Retirees Soros, Icahn Richest American Hedge Fund Managers

Sep 20 2012 | 12:22pm ET

It's good to be a successful alternative investments manager, as demonstrated by the generous sprinkling of their names in this year's Forbes 400 ranking of the richest Americans. But it may be even better to be a retired (or semi-retired) alternative investments manager.

The top two hedge-fund names on Forbes' annual list have both stopped managing outside money. The recently remarried George Soros and Carl Icahn are the richest of the lot, and both returned investor capital last year. Soros, who cracked the 400's top 10 last year, fell back a bit this year, ranking only 15th with a $19 billion fortune, down $3 billion from last year. Icahn, on the other hand, added nearly $2 billion to his, taking 21st place on the list, topped by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, with $14.8 billion.

Another retiree, Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons, was the sixth-richest alternatives-linked billionaire, 28th on the list with $11 billion.

Other bold-faced names in the top 100, which include 15 hedge fund and private equity honchos, were John Paulson (28th with $11 billion), Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio (33rd with $10 billion), SAC Capital Advisors' Steven Cohen (40th with $8.8 billion), Appaloosa Management's David Tepper (59th with $5.5 billion), Blackstone Group's Steven Schwarzman (63rd with $5.2 billion), the retired Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates (85th with $4.3 billion) and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts' Henry Kravis (92nd with $4 billion).

All told, alternatives billionaires (one had to have at least $1.1 billion to make the cut this year) make up more than 17% of the list, including four new names. Tiger Global Management's Chase Coleman has been among the best hedge fund managers of the past two years, and it has paid off, as he joins the 400 with $1.5 billion. Third Point's Daniel Loeb is also a new entrant, with $1.3 billion, as if Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn with $1.2 billion. Elliott Associates' Paul Singer rounds out the list in 392nd place with $1.1 billion. In addition, the Blackstone Group's Peter Peterson returns to the list this year with a $1.2 billion fortune. Forbes also cited Blackstone's Jonathan Gray and Saba Capital Management founder Boaz Weinstein as future members of the list, while crediting Soros' son Alexander as an "emerging philanthropist."

Others, of course, fell from their perch. The embattled Philip Falcone of Harbinger Capital Management saw his fortune fall by more than half, but still just missed the cut with $1.05 billion. Colony Capital's Thomas Barrack and John W. Henry & Co.'s John Henry also fell from the list. Forstmann Little & Co. founder Theodore Forstmann, 242nd on last year's list with $1.8 billion, passed away in November.

Falcone, Barrack and Henry may have lost their place on the list, but they weren't the only losers. Soros' $3 billion drop was the second-biggest to Paulson, whose fortune plummeted $4.5 billion last year. The Carlyle Group's three founders each saw their bank accounts contract by almost one-third, and Lone Pine Capital's Stephen Mandel lost 20% of his fortune.

On the other side of the ledger, Dalio's fortune ballooned by more than half to $10 billion. Citadel Investment Group Kenneth Griffin, D.E. Shaw's David Shaw, Millennium Partners' Israel Englander and Texas Pacific Group's David Bonderman also saw sizeable jumps in the net worths.

Hedge Fund and Private Equity Executives
on the Forbes 400 List of Wealthiest Americans

rank billionaire firm net worth
15 George Soros Soros Fund Management $19 billion
21 Carl Icahn Icahn Enterprises $14.8 billion
22 Michael Dell MSD Capital $14.6 billion
26 Ronald Perelman MacAndrews & Forbes $12 billion
28 John Paulson Paulson & Co. $11 billion
28 James Simons Renaissance Technologies $11 billion
33 Ray Dalio Bridgewater Associates $10 billion
40 Steven Cohen SAC Capital Advisors $8.8 billion
59 David Tepper Appaloosa Management $5.5 billion
63 Stephen Schwarzman The Blackstone Group $5.2 billion
85 Bruce Kovner Caxton Associates $4.3 billion
85 Daniel Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.3 billion
85 Dirk Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.3 billion
85 Robert Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $4.3 billion
92 Henry Kravis Kohlberg Kravis Roberts $4 billion
103 Samuel Zell Equity Group Investments $3.8 billion
104 George Roberts Kohlberg Kravis Roberts $3.7 billion
108 Paul Tudor Jones Tudor Investment Corporation $3.6 billion
113 Leon Black Apollo Management $3.2 billion
125 Edward Lampert ESL Investments $3.2 billion
128 Ron Burkle Yucaipa Cos. $3.2 billion
128 Kenneth Griffin Citadel Investment Group $3.2 billion
132 John Arnold Centaurus Energy $3 billion
142 David Shaw D.E. Shaw Group $2.9 billion
151 Robert Bass Oak Hill Capital Management $2.7 billion
151 Stanley Druckenmiller Duquense Capital Management $2.7 billion
151 Israel Englander Millenium Partners $2.7 billion
170 David Bonderman Texas Pacific Group $2.6 billion
170 Julian Robertson Tiger Management $2.6 billion
179 Tom Gores Platinum Equity $2.5 billion
206 Nicolas Berggruen Alpha Investment Management $2.3 billion
206 Leon Cooperman Omega Advisors $2.3 billion
206 Daniel Och Och-Ziff Capital Management $2.3 billion
206 Richard Rainwater Rainwater LLC $2.3 billion
206 Wilbur Ross W.L. Ross & Co. $2.3 billion
218 Henry Hillman Hillman Cos. $2.2 billion
229 James Coulter Texas Pacific Group $2.1 billion
250 George Argyros Westar Capital $1.9 billion
250 William Conway The Carlyle Group $1.9 billion
250 Daniel D'Aniello The Carlyle Group $1.9 billion
250 Alec Gores Gores Technology Group $1.9 billion
250 David Rubenstein The Carlyle Group $1.9 billion
285 Glenn Dubin Highbridge Capital Management $1.7 billion
285 Noam Gottesman Man Group $1.7 billion
285 Jonathan Nelson Providence Equity Partners $1.7 billion
298 Joshua Harris Apollo Management $1.6 billion
311 Chase Coleman Tiger Global Management $1.5 billion
311 Thomas Lee Lee Equity Partners $1.5 billion
311 Marc Rowan Apollo Management $1.5 billion
328 James Dinan York Capital Management $1.4 billion
328 Bruce Karsh Oaktree Capital Management $1.4 billion
328 Howard Marks Oaktree Capital Management $1.4 billion
328 Peter Thiel Clarium Capital Management $1.4 billion
347 Louis Bacon Moore Capital Management $1.3 billion
347 Marc Lasry Avenue Capital Management $1.3 billion
347 Daniel Loeb Third Point $1.3 billion
347 Thomas Steyer Farallon Capital Management $1.3 billion
360 Richard Chilton Chilton Investment Co. $1.2 billion
360 David Einhorn Greenlight Capital $1.2 billion
360 Stephen Mandel Lone Pine Capital $1.2 billion
360 C. Dean Metropoulos Metropoulos & Co. $1.2 billion
360 Nelson Peltz Trian Partners $1.2 billion
360 Peter Peterson Blackstone Group $1.2 billion
360 T. Boone Pickens BP Capital $1.2 billion
360 Henry Swicea Highbridge Capital Management $1.2 billion
392 Paul Singer Elliott Associates $1.1 billion

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