Billionaire Israel “Izzy” Englander, Co-Founder, Chair and CEO of the hedge fund Millennium Management, earned US$3.8 billion in 2020, the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The amount is the biggest earned by a hedge fund manager in 2020, according to Institutional Investor.
Englander more than doubled his US$1.5 billion payday in 2019 and made US$2 billion more than the previous year’s biggest hedge fund earners, TCI Fund Management’s Chris Hohn and Renaissance Technologies’ Jim Simons, while making gains of 26 per cent for his investors.
Englander set up Millennium Management with Ronald Shear in 1989 with US$35 million in seed funding including US$5 million of his own money. Millennium Management now employs more than 3,300 people and manages US$47.1 billion. Shear left in 1990.
The top 25 hedge fund managers raked in US$32 billion in earnings as the world fell into an economic recession yet the stock markets reached new highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing 7.3 per cent, the S&P 500 rising 16.3 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index soaring 43.6 per cent in 2020. The top 10 hedge fund managers globally earned US$20.1 billion in 2020, a 50.2 per cent rise from US$13.4 billion in 2019.
Hedge funds made gains of 11.7 per cent on average in 2020, according to data from Hedge Fund Research, Reuters reported. However, the top 10 averaged returns of 43 per cent in 2020, with Coatue Management making 65 per cent, Renaissance Technologies racking up 76 per cent and Tiger Global Management, 48 per cent, the data from Institutional Investor showed.
All of the top 10 hedge fund managers made over US$1 billion in 2020, compared with eight in 2019.
Simons – who stepped down as Chair of Renaissance Technologies, the company he founded, on 1 January – earned US$2.6 billion last year while Tiger Global Management’s Chase Coleman made US$2.5 billion and Citadel’s Ken Griffin landed US$1.8 billion. Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman entered the top 10 with earnings of US$1.4 billion.