...unless you want to be completely green with envy! (imagine what your life would be like if you made 4 billion dollars in one year!)
Record salaries for hedge-fund managers in 2009
PARIS (AFP) - The world's top hedge fund managers made beaucoup bucks last year with record pay because their much-maligned sector bet heavily on recovery of the financial sector after it received state aid, a survey showed.
The 25 chief executives of global financial heavyweights pocketed a total of 25.33 billion dollars (18.6 billion euros), doubling their earnings from 2008, according to a ranking by industry magazine AR Absolute Return+Alpha.
"The world may still be coming out of the Great Recession, but for the richest hedge fund managers, 2009 was the best year ever. And it couldn't have happened without the carnage of 2008," the magazine said.
Seven hedge fund managers broke the one-billion-dollar mark last year, while the last one on the top-25 list made 350 million dollars.
Appaloosa Management chief David Tepper, who bet on the recovery of banks and the debt of bailed-out US insurer AIG, earned the biggest payouts with four billion dollars in 2009, a record for the sector.
"We bet on the country's revival," Tepper told the New York Times, describing his trading technique as a mix of deep analysis and common sense.
"Those who keep their heads while others are panicking usually do well," he said.
George Soros, the legendary US financier of Hungarian origin who once made a fortune correctly hedging that Britain would leave the European exchange rate mechanism, took the second spot with 3.3 billion dollars.
He was followed by James Simmons of Renaissance Technologies with 2.5 billion dollars.
John Paulson, who held the previous record of 3.7 billion dollars in 2007, was in fourth place last year with 2.4 billion dollars.
Steve Cohen of Sac Capital was the fifth-biggest earner last year with 1.4 billion dollars, according to the AR magazine list that was revealed by The New York Times.
"The figures are certainly shocking but logical when you are in the world of finance," said Sophie van Straelen, of hedge fund analyst firm Asterias.
These "golden boys" of finance simply seized on investment opportunities generated by the depreciation of assets, she said.
Hedge funds massively bought shares on the cheap, and the debt of financial institutions which had been weakened by the subprime mortgage crisis, the precursor of the monumental collapse of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
The financial visionaries had bet on the fact that governments would prevent the collapse of the banking sector, which has a vital role in the functioning of an economy.
Hedge funds have been painted as villains since the global financial crisis erupted following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and governments in Europe and the United States want to regulate the sector.
The AR ranking was based on the value of the share each manager has in the funds and their portion of fees. The lion's share of their earnings was linked to management fees and commissions based on performance.
The top 25 hedge fund managers had earned 22.3 billion dollars in 2007 and their earnings fell steeply during the financial crisis in 2008 to 11.6 billion dollars.
The funds handled between 1.2 trillion and 1.3 trillion dollars worldwide last year, compared to two trillion dollars before the crisis emerged in 2008.
After a dark 2008, world stock markets enjoyed a spectacular rebound in 2009, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 19 percent.
"When everybody was wondering about the survival of the banks or spoke about their nationalisation, you had to be bold. They are reaping the benefits today," a Paris-based hedge fund manager said on condition of anonymity.
Van Straelen said that the salaries might not reach such stratospheric levels this year.
"The opportunities will be rare because the markets have recovered," she said.
Top Salaries in 2008:
1. James Simons (Renaissance Technologies Corp.) : 2.5 billion dollars
2. John Paulson (Paulson & Co.) : 2 billion dollars
3. John Arnold (Centaurus Energy) : 1.5 billion dollars
4. George Soros (Soros Fund Management) : 1.1 billion dollars
5. Raymond Dalio (Bridgewater Associates) :780 million dollars
6. Bruce Kovner (Caxton Associates) : 640 million dollars
7. David Shaw (D.E. Shaw & Co.) : 275 million dollars
8. Stanley Druckenmiller (Duquesne Capital Management) : 260 million dollars
9. David Harding Winton (Capital Management) : 250 million dollars
9. Alan Howard Brevan (Howard Asset Management) : 250 million dollars
9. John Taylor Jr. (FX Concepts) : 250 million dollars
everything that doesn't belong elsewhere cometh here
2 posts • Page 1 of 1