The top hedge fund managers earned a combined $15.4 billion last year

The top hedge fund managers earned a combined $15.4 billion last year

james simons

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Hedge fund founder Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies topped this year's rich list.

  • The top 25 hedge fund earners made a total of $15.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 40% from the year prior, according to a new report from Institutional Investor.
  • Four managers on the list made more than $1 billion in 2017.
Institutional Investor is out with its list of top-earning hedge fund managers for 2017 and the numbers are eyepopping.Renaissance Technologies' Jim Simons topped the list, earning $1.7 billion, followed by Appaloosa Management's David Tepper with $1.5 billion. Citadel's Ken Griffin brought home $1.4 billion and Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio made $1.3 billion.
The top 25 hedge fund managers earned a combined $15.4 billion, up 40% from 2016. Not surprisingly, hedge funds in 2017 generated their best average performance over the past several years which led to higher payouts for big managers.

Hedge funds ended 2017 with positive returns in every month, the first perfect calendar year since 2003, according to hedge fund research provider HFR.

The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, an industry barometer of total hedge-fund performance, ended the year up 8.5%. That was the best year since 2013, though hedge funds still underperformed the S&P 500 which surged 19% in 2017.