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Largest Hedge Funds, Ranked by AUM in 2024

Pedro Braz| Updated January 24th, 2024

Alfred Winslow Jones is credited with launching the first hedge fund in 1949, which combined long positions offset by short sales to “hedge” against market risk.

70 years later, the hedge fund industry is a vast and rapidly growing sector of the financial markets. As of 2024, over 15,000 hedge funds managed an estimated 4.5 trillion assets under management (AUM).

The industry is known for its active trading, innovative strategies, and high-risk-return profiles. While hedge funds represent a small fraction of global financial assets, they are influential market participants due to their size, sophistication, and appetite for complex investments.

Understanding the major players and the latest trends can provide valuable insights into financial markets. Here is a look at the top ten hedge funds in the world by assets under management:

Ten Largest Hedge Funds by AUM in 2024

Hedge Funds AUM Headquarters Date Reported AUM Reference
Bridgewater Associates $124.3B Westport Jan-2024 Bridgewater Associates AUM
Renaissance Technologies $106B East Setauket Jan-2024 Renaissance Technologies
AQR Capital Management $94.5B Connecticut Jan-2024 AQR Capital Management
Two Sigma Investments $67.4B New York City Jan-2024 Two Sigma Investments AUM
Millennium Management $57.6B New York City Jan-2024 Millennium Management
Citadel $51.5B Chicago Jan-2024 Citadel
Tiger Global Management $51B New York City Jan-2024 Tiger Global Management AUM
D.E. Shaw $45.7B New York City Jan-2024 D.E. Shaw
Coatue Management $42.3B New York City Jan-2024 Coatue Management
Davidson Kempner $40.8B New York City Jan-2024 Davidson Kempner

According to 2024 statistics, Bridgewater Associates is the biggest hedge fund in terms of AUM, with $125 billion of assets under its management. In second place is Renaissance Technologies, whose AUM stands at $106 billion. Previously, Bridgewater’s portfolio shrank by 23% from the nearly $125 billion reported in January 2023.

The largest hedge funds primarily invest their assets in fixed-income and quantitative strategies, utilising the commodities and equity markets. As seen in the above compilation, the group of the ten largest hedge funds is entirely dominated by those from the United States. Interestingly, 6 out of 10 funds are in New York. This demonstrates the city’s role as the global capital of major finance.

List of the 10 Largest Hedge Funds

Bridgewater Associates

  • AUM: $124.3 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Global macro investing

Founded by Ray Dalio in 1975, Bridgewater Associates is the world’s largest hedge fund, with over $124.3 billion in assets under management in 2024.

Headquartered in Westport, Bridgewater pioneered the “risk parity” approach, which diversifies across asset classes to reduce volatility. The fund follows a global macro strategy guided by Dalio’s principles, emphasising radical truth and transparency.

Renaissance Technologies

  • AUM: $106 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Quantitative, statistical arbitrage

Founded in 1982 by James Simons, Renaissance Technologies is a quantitative hedge fund based in New York. With over $106 billion in assets under management, Renaissance utilises complex mathematical models and algorithms to exploit market inefficiencies. The firm is a pioneer in quantitative and statistical arbitrage strategies.

AQR Capital Management

  • AUM: $94.5 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Absolut return, total return

Founded in 1998 by Cliff Asness, David Kabiller, John Liew and Robert Krail. With over $94 billion in assets under management, AQR Capital Management offers clients over 40 diversified strategies including both absolute return and total return strategies. These aim to target zero exposure to, and capture premia from, traditional markets. 

Two Sigma Investments

  • AUM: $67.4 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Quantitative equity market neutral

Founded in 2001 by John Overdeck, David Siegel and Mark Pickard, Two Sigma utilises quantitative models and big data analysis to trade equities and futures. The New York-based hedge fund manages over $67 billion in assets, pursuing market-neutral equity strategies.

Millennium Management

  • AUM: $57.6 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Equities, fixed income, quantitative

Founded in 1989 by Israel Englander, Millennium Management is one of the largest hedge funds in the world, with $57 billion in assets under management as of November 2023.

Headquartered in New York, Millennium employs a global multi-strategy approach, investing across asset classes such as equities, fixed income, commodities, and currencies. The fund is known for its intense focus on risk management and short-term trading strategies based on quantitative models and algorithms.

Citadel

  • AUM: $51.5 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Equities, fixed income, commodities, quantitative

Founded by Ken Griffin in 1990, Citadel Advisors is recognised as one of the most successful hedge funds, with an AUM of over $51 billion. Based in Chicago, Citadel invests globally across equities, credit, commodities, and macro markets, intending to achieve industry-leading returns. The firm operates five core investment strategies and is known for its strengths in quantitative trading and technology infrastructure.

Tiger Global Management

  • AUM: $51 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Long/short equity, private equity

Founded in 2001 by Chase Coleman, Tiger Global is a New York-based hedge fund with over $51 billion in AUM. Tiger focuses primarily on public and private equity investments, especially in technology.

Known for its fast-paced investment style, Tiger deploys capital aggressively across venture capital and public equities. It has delivered outstanding historical returns but faced challenges recently with the tech downturn, leading to poor 2022 performance. Coleman and co-CEO Scott Shleifer lead Tiger.

D.E. Shaw

  • AUM: $45.7 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Multi-strategy, quantitative

Founded in 1988 by David Shaw, D.E. Shaw is a quantitative investment firm based in New York, managing $45 billion in assets, according to data from September 2023. D.E. Shaw utilises computational methods and algorithms to exploit mispricings across asset classes and strategies.

Coatue Management

  • AUM: $42.3 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Public, private, hybrid

Coatue Management is a $42 billion hedge fund based in New York City as of January 2024. It was founded in 1999 by Philippe Laffont and focuses on distressed securities and event-driven investment strategies. Coatue Management prefers investments via growth capital and buyouts  in the financial technology, media, climate technology, and technology sectors.

Davidson Kempner Capital Management

  • AUM: $40.8 billion
  • Reporting date: January 2024
  • Investment strategies: Multi-strategy, event-driven, distressed, arbitrage

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York, Davidson Kempner is a global alternative investment management firm with over $40 billion in assets under management. It focuses on fundamental, research-driven investing across equities, credit, distressed debt, merger arbitrage, convertible arbitrage, and other event-driven strategies.

Davidson Kempner is known for being active in distressed situations, bankruptcy restructurings, and complex legal and regulatory events. It has expertise across industries like healthcare, TMT, consumer, industrials, and financials.

What Are Hedge Funds?

Hedge funds pool capital from accredited individuals or institutional investors and invest in various assets, often with complex portfolio construction and risk management techniques. They are known for using leverage and derivative positions to amplify returns and manage risk.

The primary aim of hedge funds is to generate high returns, and they often target absolute rather than relative performance, seeking to make money regardless of whether the market climbs or declines. This is where the term “hedge” comes from – the idea is that investment positions can be hedged to protect against downturns in the market.

The clientele of hedge funds typically includes high-net-worth individuals, pension funds, and endowments, who all seek to benefit from the potential of achieving significant returns that hedge funds promise, albeit with a higher risk.

What are Assets Under Management (AUM)?

Assets Under Management (AUM) refers to the total market value of the investments that a financial institution or fund manager oversees on behalf of clients. AUM includes the capital raised from investors plus any earnings generated from investment strategies. This metric is often used as an indicator of the size and success of a fund or investment firm and can influence the prestige and perceived expertise of the managing entity.

AUM fluctuates daily due to the fund’s investment performance, which includes capital appreciation, dividend payments, interest earned, and any losses. It also changes with investor activity, such as new funds being deposited into an investment account or client withdrawals. AUM can reflect the firm’s ability to attract and retain investors as well as its capacity to generate returns.

AUM is a critical measure for investment firms. It often determines the company’s fees, as management fees are typically a percentage of AUM. Therefore, increasing AUM is typically a goal for these firms, as it directly impacts their revenue.

Differences in Numbers: RAUM vs. AUM

Obtaining data on the AUM of individual firms is not easy. The actual values differ from those that hedge funds report to regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The watchdog requires institutions to provide “regulatory assets under management” (RAUM), which are usually much higher than the actual value of assets that those companies are managing.

RAUM is reported to determine regulatory requirements like registration status. AUM is used more broadly across the financial industry. RAUM calculations follow specific guidelines, including gross long and short positions, unused committed capital, and non-fee-generating assets. AUM typically only includes client assets invested in strategies that generate fees.

RAUM figures tend to be higher than AUM. For example, a firm could report $100 billion in RAUM to the SEC but only have $50 billion in actual AUM. For example, Millennium Management states that its AUM is around $61 billion. However, according to the SEC RAUM report, the value is many times higher, reaching $390 billion.

To Sum Up

From Alfred Winslow Jones’s pioneering hedge fund in 1949 to the behemoths managing billions today, the hedge fund industry has evolved into a significant component of the global financial landscape.

As listed in this article, the top ten hedge funds by assets under management (AUM) showcase diverse strategies and specialities, reflecting the industry’s complexity and the varying approaches to maximising returns for investors.

Investors and market observers watch these funds for their performance and the trends and innovations they bring to the broader financial community.

FAQ

What is the biggest hedge fund by AUM?

As of January 2024, Bridgewater Associates holds the title of the largest hedge fund by AUM, with over $124 billion in assets under its management. This Westport-based hedge fund employs a multi-strategy approach, investing across various asset classes and markets while emphasizing risk management and short-term trading strategies.

Why is AUM significant for hedge funds?

Assets Under Management (AUM) is crucial as it reflects the total market value of a fund’s investments. It indicates the hedge fund’s size, success, and appeal to investors. The AUM can affect the fund’s revenue since management fees are typically a percentage of AUM.

Are hedge funds only for wealthy individuals and institutions?

Historically, hedge funds have been exclusive to high-net-worth individuals, pension funds, and endowments due to the high minimum investment requirements and risk profiles. However, some hedge funds and related products have become more accessible to a broader investor base.

Why do reported assets under management (AUM) vary so much between asset managers?

Reported assets under management (AUM) totals can vary substantially across asset management firms and hedge funds due to differences in calculation methodologies, reporting dates, the inclusion of non-fee generating assets, uncalled committed capital, leverage, and asset valuation approaches. Since companies define and calculate AUM differently, reported figures are not directly comparable when evaluating managers.

Pedro Braz
Co-Founder & Growth Manager

Pedro is passionate about finance, marketing, and technology. He is a growth manager at several online projects and a former digital marketer for a fintech company.

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