Millennium Management Is Levered To The Hilt

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And that, by one measure, makes it the biggest hedge fund in the universe.

This year’s ranking is led by Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, with $198.2 billion of gross assets — a measure that includes leverage. Bridgewater Associates, with $139.3 billion of gross assets in hedge funds, placed second, followed by Citadel ($107.6 billion), BTG Pactual Asset Management ($78.9 billion) and SAC Capital ($75.4 billion). Last year, the league table was topped by Citadel, followed by Millennium, Bridgewater, Pimco and SAC….

The top-200 list is based on assets managed only in hedge funds, not in separate accounts or other vehicles. As a result, the ranking understates the size of firms that have substantial separate-account businesses. Bridgewater, for example, manages $183.7 billion of regulatory assets overall. And because the SEC asks managers to report gross assets, some operations are greatly magnified by the use of leverage. Millennium, for instance, manages just $16.9 billion of equity capital. By comparison, Bridgewater reports $142 billion of client assets in its ADV “brochure” — making it by far the world’s largest hedge fund manager on a net basis.

Among the top 200, nearly three-quarters reported increases in gross fund assets — many quite substantial. Millennium, for example, saw its gross assets increase by 66.6%, from $119 billion. And since the New York firm runs all of its capital via a single entity called Millennium Partners, that vehicle weighs in as the biggest single-manager hedge fund measured by gross assets.

Big Get Bigger in Annual Manager Ranking [Hedge Fund Alert]