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3. James Simons

Earned: $2.1 Billion
Firm: Renaissance Technologies
AUM: $20 Billion

Last year, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund (RIEF) surged about 34 percent. Those gains, along with the returns on the firm’s Medallion funds, enabled Simons to rake in more than $2 billion last year. The gains came mostly from returns on his own money — even though he retired in 2010.

The co-CEOs of Renaissance Technologies, which managed the fund, threatened to shut it down in 2009 after two years of disappointing losses. Simons serves as non-executive chairman of the East Setauket, N.Y.-based hedge fund firm.

Source: AR Magazine- Absolute Return + Alpha || Photo: Amanda Gordon | Bloomberg | Getty Images