Steve Cohen and Hedge-Fund Hotshots Have a New York Moment at Lincoln Center Fundraiser

Estimated read time 3 min read

The alternatives industry’s annual fundraiser for the Lincoln Center had David Geffen Hall stuffed with acrobats, dancers, jugglers, and magicians — to say nothing of the billionaires sipping cocktails and noshing on hors d’oeuvres such as a potato bite topped with caviar and crème fraîche.

The event pulled in hundreds of traders, bankers, and lawyers despite a rainy, windy night on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was a celebration of New York, according to one of the gala’s chairs, Ilana Weinstein, a longtime hedge-fund recruiter born in the city.

“We are New Yorkers; even if we move to Florida, our soul is still here,” she told attendees while sandwiched onstage between a pair of billionaires, Point72’s Steve Cohen and GoldenTree’s Steve Tananbaum.

Steve Tananbaum, Ilana D. Weinstein, and Steve Cohen attend the Lincoln Center's Alternative Investment Industry Gala at David Geffen Hall on March 06, 2024 in New York City.

Steve Tananbaum, Ilana Weinstein, and Steve Cohen.

Dave Kotinsky/ Getty Images for Lincoln Center

In Florida, Miami and West Palm Beach have grown their footprint in the financial-services industry since the pandemic started, when many Northeastern investors fled south. The most prominent to move to the Sunshine State was the billionaire Ken Griffin, who moved Citadel and Citadel Securities to Miami, though the firms were headquartered in Chicago, not New York, before that.

The two billionaire Steves onstage with Weinstein were also chairs of the event, along with Hunter Point’s Bennett Goodman, York Capital’s Jamie Dinan, and Axel Capital’s Anna Nikolayevsky. It was announced during the event — which had dozens of corporate sponsors such as Citadel, Balyasny, Tudor, and an array of banks and law firms — that $2 million was raised for the Lincoln Center’s free and choose-what-you-pay programs.

A composite of three images. The first is a male with a gold suit and headdress, the middle is guests at a swanky party taken from above, and the image to the left is of a woman in a silver dress playing a violin.

Guests at the Lincoln Center’s Alternative Investment Industry Gala were entertained by dancers, musicians, jugglers, and acrobats.

Dave Kotinsky/ Getty Images for Lincoln Center

The event’s extravagances reflected the boom times in hedge-fund land, where the largest firms continue to accumulate assets following a strong 2023. One attendee said, “We must be getting close to a peak,” as another partygoer walked past him with a plate teeming with sushi. There were stations for beef tenderloin and veggie alternatives as a small army of servers across three bars cranked out martinis.

For entertainment, there were acrobats hanging from the ceiling, dancers clad in disco-ball and other eye-catching material, jugglers tossing glowing pins, and a magician roaming with a deck of cards in hand. At one point, confetti shot out and rained down on the crowd.

All of it was worth it for what the people in the room and New Yorkers get out of the performing-arts center, Weinstein said.

“It provides balance,” she said.