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Hedge Fund Poll: The world’s best hedge fund managers

A new Euromoney poll asked leading institutions that invest in alternatives to nominate their dream hedge fund managers across a number of styles and asset classes. One thing is clear – even as the number of hedge funds continues to soar, reputation and track record count most. Helen Avery reports.

JIM SIMONS, FOUNDER of quant shop Renaissance Technologies, is about as far removed as can be from the hackneyed image of the egotistical flashy hedge fund manager. He is in his late 60s, shuns the limelight and admits he knows very little about the hedge fund industry. Calm and thoughtful, he just does his job and has a team of very smart people working with him. If he left tomorrow, the firm could run just as well without him, he modestly suggests.

It’s clear, though, that many of the world’s biggest investors in alternative funds don’t share his view. Asked to name the individual that they considered to be the most talented manager working in the hedge fund industry today, Simons is the clear winner. His nearest challengers – Christopher Hohn of The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund and Stephen Cohen, founder of SAC Capital – are also two of the best-known hedge fund managers in the business.

In fact, their individual reputations even exceed those of their firms. Renaissance is ranked second behind Lansdowne Partners (see profile) as the preferred long/short equities fund; Atticus pips TCI to the choice of dream event-driven manager.

Reputation and name recognition clearly count high on the list when investors choose start up firms.

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