The 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers of 2013 raked inroughly 50 percent more than in each of the previous two years, according to anannual ranking released Tuesday.The ranking, dubbed "The Rich List" by Institutional Investor's Alpha, said the top 25earners made $21.2 billion last year. In 2012, earnings totaled $14.1 billion, thelowest sum since the 2008 financial crisis.David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, ranked first with $3.5 billion inearnings, scoring huge gains with well-timed investments in airlines, includingAmerican Airlines and United Continental Holdings.Tepper, who was also first in the ranking in 2012 with $2.2 billion, "astutely" sold
holdings in financials and auto-related stocks, the Institutional Investor'spublication said.Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital, moved up from third to second place bytaking home $2.4 billion, even as his hedge fund dealt with a criminal indictment, a$1.8 billion federal settlement and subsequent guilty plea over US charges of insidertrading.
It will be his last time on the list. As part of its settlement with the government, SACagreed to no longer trade on behalf of outside investors; that means Cohen will nolonger be eligible for the list, Institutional Investor's Alpha said.
Two others earned more than $2 billion in 2013: John Paulson of Paulson & Co. ($2.3billion) and James Simons of Renaissance Technologies ($2.2 billion.)This year's list included three first-time members: Greenlight Capital's DavidEinhorn, Highfields Capital Management's Jonathan Jacobson and Trian Partners'sNelson Peltz.
In spite of the huge gains for the group as a whole, "2013 was hardly the mostprofitable year for the highest-earnings managers as a group," the publication said.The record came in 2009 when the wealthiest hedge fund managers garnered $25billion.The 2013 earnings were the fourth highest in the 13-year-old rankings, while the
average combined earnings of $846 million were the fifth best.