Hedge funds across the country are eager for a fresh start on a new year. 2016 has brought record low levels of returns for many funds, continuing a losing streak against the S&P 500 that has gone on for eight consecutive years in many cases. Funds are facing investors that are weary of lagging returns and have begun to withdraw their funds in massive quantities in order to invest them elsewhere. The old model of success for hedge funds, involving high returns in exchange for high management and performance fees, seems to have broken down. And yet, these fund managers have still been able to thrive in this caustic investment environment.

Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin, the billionaire manager of Citadel, has successfully grown his fund over the past few years while many of his competitors have floundered. 2015 was an outstanding year for the firm, and 2016 seems to show signs of a similar success. Whether 2016 will bring the same returns of 14.3% or not remains to be seen, as the early part of 2016 was challenging for Citadel. Still, analyst eyes are turning to Griffin with the expectation that he will post impressive results by the end of 2016.

James Simons

James Simons, the head of Renaissance Technologies, has been able to fight against the decline in hedge funds thanks to his innovative approaches to investing. Renaissance has been seen as a leader among so-called quant funds that have relegated the details of investment decision-making to computer algorithms. In bypassing human decisions and bias, Simons seems to have found a way to avoid many of the pitfalls of investing that are bringing in poor return figures for other funds.

Steven A. Cohen

To those following Steven A. Cohen's career over the past few years, it may seem surprising to see him listed on a top hedge fund managers list for 2016. The former head of SAC Capital was barred from investing outside assets due to insider trading charges that rocked his fund. Undeterred, though, Cohen set up a new shop with his Point72 Asset Management, a family fund based in Connecticut. He has remained highly active in 2016, drawing in impressive returns and making plans to return to the hedge fund game when his investing ban is lifted in 2018.

David Tepper

Appaloosa Management, the New Jersey-based hedge fund of billionaire David Tepper, has been steady throughout the turbulent times of 2016 for hedge funds. Many analysts expect that he will continue his impressive trend of defying broader market climates by bringing in major returns this year. In 2015, Tepper's primary fund, Palomino, brought in 11% returns. The billionaire has developed a reputation for savvy investing in times of financial crisis.


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