John Arnold

In 2010, the 10 best paid hedge fund managers made a combined $17.53 billion. To score a place on the list, you had to earn at least $440 million. 2011? The group took home a collective pool of $10.15 billion (down 42 percent) and a mere $210 million got you access to the VIP lounge. So, lots to reflect on today re: how game can be upped this year, whether it’s by coming into work and acting like you actually want it, increasing fees to 5&75, or passing the on the burden of staff salaries to investors. Something else to think about? The fact that Uncle Jim Simons beat all you fools for a second place finish and technically doesn’t even have a job. (Bridgewater Mentor Ray Dalio also did okay for himself.) Read more »

Almost exactly a year ago, if you happened to be walking down East 67th Street toward Fifth Avenue, you probably stopped to peer through the window of a certain $49 million townhouse. Specifically the one belonging to Phil Falcone. There, a piano playing pig name Wilbur was pulling out all the stops (“Memory” from Cats, his infamous Bette Midler), in celebration of his boss making AR Magazine‘s annual list of the 25 highest paid managers, having taken home $825 million in 2009. The good spirits and the gin were running high that night and the party didn’t stop ’til the early hours of the morning. This year, things will be different. The lights will be dimmed and Wilbur will be in his room, digging out the cocktail napkin with the number of the hedge fund manager he’d met last summer in Connecticut. He told himself he wasn’t going to do anything with it but…things have changed. Read more »

According to one investor, a lot of this had to do with “authorities breathing down [the fund’s] neck.” [Reuters via BI]

Screen shot 2009-11-24 at 5.40.10 PM.pngHow many Houston-based billionaires did Brian Hunter try to screw in an attempt to not blow $6 billion out of his ass, have himself escorted from the Amaranth building and be placed on Nick Maounis’s permanent shit list? At least one that we know of but maybe more will come out of the woodwork. For now it’s John Arnold. The Centaurus founder could probably point to trades that made him a ton of money but you really can’t put a price on avoiding the humiliation that would’ve come from being taken for a ride by fish boy.

Traders familiar with Arnold’s style also credit a calm and disciplined manner that helps him stay eerily focused on the fundamentals of the market when other trades are creating distractions.
That was on display most notably during the Amaranth debacle. Amaranth, a $9 billion commodities hedge fund in Greenwich, Conn., was betting that natural-gas prices would rise in the winter, according to a Senate report that shed light on what happened in September 2006.

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