Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 454 Henry Laufer $4.50B

Random fact: Hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at his home in 2016.

Overview

Laufer was chief scientist and vice president of research at Renaissance Technologies, a Setauket, New York-based hedge fund with $61 billion in assets under management. Its signature Medallion Fund has delivered an average annual return of about 40 percent since 1988 and paid him at least $1.8 billion in distributions since 2006.

As of :
Last change -$25.0M ( -0.6%)
YTD change +$600M ( +15.4%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 74
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Henry Laufer's net worth of $4.50B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

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Confidence rating:

Laufer's fortune is derived from the Medallion Fund, the signature investment vehicle of Setauket, New York-based Renaissance Technologies.

Medallion's quantitative investment strategies have delivered average returns, net of fees, of about 40 percent since 1988, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its assets are capped at around $10 billion and it distributes profits every six months, according to a person familiar. It was closed to outside investors in 1993 and is owned entirely by employees, according to documents released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Labor and Senate. Laufer and four partners own about 70 percent of Renaissance, according to a 2014 Senate investigation.

He's collected more than $1.8 billion in distributions since 2006. His Medallion stake is based on the low end of the 10-to-24.9 percent range disclosed in SEC filings from 1997 through 2009. The fund charges as much as 5 percent of managed assets and 44 percent of profits, according to the ADV filing. These aren't included in the net worth calculation. Federal and New York state short-term capital gains tax rates are applied. No market appreciation is included.

Renaissance is valued at $10 billion, according to an analyst with a history of valuing hedge funds. It's valued using a multiple of nine times earnings (higher than stakes sold by other asset managers with lower returns) and assumes a 30 percent return net of fees (lower than Medallion's historical performance). The billionaire has given more than $26 million to charitable and political causes, including Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Renaissance, did not reply to a request for comment in June 2019.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/13/1945
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Princeton University

Henry Laufer is a former mathematics professor at Stony Brook University who also served as chief scientist and vice president of research for New York hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. He received a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University and left Stony Brook to join the leadership team at Renaissance Technologies in 1992. He retired in 2009.

Renaissance was founded by Jim Simons, who in 1977 left Stony Brook University to start Monemetrics, a quantitative trading firm that focused on commodities. He changed the name to Renaissance Technologies five years later and created its flagship Medallion fund in 1988. The fund, which is now exclusively run for the benefit of Renaissance employees, uses quantitative modeling and trading algorithms to invest in global markets, according to a Nov. 25, 2016 Bloomberg News report.

Renaissance manages about $42 billion across several funds and Medallion, which caps its assets at about $10 billion, has delivered average annual returns of about 40 percent after fees since 1988, according to the Bloomberg report.

The billionaire, who is a trustee of the Stony Brook Foundation and on the board of the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology at Stony Brook, retired from Renaissance in 2009. 

Milestones
  • 1964 Receives undergraduate degree at the City College of New York.
  • 1966 Teaches at MIT for two years.
  • 1968 Becomes professor at Princeton until 1971.
  • 1971 Starts teaching at Stony Brook University.
  • 1988 Opens Medallion with James Simons
  • 1992 Joins Renaissance Technologies.
  • 2009 Retires from Renaissance Technologies.
  • 2009 Gives $10 million to Stony Brook University.