Rich Get Richer: Top Hedgies Take Home $11.6B In ‘08

Mar 25 2009 | 2:07am ET

The average hedge fund employee made a lot less money last year than the previous year, and is likely to make even less this year, but the very richest hedge fund managers really raked it in.

The top 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in the world took home an average of $464 million each last year, almost 600 times as much as the average hedge fund employee, according to Alpha magazine. All told, the lucky 25 made $11.6 billion in 2008, the third-highest amount since Alpha began compiling its list eight years ago.

For the third time in four years, Renaissance Technologies’ James Simons was the highest-paid hedge fund manager in the world. The 70-year-old former math professor made $2.5 billion in 2008, even as his hedge fund suffered $4 billion in redemptions. The previously highest-paid hedgie, John Paulson, whose 2007 compensation of $3.7 billion set a record, had to settle for a mere $2 billion this year.

Centaurus Energy’s John Arnold came in third, his first time among the top five, at $1.5 billion, followed by George Soros at $1.1 billion and Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio at $780 million. Harbinger Capital Partners’ Philip Falcone and Citadel Investment Group’s Kenneth Griffin fell out of the top five.

Further down the list, Kynikos Associates’ James Chanos made his first appearance in 12th place, with $225 million in earnings.

European hedge fund managers enjoyed a record showing in the 2008 list, with nine entrants. Among them are David Harding of Winton Capital Management and Brevan Howard Asset Management’s Alan Howard, who each made $250 million last year.

Their underlings did not fare so well: Average hedge fund pay fell 35% last year, according to Alan Johnson, founder of compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. Worse still, Johnson predicts that pay will drop another 25% this year, Bloomberg News reports.

Johnson’s figures are, in one sense, at least, much more pessimistic than those offered by Alpha, which says that hedge fund employees made 15% less last year than in 2007. But Johnson called Alpha’s figure of $794,000 for the average compensation package was low, although he didn’t give his own figure.


In Depth

Why Ponzi Schemes Work: An In-Depth Look At The Allen Stanford Fraud

Dec 21 2014 | 10:30am ET

Texan Allen Stanford first appeared on the radars of financial regulators in 1997...

Lifestyle

Hedgie Funds US Squash Program

Dec 24 2014 | 8:46am ET

Squash, anyone?

Guest Contributor

EidoSearch’s Top Three Market Projections For 2015

Dec 23 2014 | 4:03am ET

It is that time of year again when prognosticators make their big market calls for...

 

Sponsored Content

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

December 2014 Cover

Futures 2014 person of the year

Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.