Paulson Now Richest Alternatives Billionaire

Mar 10 2011 | 11:13am ET

Four years ago, he wasn't even a billionaire. But today, John Paulson is the richest alternative investments mogul in the world, according to Forbes magazine's latest roster of global billionaires.

With a net worth of $16 billion—$4 billion more than a year ago—the Paulson & Co. chief displaced George Soros as the richest hedge fund manager this year. Paulson places 39th overall on a list once again topped by Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim Helú with $74 billion.

There are 1,210 billionaires in the world today, 109 more than last year. The group has a combined net worth of $4.5 trillion.

No fewer than 65 of those billionaires have ties to the alternative investments industry. And six of them are worth at least 10 figures: In addition to Paulson, the alternatives players with at least $10 billion in assets were Michael Dell, who made his fortune in computers but has expanded into hedge funds, with $14.6 billion, Soros Fund Management's George Soros with $14.5 billion, Icahn Enterprises' Carl Icahn with $12.5 billion,  MacAndrews & Forbes' Ronald Perelman with $12 billion and retired Renaissance Technologies chief James Simons with $10.6 billion.

As would be expected with a list that grew as much as this one, there are a few new faces: Noam Gottesman of GLG Partners comes in with $1.4 billion, Sandell Asset Management founder Thomas Sandell makes the grade this year with $1.1 billion in net worth, and Trian Partners' Nelson Peltz just makes the cut with a bare-minimum $1 billion. And J.W. Henry & Co. founder and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is back, also at the $1 billion level.

At least one hedge fund manager fell from the list: Maverick Capital Management's Sam Wyly, who capped a year in which he was charged with fraud by losing his status as a billionaire. Another nearly tumbled off the list: The Blackstone Group's Peter Peterson, who saw his net worth halved last year to just $1 billion.

A handful of alternative investments figures saw their bank accounts rise by at least $1 billion, in addition to Paulson. Simons is $2.1 billion richer, Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio and Icahn are both $2 billion richer, Steven Cohen is $1.6 billion richer and David Tepper is $1.5 billion richer.

Alternative Investment Billionaires

rank billionaire alternatives firm net worth (billions)
39 John Paulson Paulson & Co. $16.0
44 Michael Dell MSD Capital $14.6
46 George Soros Soros Fund Management $14.0
61 Carl Icahn Icahn Associates $12.5
64 Ronald Perelman MacAndrews & Forbes $12.0
74 James Simons Renaissance Technologies $10.6
114 Steven Cohen SAC Capital Advisors $8.0
162 Ray Dalio Bridgewater Associates $6.0
169 Stephen Schwarzman The Blackstone Group $5.9
208 David Tepper Appaloosa Management $5.0
208 Samuel Zell Equity Group Investments $5.0
235 Bruce Kovner Caxton Associates $4.5
268 Daniel Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
268 Dirk Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
268 Robert Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.0
281 Henry Kravis KKR $3.9
297 George Roberts KKR $3.7
304 Edward Lampert ESL Investments $3.6
310 Leon Black Apollo Management $3.5
336 John Arnold Centaurus Energy $3.3
336 Paul Tudor Jones II Tudor Investment Corp. $3.3
336 Daniel Och Och-Ziff Capital Management $3.3
347 Ronald Burkle Yucaipa Cos. $3.2
440 David Rubenstein The Carlyle Group $2.6
459 Stanley Druckenmiller Duquesne Capital Management $2.5
488 Tom Gores Platinum Equity $2.4
512 Kenneth Griffin Citadel Investment Group $2.3
512 Julian Robertson Tiger Management $2.3
540 Nicolas Berggruen Alpha Investment Management $2.2
540 William Conway The Carlyle Group $2.2
540 Daniel D'Aniello The Carlyle Group $2.2
540 Philip Falcone Harbinger Capital Management $2.2
540 David Shaw D.E. Shaw Group $2.2
595 David Bonderman TPG Capital $2.0
651 James Coulter TPG Capital $1.9
651 Israel Englander Millennium Partners $1.9
651 Wilbur Ross WL Ross & Co. $1.9
692 Leon Cooperman Omega Advisors $1.8
692 Alan Howard Brevan Howard Asset Management $1.8
736 George Argyros Westar Capital $1.7
736 Louis Bacon Moore Capital Management $1.7
736 Glenn Dubin Highbridge Capital Management $1.7
736 Stephen Mandel Lone Pine Capital $1.7
736 Jonathan Nelson Providence Equity Partners $1.7
782 Richard Chilton Chilton Investment Co. $1.6
782 Theodore Forstmann Forstmann Little $1.6
782 Alec Gores Gores Group $1.6
833 Thomas Barack Colony Capital $1.5
833 James Dinan York Capital Management $1.5
833 Marc Lasry Avenue Capital Management $1.5
833 Marc Rowan Apollo Management $1.5
879 Noam Gottesman GLG Partners $1.4
879 Michael Hintze CQS $1.4
879 Thomas Lee Lee Equity Partners $1.4
879 T. Boone Pickens BP Capital $1.4
993 Joshua Harris Apollo Management $1.2
993 Bruce Karsh Oaktree Capital Management $1.2
993 Howard Marks Oaktree Capital Management $1.2
993 C. Dean Metropoulos Metropoulos & Co. $1.2
993 Henry Swieca Highbridge Capital Management $1.2
1057 Thomas Sandell Sandell Asset Management $1.1
1140 John Henry John W. Henry & Co. $1.0
1140 Nelson Peltz Trian Partners $1.0
1140 Peter Peterson The Blackstone Group $1.0

Source: Forbes magazine


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