He's back: The best hedge fund of 2013 was...

John Paulson
David Grogan | CNBC

John Paulson's comeback was validated this week with a trio of awards.

After steep losses in 2011 and 2012, $21 billion Paulson & Co. was named hedge fund firm of the year at the 2013 Absolute Return Awards in New York City Tuesday night. Two Paulson funds, Recovery and International, also won best in their respective categories at the annual event hosted by the industry news and data service of HedgeFund Intelligence.

Paulson beat out $17.8 billion Canyon Capital Advisors, $16.1 billion Citadel, $7.1 billion Graham Capital Management, $3.8 billion Owl Creek Asset Management, $14.8 billion Two Sigma Investments and $6 billion Visium Asset Management for Management Firm of the Year. Paulson last won the award in 2009.

The Paulson Recovery fund won the prize for best event-driven vehicle with a 2013 net gain of 65.11 percent and a Sharpe score of 4.44. Sharpe scores measure performance on a risk-adjusted basis:The higher the score, the lower the risk compared to a virtually risk-free U.S. Treasury bill.

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