Stock market volatility on Wall Street last year has not prevented top hedge fund managers from being paid huge sums to handle the investments of the wealthiest people in the US.
The top-25 highest earners took home a combined $13 billion in 2015, according to the industry’s annual “rich list” compiled by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine.
The top two, Kenneth Griffin, founder and chief executive of Citadel and James Simons, founder and chairman of Renaissance Technologies, took home $1.7 billion each, according to the ranking which surveys the annual earnings of the industry’s top earners.
The ranking comes after a particularly volatile year on Wall Street and these earnings are actually a pale comparison from several years ago.
The best paid hedge fund managers pay pales compared to 2013, when the top 25 took a whopping $21 billion. While in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009, the top 25 earners made a record $25.3 billion.
Nearly half of hedge funds lost money, and some familiar names on the Rich Lists of previous years were missing according to Alpha Institutional Investor's. This includes John Paulson of Paulson and Co, Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors, and Daniel Loeb at Third Point.
To calculate individual earnings, Alpha counts gains on individuals’ capital in their funds as well as their share of the fees.
To qualify for this year’s top 25, a manager had to earn at least $135 million. This is the lowest minimum since 2011, when it took a mere $100 million in earnings to make the cut.
In the UK, Crispin Odey, the hedge fund manager who founder Odey Asset Management, has surrendered his place in the billionaires' club after his fortune fell by £200 million to £900 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich list.
Odey, who predicted in 2015 that the financial downturn would be so bad it would be “remembered in 100 years”, had his salary halved from £31.8 million to £16 million after the profits at his hedge fund slipped from £174.2 million to £84.1 million.
But the top 10 hedge fund manager added over £1.4 billion to their personal fortunes, despite hedge funds losing 1.12 per cent on average in 2015, fund data seen by Reuters showed.
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