Star Traders

James Harris Simons: The king of American hedge fund managers

James Harris Simons

According to Forbes World’s Billionaire lists published on March 2013, James Simons became the 31st in the U.S keeping his 2012 rank unchanged as number 82 in the worldwide with a net worth of $ 11.7 B.

Simons (the king of American hedge fund managers) was born in 1938 to a shoe factory owner and was the only child in the family. He received his Bachelor degree of Science in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958 and earned PhD at University of California, Berkeley, where he emerged as a promising mathematician in academics. Settled into a life of research and teaching, he spent a number of years teaching at Harvard and MIT.

James was famous for his work as a cryptanalyst for Department of Defense, to break the military codes during the Vietnam War; Simons won the American Mathematical Society’s Veblen Prize in 1976.

Later, he earned fame in the world of theoretical physics for his research and theory known as Chern-Simons invariants and became the chairman of the math department at Stony Brook.

In 1982, Simons founded Renaissance Technologies, a private hedge fund investment company based in New York with over $15 billion under management, which trades in markets around the world.

He used his mathematical skills to develop new trading techniques and expanded his hedge fund to be the largest, managing more than $35 billion, including his famed $6 billion Medallion fund.

This art lover mathematician’s office is decorated with paintings of ancient Greeks like Archimedes and Socrates teaching mathematics. Simons is known to be a secretive person who typically avoids the press and strictly prohibits his employees to discuss any kind of Renaissance trading strategy or appropriating any trade secrets.

Philanthropic Simons donates a considerable amount to math and science programs, including a record-setting $60 million to Stony Brook University and $50 million to Math for America, a foundation aimed to improve basic science and math education in cities.

He has also been a big donor in the research field of autism, a disease which afflicts his younger daughter and also manages Simons Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to scientific research.

His Personal Life: 

.Simons married twice and has three children. He lives now in Manhattan with his wife Marilyn Hawrys Simons and daughter Audrey, other children live in California and manage their father’s business.

On October 10, 2009, Simons announced he would retire on January 1, 2010, but remain at Renaissance as nonexecutive chairman.

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