In this world, we have legends in our midst, extremely brilliant mathematicians. They are making real money.
On Tuesday, the Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine revealed the 25 best paid hedge fund managers in 2016. And it was James Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies. Simons, a former codebreaker for the National Security Agency with a Ph.D. in mathematics, earned $1.6 billion in 2016. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, Simons is worth about $15.7 billion.
Renaissance Technologies invests using computer algorithms and quantitative strategies. Its flagship fund, the Medallion fund, is known to charge much higher: a 5% management fee, and 44% cut of the profits. And investors were willing to pay for it. While many other funds suffered outflows in 2016, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reports that Renaissance attracted over $7 billion in new money during the year. Now, the firm is said to manage about $42 billion, with Medallion enjoying average annual returns of 40% since 1988. Still, Simons was paid roughly $100 million less than the year prior.