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This hedge fund chief made $3.5 billion in 2013

While these may not be the best of times for hedge funds, they're still pretty good for the best of the best.

Big stock market gains haven't meant the best of times for the industry. As a group, the hedge fund industry returned just shy of 9 percent for 2013, well short of the 32 percent total return of the S&P 500.

But that doesn't mean there weren't winners.

Take Appaloosa Management's David Tepper. His $3.5 billion in earnings put him at the top of Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine's Rich List of the top 25 hedge fund managers in 2013.

For the full list, go to the Institutional Investor story here.

David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management.

Finding yourself at the bottom of this list was still pretty good. Charles (Chase) Coleman found himself occupying the 25 slot after raking in a still-sweet $300 million.

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Anywhere in between was nice, too. The top five alone generated about $12 billion in gains, while the next five netted a cool $3.675 billion.

And that's in a relatively down year, as noted by the magazine:

"These hedge fund executives may have handily beaten their take-home total for the previous year, but 2013 was hardly the most profitable year for the highest-earning managers as a group. The total earnings for the top 25 are only the fourth highest in 13 years, while their average combined earnings of $846 million are just the fifth-best showing."

The top 10 on the Rich List are:

1. David Tepper, Appaloosa Management, $3.5 billion.

2. Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors, $2.4 billion. (This is Cohen's last appearance on the list now that he has made the firm a family office after running afoul of regulators.)

3. John Paulson, Paulson & Co. $2.3 billion.

4. James Simons, Renaissance Technologies, $2.2 billion.

5. Kenneth Griffin, Citadel, $950 million.

6. Israel (Izzy) Englander, Millennium Management, $850 million.

7. Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors, $825 million.

8. Lawrence Robbins, Glenview Capital Management, $750 million.

9. Daniel Loeb, Third Point, $700 million.

10. Paul Tudor Jones II, Tudor Investment Corp., $600 million.

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