These are the 5 hedge fund managers who took home more than $1 billion last year

jim simons renaissance

  • The top 15 hedge fund managers collectively earned $12 billion in 2019, with the top five taking in more than $1 billion each, according to Bloomberg estimates.
  • The hedge fund industry generally underperformed the soaring US stock market last year, yet 14 of the 15 funds listed posted double-digit returns.
  • Here are the five managers to make more than $1 billion in 2019 in ascending order of earnings, according to Bloomberg estimates.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Hedge funds largely underperformed the US stock market in 2019, yet five managers earned more than $1 billion last year, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The top 15 hedge fund managers collectively earned about $12 billion in 2019 as central bank rate cuts, strong earnings reports, and deescalation in the US-China trade war boosted nearly all risk assets. The S&P 500 gained 29% last year, while the hedge fund sector saw an average 9% uptick, according to Bloomberg's Hedge Fund Indices.

The past year also saw passive investing platforms continue to gain market share, pulling in clients with low fees while the hedge fund industry shank for the fifth year straight. Yet the top fund chiefs still enjoyed hefty profits as wealthy clients looked to smaller offices and unique strategies to deliver gains.

Bloomberg used Securities and Exchange Commission filings, past reporting, firms' websites, and past calculations for the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to estimate managers' 2019 earnings. The outlet assumed a 2% management fee and 20% performance fee for firms not disclosing fee information. Bloomberg's estimates included only the largest and "most material" funds within each firm.

Not all of the top 15 managers' top funds eked out positive returns over the past year. Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio brought in $1.3 billion less in 2019 compared to the year prior as his flagship fund lost money for the first time in 20 years, according to Bloomberg. All other managers in the top 15 brought in at least double-digit returns through their main funds.

Here are the top five hedge fund managers in order of ascending income in 2019, according to Bloomberg estimates.

5. Chase Coleman

Company: Tiger Global Management

Main fund return: 33%

Income: $1.105 billion

4. Steve Cohen

Company: Point72 Asset Management

Main fund return: 16%

Income: $1.26 billion

3. Ken Griffin

Company: Citadel

Main fund return: 19%

Income: $1.5 billion

2. Jim Simons

Company: Renaissance Technologies

Main fund return: 14%

Income: $1.73 billion

1. Chris Hohn

Company: TCI Fund Management

Main fund return: 41%

Income: $1.845 billion

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