• Institutional Investor found the top 10 highest-earning hedge-fund managers made a combined $19 billion last year. 
  • Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons made the most with $3.4 billion.
  • Ken Griffin, Ray Dalio, and Steven Cohen also made the annual list. 

The world's top 10 hedge-fund managers made a whopping $19 billion last year.

According to an annual roundup from Institutional Investor, eight of the elite managers made at least a billion dollars. Topping the list was 83-year-old James Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies, who made $3.4 billion in 2021 thanks in part to his insider-only Medallion Fund that posted a 48% gain. He's made the list every year since its debut.

In second place, with $3.1 billion in gains, was Millennium Management's Israel Englander. Meanwhile, Citadel's Ken Griffin — who found himself taking heat from hoards of retail traders amid last year's meme-stock frenzy — took third place with $2.5 billion. Christopher Hohn, of London-based TCI Fund Management, came in fourth with $2.2 billion.  

Institutional Investor has published the list for the last 21 years, and for the first time, Karthik Sarma of SRS Investment Management, made the cut, taking fifth place with $2 billion thanks to his bet on Avis Budget, whose stock price soared last year when it got caught up in meme-stock mania

Taking the next three spots with at least $1 billion in gains was, in order, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management, Steven Cohen of Point72 Asset Management, and Daniel Sundheim of D1 Capital Partners. In the ninth- and 10th-place slots, with just under a billion dollars, was Third Point's Daniel Loeb and Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio, respectively. 

Institutional Investor found the top 25 hedge-fund managers made about $27 billion in total last year, which is the second-highest amount ever after 2020's record amount. The earnings are a reflection of the massive gains posted by broader indexes in the last few years. In 2021, the S&P 500 jumped about 27%, and the year prior it rallied about 16%, according to data from Macrotrends.

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