The top 25 hedge fund managers in the US earned a combined $21.15bn (£12.55bn) last year, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine's annual Rich List, out today.
That’s around 50 per cent more than the 25 best-paid managers made in the previous two years.
Four managers raked in more than $1bn each, with a fifth narrowly missing out on that amount.
To qualify for the list, a manager needed to have earned at least $300m in 2013.
20 from last year’s list stayed on for 2013, though five fell off. One of those, Thomas Steyer of Farallon Capital Management, retired.
Alpha says that, despite the opportunities shrewdly made the most of by the industry’s highest earners, 2013 wasn’t a great year to be a hedge fund manager.
Despite a 30 per cent surge in the US stock market, much of that was driven by the kind of securities many will sell short, because the underlying fundamentals often don’t support inflated valuations - think tech, healthcare and internet.
Some managers, particularly the so-called Tiger Clubs, who began their careers and Julian Robertson Jr’s famed Tiger Management Corp, saw big gains on the long side but were hit on the short side. This meant they posted returns well below the market averages for long-short funds, according to the hedge fund specialist.