Soros, Paulson Lead World’s Alternative Investments Billionaires

Mar 11 2010 | 2:10pm ET

George Soros remains the richest alternative investments titan in the world, according to Forbes magazine’s latest roster of billionaires.

The Soros Fund Management founder is $3 billion richer than he was last year, good enough for 35th place on the Forbes list, which is topped this year by Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican cell phone billionaire. Slim’s $53.5 billion make him the first person from a developing nation to be named the world’s richest man.

All told, there are 1,101 billionaires this year, up from 793 last year but falling short of the 2008 list’s 1,125. Of them, 46 have ties to the alternative investments industry, and 21 are hedge fund billionaires.

Two other hedge fund managers join Soros in the ten-figure club. Paulson & Co.’s John Paulson—who wasn’t even on the billionaires list three years ago—is the 45th-richest man in the world with $12 billion, doubling his fortune from a year ago. Buyout legend Carl Icahn is 59th with $10.5 billion, up from $9 billion.

Just two other hedge fund managers make the top 200: Newly-retired Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons with $8.5 billion (80th place) and SAC Capital Advisors’ Steven Cohen with $6.4 billion (113th).

The richest private equity executives are the Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman, at 171st place with $4.7 billion, and KKR founder Henry Kravis at 201st place with $4.2 billion.

Two alternative investment billionaires became mere millionaires over the past year. John Henry, the J.W. Henry & Co. founder and Boston Red Sox owner, no longer makes the cut. The other notable absence has even bigger problems: Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, 559th on the list last year with $1.3 billion, faces nearly two centuries in prison if he is convicted of insider-trading charges.

There are new faces on the list as well. London’s hedge fund community did particularly well in that respect, with both Brevan Howard Asset Management’s Alan Howard (536th place with $1.8 billion) and CQS founder Michael Hintze (880th place with $1.1 billion) joining the exclusive club.

According to Forbes, the 21 hedge fund managers on the list collectively run $370 billion, some one-fifth of the world’s hedge fund assets. The magazine also posits a reason for their personal success: Their hedge funds returned, on average, 34% last year. The average fund netted closer to 20%.

Alternative Investment Billionaires

rank billionaire alternatives firm net worth (billions)
35 George Soros Soros Fund Management $14.0
45 John Paulson Paulson & Co. $12.0
59 Carl Icahn Icahn Associates $10.5
80 James Simons Renaissance Technologies $8.5
113 Steven Cohen SAC Capital Advisors $6.4
171 Stephen Schwarzman The Blackstone Group $4.7
201 Henry Kravis KKR $4.2
212 John Arnold Centaurus Energy $4.0
212 Ray Dalio Bridgewater Associates $4.0
212 Daniel Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
212 Dirk Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
212 Robert Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
237 George Roberts KKR $3.8
237 Samuel Zell Equity Group Investments $3.8
258 Bruce Kovner Caxton Associates $3.5
258 David Tepper Appaloosa Management $3.5
287 Daniel Och Och-Ziff Capital Management $3.3
297 Paul Tudor Jones II Tudor Investment Corp. $3.2
316 Edward Lampert ESL Investments $3.0
354 Stanley Druckenmiller Duquesne Capital Management $2.8
374 Leon Black Apollo Management $2.5
374 William Conway The Carlyle Group $2.5
374 Daniel D'Aniello The Carlyle Group $2.5
374 David Rubenstein The Carlyle Group $2.5
374 David Shaw D.E. Shaw Group $2.5
437 Tom Gores Platinum Equity $2.5
437 Julian Robertson Tiger Management $2.2
488 Philip Falcone Harbinger Capital Management $2.0
488 Kenneth Griffin Citadel Investment Group $2.0
488 Peter Peterson The Blackstone Group $2.0
536 David Bonderman TPG $1.9
536 Alan Howard Brevan Howard Asset Management $1.8
556 Wilbur Ross WL Ross & Co. $1.8
582 Israel Englander Millennium Partners $1.7
616 Alec Gores Gores Group $1.6
655 Louis Bacon Moore Capital Management $1.5
655 Leon Cooperman Omega Advisors $1.5
655 James Dinan York Capital Management $1.5
655 Stephen Mandel Lone Pine Capital $1.5
721 Marc Lasry Avenue Capital Management $1.4
773 Glenn Dubin Highbridge Capital Management $1.3
828 Thomas Lee Lee Equity Partners $1.2
880 Theodore Forstmann Forstmann Little $1.1
880 Michael Hintze CQS $1.1
880 T. Boone Pickens BP Capital $1.1
880 Henry Swieca Highbridge Capital Management $1.1

Source: Forbes magazine

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