—and more.

Cohen runs Cohen Private Ventures, a business started by his family office in 2019. And that company would reportedly manage the stake in the Mets. He’s also CEO of Point72 Asset Management, which employs about 1,400 people and makes early-stage investments in startups around the world, with a focus on fintech, machine learning, and cybersecurity.

Last year, his company invested in Autonomous Partners, a new hedge fund that is acquiring both cryptocurrencies and equity in blockchain-related companies.

He’s a big believer in Moneyballing and data.

Cohen has shown a remarkable talent for picking stocks without the help of artificial intelligence, but he has recently been trying to replicate his most profitable trades by creating computer algorithms.

“There was a portfolio manager of mine who wanted to hire someone who was starting to use data, and so we hired this individual, and I thought about it, and I said, you know, we should centralize that process in the firm. We can do this better, and we can do this in a more robust way,” he told Fortune in 2016.

He’s an art lover.

Cohen’s art collection, as of 2016, was worth over $1 billion and contains paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and other celebrated artists. A lot of the works are kept at Point72’s offices around the world, rotating them between locations about once per quarter.

And his philosophy about buying art could be music to baseball fans’ ears. When it comes to buying art, “I am purely from the gut,” Cohen told Fortune. “And I know right away. If it stays in my brain—let’s say I go see a picture, if I keep thinking about it, I know it’s something I like. If I forget about it, then I know, couldn’t care less.”

He likes the opulent life.

Art’s not the only place Cohen likes to spend his money. He lives in Greenwich, Conn., in an enormous nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion, that features a putting green and an ice rink—complete with a Zamboni.

He’s been in some trouble.

In 2013, Cohen’s hedge fund firm SAC Capital effectively shut down after he pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. He won the right to return to the hedge fund business in 2018 after settling a civil suit against him.

He likes taking chances.

The Mets haven’t won a division title since 2015, and some critics say it could be time for some changes. Cohen has a history of taking risks, and even asks prospective employees about risks they’ve taken when he interviews them.

“When you take risk, there’s no guarantee it’s going to work, right?,” he said. “But if it doesn’t work, ok, so you failed—not the end of the world. And you move on, you try something else. And that’s what I want in my firm. I want people who are not afraid to risk and try things.”

He’s been called the Mickey Mantle of trading, but his idol is from another sport.

Boxing, specifically.

“Muhammad Ali. When he boxed, when boxing was really revered in this country, he was just incredible to watch, just—smooth, athletic, powerful,” says Cohen. “Some of the fights with Frazier were probably some of the greatest fights ever. Plus, he was an extraordinary man.”

If the deal between Cohen and the Mets goes through, he is sure to use his experience in sports, art, and finance to manage the team.

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