Hedge Fund, Private Equity Titans Crowd Billionaire List

Mar 12 2009 | 5:22am ET

Last year was not a good one for billionaires or alternative investment managers, but the industry is still healthily represented on Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s billionaires.

There are 332 fewer of them, to be sure, and, all told, they have two trillion fewer dollars today than they did just a year ago. And of the 793 wealthiest men in the world, once again led by Microsoft Corp. founded Bill Gates, 45 have ties to hedge funds or private equity firms.

The richest hedge fund manager in the world, clocking in as the 29th richest person in the world, is George Soros, whose $11 billion fortune actually increased during the difficult 2008. Joining him among the top 100 are fellow hedge fund managers Carl Icahn (43rd place with $9 billion), James Simons of Renaissance Technologies (55th place with $8 billion), John Paulson (76th place with $6 billion) and Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors (87th place with $5.5 billion).

Paulson had a particularly good 2008, when his funds, which returned triple-digits in 2007 and made his Paulson & Co. one of the largest hedge fund managers in the world, returned double-digits as his peers were losing as much: He soared from 368th place in the rankings to 76th.

Among the private equity titans with at least $1 billion are Sam Zell (205th place with $3 billion), Henry Kravis and George Roberts of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (205th place with $3 billion and 246th place with $2.6 billion, respectively), and the Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwartzman (261st place with $2.5 billion).

All told, the 45 alternatives industry billionaires have a combined net worth of $107.5 billion.

One notable hedge fund manager to drop off the list this year is accused fraudster R. Allen Stanford. Forbes estimates than $1.8 billion of Stanford’s $2 billion fortune evaporated last year.

Alternative Investment Billionaires

rank billionaire alternatives firm net worth (billions)
29 George Soros Soros Fund Management $11
43 Carl Icahn Icahn Associates $9
55 James Simons Renaissance Technologies $8
76 John Paulson Paulson & Co. $6
87 Steven Cohen SAC Capital Advisors $5.5
164 Stanley Druckenmiller Duquesne Capital Management $3.5
164 Bruce Kovner Caxton Associates $3.5
164 Daniel Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $3.5
164 Dirk Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $3.5
164 Robert Ziff Och-Ziff Capital Management $3.5
205 Henry Kravis Kohlberg Kravis Roberts $3
205 Sam Zell Equity Group Investments $3
224 Paul Tudor Jones Tudor Investment Corp. $2.8
234 John Arnold Centaurus Energy Advisors $2.7
246 George Roberts Kohlberg Kravis Roberts $2.6
261 Ray Dalio Bridgewater Associates $2.5
261 Stephen Schwartzman The Blackstone Group $2.5
296 Philip Falcone Harbinger Capital Management $2.3
334 Tom Gores Platinum Equity $2
334 Edward Lampert ESL Investments $2
334 Daniel Och Och-Ziff Capital Management $2
334 T. Boone Pickens BP Capital $2
450 David Shaw D.E. Shaw Group $1.6
468 Louis Bacon Moore Capital Management $1.5
468 Israel Englander Millennium Partners $1.5
468 Kenneth Griffin Citadel Investment Group $1.5
522 William Conway The Carlyle Group $1.4
522 Daniel D'Aniello The Carlyle Group $1.4
522 Thomas Lee Lee Equity Partners $1.4
522 David Rubenstein The Carlyle Group $1.4
559 Alec Gores Gores Group $1.3
559 Raj Rajaratnam Galleon Group $1.3
559 Julian Robertson Tiger Management $1.3
559 Wilbur Ross WL Ross & Co. $1.3
601 Stephen Mandel Lone Pine Capital $1.2
601 David Tepper Appaloosa Management $1.2
647 Leon Black Apollo Management $1.1
647 John Henry John W. Henry & Co. $1.1
647 Marc Lasry Avenue Capital Management $1.1
701 David Bonderman TPG $1
701 Leon Cooperman Omega Advisors $1
701 James Dinan York Capital $1
701 Glenn Dubin Highbridge Capital Management $1
701 Theodore Forstmann Forstmann Little $1
701 Henry Swicea Highbridge Capital Management $1

Source: Forbes magazine

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