Alpha magazine has published its list of the best-compensated hedge fund managers in the world.
If you want to feel better about yourself, the way to think about it is this: The compensation of the Top 25 hedge fund managers plunged almost 50% in 2008.
50%! Imagine if you had to take a 50% pay cut. (Wait, if you’re like a lot of folks, you may have recently received a 100% pay cut. Never mind.)
If you want to feel positively godawful about yourself, meanwhile, then look at it this way: The compensation of the Top 25 hedge fund managers was $12 billion in 2008. Sure, that’s down from $23 billion in 2007. But it’s still $500 million apiece.
Who killed it?
Mostly the usual suspects:
Jim Simons, Renaissance: $2.5 billion
John Paulson, $2 billion
John Arnold, $1.5 billion (30-something energy trader)
George Soros, $1.1 billion
And how does it feel to be on Alpha’s list? Horrible, says one honoree, who also says the magazine radically overestimated his comp:
John R. Taylor, the third hedge fund manager who tied as ninth…was not grateful to be on Alpha’s list, which he said overestimated his pay by a multiple of five. The last time he received lots of publicity, Mr. Taylor said, was in 1993, and that preceded his worst year ever.
“This is bad luck with the trading gods,” Mr. Taylor said. “We’re doomed next year if you write about us.”