September 23, 2023

Israel “Izzy” Englander, Chairman and CEO of Millennium Management LLC.

Ronda Churchill | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers hit a record $ 32 billion in 2020, up more than 50% from 2019, according to Institutional Investor’s Rich List.

A total of 15 hedge fund managers earned $ 1 billion or more, compared with just eight in 2019. The huge gains during the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the public debate over hedge funds in the wake of the GameStop controversy, are likely to generate criticism from lawmakers and the public on the payment and fairness of hedge funds in the financial markets.

The top earner was Israel “Izzy” Englander of Millennium Management, who made $ 3.8 billion. Its flagship fund gained 26% over the past year, the best return in 20 years. Like many of the best performing funds over the past year, Millennium relies more on stock selection than quantitative strategies using computer algorithms.

In second place is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, who made $ 2.6 billion. However, its investors weren’t doing that well. Renaissance Technologies’ three main external investor funds were down 20% to 30%, according to the report. However, the Medallion fund, which is primarily for employees, gained 76%. Simons retired as chairman on January 1.

Tiger Global’s Chase Coleman came in third with a payday of $ 2.5 billion. The fund was an early investor in tech stocks and overseas games, which performed well during the pandemic, bringing its fund a 48% return. His partner Scott Shleifer, head of Tiger’s private equity business, came in eighth with $ 1.5 billion. Shleifer just bought the most expensive Florida home ever sold and paid more than $ 130 million for a newly built mansion in Palm Beach.

Citadel’s Ken Griffin, who is at the center of the GameStop debate, ranked fourth at $ 1.8 billion as his fund rose 24%. Steve Cohen of Point72 Asset Management, who owns the Mets, finished fifth along with David Tepper with $ 1.7 billion.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Mets property was incorrectly attributed.