Despite appearances to the contrary, 2013 was not a great year to be a hedge fund manager. Sure, the U.S. stock market surged 30 percent, but much of that gain was driven by hot momentum stocks in the Internet, technology, media and health care sectors — precisely the type of securities that many hedge fund managers like to sell short because the underlying fundamentals often don’t back up their inflated valuations.
As a result, some managers — especially the so-called Tiger Cubs, who started their careers at Julian Robertson Jr.’s famed Tiger Management Corp. — racked up gains of 40 to 50 percent on the long side but took a beating on the short side, leading them to post returns well below the market averages in their long-short funds. So it took more than simply riding the stock market for hedge fund managers to earn an outsize haul in 2013. A number of the managers who excelled last year — and therefore top Alpha’s 13th annual Rich List ranking of the hedge fund industry’s 25 highest earners — shrewdly found opportunities in sectors and markets that were not widely targeted by the momentum set.
The rich list: the highest-earning hedge fund managers of the past year