Skip to Content

Hedge Fund Managers Made a Whopping $13 Billion Last Year

CNBC Events - Season 2014CNBC Events - Season 2014
Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel Photograph by Heidi Gutman — CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

While some investors are prophesying the end of hedge funds, many of the men behind them all are still pulling in boatloads of cash.

The 25 top-earning hedge fund managers earned a whopping $13 billion in 2015, up 11% from the year prior, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha annual list. That’s despite the heavy market volatility in the 2015 which wiped out returns for about half of hedge funds in 2015, while the group as a whole shed 1.12% that year.

The biggest earners of 2015 were Kenneth Griffin of Citadel and Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, who raked in $1.7 billion each.

Granted, that pay wasn’t unwarranted. Griffin boasted a 14.3% return, while Simons, who has been the only manager to be named on the list all 15 years since its inception, pulled in returns between 15.6% and 16.5%, according to the New York Times.

But not all of the top 25 earners on the list had positive returns on their funds. In third place, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Capital, made $1.4 billion despite a 7% loss on his All Weather fund, largely because most hedge funds levy a 2% fee on all assets under management.

 

The highest performing fund on the list, Perspective Life Sciences, returned 51.8% for investors in 2015, but CEO Joe Edelman earned $300 million that year—taking tenth place.

Despite overall gains in earnings since 2014, hedge funders are still a way off from their compensation in 2009, when the top 25 earners brought in a total of $25.3 billion.