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The Top 10 Reputation Crises of 2013

By Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2013-11-15T18:07:38Z

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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No. 8: SAC Capital Advisors

When a $14-billion hedge fund becomes the center of an insider-trading probe, damage to its reputation is inevitable. SAC Capital Advisors LP made a bad situation worse by focusing almost exclusively on its legal liabilities and not enough on protecting its reputation with the public, says Diermeier, who cites expensive art purchases by founder Steven A. Cohen as a tone-deaf move. "If the company is viewed as the villain, that makes the prosecutor a hero," says Diermeier. SAC Capital was indicted in July, accused of fostering a culture of illegal trading. In early November the hedge fund agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud, pay a record $1.8 billion and shutter its investment advisory business. Diermeier notes that Cohen is now selling pieces from his art collection. An SAC spokesman declined to comment.

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