With George Soros Out, These Are The 10 Hedge Fund Managers Most Likely To Retire Next

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Photo: Background GordonTarpley on Flikr

George Soros is retiring from money management.While the hedge fund titan will still invest his own family money, Soros is returning funds to all outside investors by the end of the year we found out today.

Soros is the latest in a line of recent and major departures from the hedge fund kingdom, joining Stanley Druckenmiller, Paolo Pelligrini, Richard Grubman and Lou Simpson on the bench.

Since many in the community can 1) Sympathize with their reasons for retirement; 2) Have already checked many accomplishments off their bucket list; and 3) Aren’t doing so well in 2011, we think there’s good reason to expect another retiree or two.

Warren Buffett is about to turn 81

Fund: Berkshire Hathaway

Why he might retire: Three reasons. He's about to turn 81; Doug Kass told CNBC he thinks the Oracle of Omaha will announce an in-house successor at the 2012 AGM; and last year he hired a new investment officer -- Todd Combs -- said to be a possibility for co-CEO.

Why he might not: He told NYU students he wanted to work past 100.

Carl Icahn, because he already has a movie character named after himself

Fund: Icahn & Co.

Why he might retire: His legacy is sure - Gordon Gekko is 1/2 based on him. Plus, he's 75.

Why he might not: When TIME asked Icahn about retirement when he turned 71, he replied: 'A number of CEOs have offered to host my retirement party. But I'm just a competitive guy that grew up in Queens. I can't see myself spending the rest of my life in Florida playing golf.'

T. Boone Pickens, because the natural energy industry needs him

Fund: BP Capital Management

Why he might retire: He's got a lot of work to do on his beloved Pickens Plan to reduce oil imports. In his newest version, which depends almost entirely on natural gas, he eliminates discussion of wind turbines (one of the focal points of past versions).

Why he might not: When asked by NPR in '06 about the oil industry changing by the time he steps down, Pickens answered: 'Well, I won't retire, so that's out.'

Dan Loeb, because he's frustrated

Fund: Third Point

Why he might retire: In a letter to investors last year, he was stunningly bearish on the economy and government -- that feeling has only become more intense in 2011, recently writing that the business environment at the moment is terrible, and with Obama at the helm, doesn't show signs of getting better. Plus, he's an avid surfer, so he'll probably want to retire while his body can still handle the waves.

Why he might not: He's only 49. Also, his biggest return yet seems to be when he sold a painting by Martin Kippenberger in 2005. Loeb achieved a 500% profit. He might want to stick around until he makes that much on a trade, if he hasn't already.

Edward Thorp, because he's coming off a great trade

Fund: Edward O. Thorp & Associates

Why he might retire: He's coming off a high point, making some very nice returns on the sub-prime disaster, while most quants lost big. Plus, his legacy is already in place: the man is credited with working out how to beat the casino in blackjack, and he's 79-years old.

Why he might not: Thorp has already retired once. No one likes a Favre.

Steve Cohen, because he doesn't want to give up control to demanding investors and those SEC inquiries are getting annoying

Fund: SAC Capital Management

Why he might retire: Last June, Cohen told Vanity Fair he is 'just about ready to retire from full-time trading, while he's ahead.' Also, his investors want more transparency, which they feel he isn't giving, suggesting he doesn't want to and is annoyed by their inquiries. Then there's all that SEC stuff... That must be getting on his nerves.

Why he might not: SAC has averaged 30% annual returns for 18 years and had only one negative year (in '08). This year, while other hedge funds struggle, SAC is up. He still works on the trading floor with his traders, and it seems like his job is his life. Also, he's only 55.

Paul Tudor Jones, because he's not having a great year and he's already got billions in the bank

Fund: Tudor

Why he might retire: He's already got billions in the bank; he's having a mediocre year (and guys like him don't like to lose). Also, he's got some pretty sweet islands calling his name (literally).

Why he might not: He told AR Alpha he's sticking around. He's only 56.

Fund: Axiom Capital Management

Why he might retire: Talking on Bloomberg about the retirement of Druckenmiller and Pelligrini, Dalton responded thoughtfully, almost like he's speaking from experience:

'I think it just happens to be that they decided that it was time to go to the beach, so to speak. On the other hand, there is no doubt that a lot of the market conditions we're confronted with now are not particularly well suited to a wide swath of the hedge fund industry. You know, the equity world is faced with a market that is having very, very wide swings in price action. It's a long-biased industry, let's face it. Results have been rather anemic.'

Why he might not: Because he doesn't seem as down on the market and government as everyone else. Read his interview with Bloomberg. He thinks the government will continue to do everything they can to support the economic recovery.

Louis Moore Bacon, because his returns are struggling and he's got retirement properties aplenty

Fund: Moore Capital Management

Why he might retire: His fund had his worst month ever last year, and he's not recording stellar returns this year either -- down 5% through June. Also, has he been buying properties in preparation for retirement? He has homes in Colorado, the Bahamas, Long Island (the estate includes a hunting lodge), Scotland, three private polo grounds and a plantation in North Carolina.

Why he might not: He's young. He might stick around for a few more years.

Ray Dalio, because he's hinting more than anyone

Fund: Bridgewater

Why he might retire: Dalio runs the second biggest hedge fund in the world; he's worth $6 billion; and he's 61. For months, it looked like a good chunk of his time was spent giving interviews and writing out explanations about his Principles.

Also, we didn't even have to photo-shop this picture of him in a retirement setting. Is anyone on this list screaming 'I want to retire!' louder than Dalio?

Why he might not retire: There's one more year until Dalio is 62, the classic retirement age, and his returns are still looking pretty, pretty good to us.

Now meet some hedge funders who were forced to retire before they wanted to...

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