Simons named top hedge fund earner

26 March 2009

James Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies, has been named as the top earner in the hedge fund industry during 2008.
A list of the top 25 managers compiled by Alpha magazine said the 70-year-old pocketed $2.5 billion last year after generating an 80 percent return for his flagship Medallion Fund despite the wider industry suffering the worst trading conditions on record.

Overall, the top 25 hedge fund chiefs earned a combined $11.6 billion, taking home an average of $464 million each, the publication said.

Four managers, including George Soros and John Paulson, earned over $1 billion.

Alpha said Mr Simons "continues to defy logic" with his fund's performance. His highly-secretive strategy employs "rapid-fire trading" across all markets and the magazine said his returns are made all the more remarkable by the five per cent management fee and 44 per cent performance fee he charges.

Since 2002, only Mr Simons, his friends, partners and past and present employees have been allowed to invest in the Medallion Fund.

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