Top hedge funds earn $63.5B in 2020, highest in a decade

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    BOSTON- The world’s 20 bestperforming hedge funds earned $63.5 billion for clients in 2020, setting a record for the last 10 years during a chaotic time when technology oriented stocks led a dramatic rebound from a pandemic induced sell-off, LCH Investments data show.

    As a group, the most successful managers earned half of the $127 billion that all hedge funds made last year, LCH Investments, a fund of funds firm that tracks returns and is part of the Edmond de Rothschild group, reported.

    Despite the pandemic that triggered a historic stock market sell-off in March, shut down large sectors of the economy and swallowed up millions of jobs, the 20 best hedge funds topped their 2019 returns of $59.3 billion.

    That was despite 2020 not being as profitable as the previous year for hedge funds as a whole, which saw earnings fall from $178 billion in 2019.

    The average hedge fund returned 11.6 percent in 2020, according to Hedge Fund Research data, lagging behind the S&P 500 index’ 16 percent gain.

    “The net gains generated by the top 20 managers for their investors of $63.5 billion were the highest in a decade. In that sense, 2020 was the year of the hedge fund,” Rick Sopher, LCH’s chairman, said in a statement.

    Last year’s biggest earners include Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global, which earned $10.4 billion, Israel Englander’s Millennium,  which earned $10.2 billion andSteve Mandel’s Lone Pine with $9.1 billion. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Investors earned $7.0 billion and Ken Griffin’s Citadel earned $6.2 billion, according to LCH data.

    Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, founded in 1975, held on to the No.1 ranking since inception, with $46.5 billion earned, even after a terrible 2020 during which LCH data show Dalio lost $12.1 billion.

    George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, which no longer manages money for outside clients, held on to the No. 2 spot followed by Mandel, Griffin and managers at D.E. Shaw who rounded out the top five performers of all time.