Appaloosa Management's David Tepper was the best-paid hedge fund manager of 2012, a year that saw the combined pay of the top 25 highest-paid managers stagnate.
The 25 men atop Alpha magazine's 12th annual rich list earned $14 billion last year—roughly the same as last year and $8 billion less than in 2011; indeed, 2012's is the lowest total since 2008, and Tepper's $2.2 billion payday last year was a far cry from the $3.9 billion earned by Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio in 2011.
Dalio was second on Alpha's list for last year, taking home $1.7 billion for running the world's largest hedge fund. The embattled Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors earned $1.4 billion on the year, Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons $1.1 billion and Citadel Investment Group's Kenneth Griffin $900 million.
ESL Investments' Edward Lampert was sixth on the list with $750 million in earnings, followed by Lone Pine Capital's Stephen Mandel with $580 million, Omega Advisors' Leon Cooperman with $560 million, D.E. Shaw Group's David Shaw with $530 million and Third Point's Daniel Loeb with $380 million.
U.S. managers dominate the top 25 earners in the industry, with only CQS' Michael Hintze earning a spot—18th, with 2012 earnings of $265 million. And the list features only one new face this year: Discovery Capital Management's Robert Citrone, who made as much as Paulson & Co.'s John Paulson last year, $250 million.
Also making the list wereTiger Global Management's Chase Coleman, Coatue Management's Phillippe Laffont and Viking Global Investors' Andreas Halvorsen, like Citrone and Mandel veterans of Julian Robertson's Tiger Management. Non-Tiger cubs Israel Englander of Millennium Management and Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp. were also among the top 25.