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.
This year, Phil didn't even crack the top 25, let alone the top ten. Here are the guys whose paychecks ranked them among the best in 2009, and whose 2010 comp may mean household staff looking for greener pastures in the coming weeks:
* John Arnold (Centaurus Energy)
* Phil Falcone (Harbinger Capital Partners)
* Andreas Halvorsen (Viking Capital)
* Alan Howard (Brevan Howard)
* O. Francis Biondi Jr./Brian J. Higgins (King Street Capital)