Hedge Fund Billionaires 2016 by Forbes (who lost wealth and who is wealthier then last year)
There are 46 billionaires in the world who have made their fortunes managing hedge funds, but some of these financial traders are a little less rich than they were a year ago. Still, while the average hedge fund lost money in 2015, a majority of the hedge funds run by billionaires managed to produce gains last year—and some of them significantly beat the 1.4% return of the U.S. stock market as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
George Soros is the world’s richest hedge fund manager with an estimated net worth of $24.9 billion. The eternal Soros remains an investing heavyweight through Soros Fund Management, his family office that boasts $29 billion in assets. The family office is now being run on a day-to-day basis by Ted Burdick, who first worked for Soros as an analyst in 2000. Scott Bessent, who had been Soros’ chief investment officer for four years, recently left to start his own Key Square Group with $2 billion in seed capital from his old boss.
Volatile markets have hit many hedge funds hard since August of 2015, including some that are run by prominent billionaires. The net worth of William Ackman, for example, fell to $2 billion from $2.5 billion one year ago. Ackman’s main Pershing Square hedge fund fell by 16.5% in 2015 and his sizeable Pershing Square Holdings fell by 20.5%. A big bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals that went awry was the biggest driver of the losses. Assets under management at Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund firm plunged from a peak of $20.2 billion to a recent $13.4 billion.
David Einhorn suffered his worst year since the financial crisis in 2015. Einhorn’s main Greenlight Capital hedge fund fell 20% in 2015. He was a holder of two stocks, Micron Technologies and Consol Energy, that were among the worst performers in the S&P 500 index, causing Greenlight’s long book to fall 17%. A famed short seller, Einhorn’s bets against companies like Netflix went in the wrong direction. Einhorn’s hedge fund firm now manages $8.6 billion compared to $11.8 billion one year ago. Shares of Einhorn’s reinsurance company, Greenlight Re, are down by nearly 35% in the last year. Einhorn’s net worth fell to $1.4 billion from $1.9 billion one year ago.
In absolute dollar terms, John Paulson lost more of his fortune last year than any other hedge fund manager. One year ago, Paulson’s net worth was estimated at $11.2 billion, but it has fallen to $9.7 billion. Leon Cooperman is another notable hedge fund manager who lost money in the last year. His net worth fell to $3.2 billion from $3.7 billion. Larry Robbins’ net worth dipped to $2 billion from $2.2 billion one year ago.
The Hedge Fund Kings
Ray Dalio, 66, runs the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates, which recently managed some $154 billion. He has an estimated net worth of $15.6 billion, making him the second wealthiest hedge fund manager. His firm posted mixed results in 2015. Its big Pure Alpha hedge fund returned 4.7% net of fees and its Pure Alpha Major Markets returned 10.6%. But Bridgewater’s $70 billion All Weather fund posted a 7% loss, its second annual loss in three years. Dalio’s Pure Alpha hedge funds are off to a rocky start in 2015 and there are reportedly tensions between him and his heir apparent at Bridgewater, Greg Jensen.
Meanwhile, Dalio’s heir as king of the hedge fund world might be Ken Griffin, whose $25 billion Citadel hedge fund firm has performed very well in recent years while most other hedge funds have disappointed. Griffin’s main hedge funds posted returns of 14.3% net of fees in 2015, but they experienced some losses at the start of 2016. He bought two paintings for $500 million last year. At the age of 47, Griffin is worth an estimated $7.5 billion.
The hedge fund billionaires who founded what have become very large quantitative hedge fund firms stood out in 2015 with strong years. James Simons, who founded Renaissance Technologies, is now worth an estimated $15.5 billion. His firm now manages $29 billion and although Simons is retired he still benefits from the firm. David Shaw, who founded the pioneering $39 billion quant firm D.E. Shaw, is worth $5 billion and two men who used to work for him, John Overdeck and David Siegel, are now worth an estimated $3.1 billion each. Overdeck and Siegel together founded Two Sigma Investments, which has grown to become a $32 billion data-driven hedge fund firm.
Cohen & Tepper
No matter what obstacles they face, Steve Cohen and David Tepper have consistently shown they can deliver market-beating returns. They use very different approaches. With an estimated net worth of $12.5 billion, Cohen runs an $11 billion family office, Point72 Asset Management, that uses a multi-manager platform and employs 1,000 people. On the other hand, Tepper runs a much smaller operation and plays a more direct role in is Appaloosa Management’s investment positions. Tepper’s estimated net worth is now $11.4 billion.
The Returning Billionaire
Chris Hohn fell off Forbes’ list of billionaires after a British judge ordered him to pay more than $500 million to his wife as part of a divorce proceeding. Since then two things have happened. First, Hohn’s activist European hedge fund, the Children’s Investment Fund, has continued to produce strong returns. It returned 14.4% net of fees in 2015, a year in which most activist hedge funds struggled mightily. Second, the divorce proceedings illuminated some of Hohn’s assets of which Forbes had been previously unaware. Hohn’s estimated net worth is now $1.7 billion.
Read More: Forbes