The golden age of hedge funds - best paid fund manager earns $1.5B in 2005

When it comes to pure wealth creation — arguably the biggest motivation for the majority of hedge fund managers — times have never been better. Thanks to the power of hedge fund math, driven by management fees and performance incentives, more managers are making more money today than ever before, as evidenced by  Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine

This time there are two who break the billion-dollar barrier: James Simons of Renaissance Technologies Corp. and BP Capital Management’s T. Boone Pickens. In 2005 math whiz Simons earned a staggering $1.5 billion and oil tycoon Pickens took home an equally astounding $1.4 billion. Rounding out the top five are three longtime managers: Soros Fund Management’s George Soros, $840 million; SAC Capital AdvisorsSteven Cohen, $550 million; and Tudor Investment Corp.’s Paul Tudor Jones II, $500 million.

The cost of admission keeps going up. A manager had to earn at least $130 million in 2005 to qualify for a place among the top 25 money earners, compared with $100 million in last year’s survey and just $30 million in 2001 and 2002. The 26 managers on the list made, on average, $363 million in 2005, a 45 percent jump from the $251 million the top 25 earned in 2004. The median earnings also grew, jumping by a third, from $153 million in 2004 to $205 million last year.



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