The top hedge fund manager made so much last year he bought Ben Bernanke

Author: Adam Button | Category: News

Citadel's Ken Griffin made $1.7 billion last year

The latest rich list is out. It shows the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a combined $12.94 billion, up 11% from 2014 but still only half of what they earned in 2009.

It was a tough year for hedge funds but Ken Griffin at Citadel stood out, earning about 13%.

The firm lost 55% in 2008 and was near-collapse but has stormed back. Citadel recouped all its assets under management until 2012 and the firm now manages $26 billion and has posted double-digit returns every year since 2009.

Griffin is personally worth $6.6 billion. The earnings results in the Institutional Investors Alpha list are skewed because they include gains on personal investments of managers, not just fees. He went through a nasty divorce this year with his wife asking for $1 million per month in child support. However he had a prenup and may have lost as little as 1% of his fortune.

In April, Citadel hired Ben Bernanke as an advisor.

What else did he do with that money? A February report said he spent $500 million on two paintings from Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

So rich he spent $300 million on the de Kooning painting "Interchanged", seen here with Pollock's 17A in the background

Here are the top-10 hedge fund manager earners from last year.

Among those, there are reports that Millennium earned 11.1% last year. D.E. Shaw's fund earned 10.2%.

The big losers last year were David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, both down around 20% (and reports are that Ackman is down another 20% so far this year).

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