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Big Hedge Funds' Succession Problems

Who will follow in the footsteps of high-profile hedge fund managers? Not many of them know.

ISRAEL (IZZY) ENGLANDER CAN CERTAINLY AFFORD to kick back and relax. The veteran hedge fund investor has established an enviable record since founding Millennium Management in 1989, delivering outsize average annual returns of 16 percent and amassing personal wealth estimated at more than $1 billion. But at the age of 63, the white-haired Englander says he has no plans to retire.

“I have no place to go,” he says. “My wife didn’t marry me to have lunch.”

Leon Cooperman is equally determined to stay in the saddle. At 69 the billionaire investor is even more involved in the daily trading activities of his firm, Omega Advisors, than Englander is at Millennium, and he has no desire to give up the action. “I still get a charge finding something someone doesn’t see, making a bet and having Mr. Market prove me right,” Cooperman says in his spacious Lower Manhattan office overlooking the South Street Seaport.

Englander and Cooperman are hardly alone. The financial world offers plenty of examples of investors, such as George Soros and Carl Icahn, who have remained active well into their 70s or even 80s. But these workhorses obscure a larger trend.

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