Hedge-fund manager Steven A Cohen. Source: Cohen Veterans Network Youtube screen grab

If the US Securities and Exchange Commission had its way, hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen would be banned for life from the securities industry. His previous firm, SAC Capital Advisors, was shut down, with eight employees convicted on criminal charges related to insider trading.

But Cohen lived to fight another day, reaching a civil settlement with regulators allowing him to start up shop again in 2018. And the once head of what was one of the US’ most profitable hedge funds is thinking big.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cohen is aiming to raise US$20 billion, a number that dwarfs the peak of US$16 billion managed at SAC. The largest US hedge-fund launch in history was US$11 billion.

“This is extraordinary evidence of a new weakness in standards,” John Coffee, a securities-law professor at Columbia Law School was quoted by the WSJ as saying. “I’m afraid he’ll find a lot of clients. He was very successful.”