March 25, 2009

Down year, but not bad, for hedge managers

It was a down year for U.S. hedge fund managers but the top 25 still made $11.6 billion in wages, an annual survey said.

In the annual Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine ranking of hedge fund managers, the top wage earner for 2008 was James Simons, who earned $2.5 billion last year.

The second highest moneymaker was John Paulson, whose strategy involved bets against the housing market. He earned $2 billion doing so last year, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The sums are even more impressive given 2008 was a year in which hedge funds, on average, lost 18 percent, the Times said.

While mind-boggling, the total earnings among the top 25 represents a down year. In 2007, the top 25 earned $22.5 billion, the survey said.