James Simons Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What is James Simons’s Net Worth?

James Simons was an American mathematician, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist who had an estimated net worth of $31.4 billion at the time of his death on May 10, 2024 at the age of 86. This made him the 51st richest person in the world according to Forbes.

Simons amassed his fortune primarily through his hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, which he founded in 1982. The firm’s flagship Medallion Fund employed quantitative models and algorithms to analyze data and make investment decisions. The Medallion Fund was phenomenally successful, generating average annual returns of around 66% before fees from 1988 to 2018.

Simons started his career as a mathematician and codebreaker before shifting to finance in 1978. He realized the potential of applying mathematics and computing power to the financial markets. Renaissance hired mathematicians, physicists, and other quantitative experts to develop its trading models and strategies.

While Simons retired as CEO of Renaissance in 2010, he remained involved with the firm and continued to benefit from its funds like the Medallion Fund, which was only open to Renaissance employees and owners. The firm now manages around $50 billion in assets.

Here’s the breakdown of James Simons’s net worth:

Name:

James Simons

Net Worth:

$31.4 Billion

Date of Birth:

Apr 25, 1938 – May 10, 2024 (86 years old)

Profession:

Mathematician, Physicist, Businessperson

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James Simons

Early Life

James Harris Simons was born on April 25, 1938, in Newton, Massachusetts, to an American Jewish family. His father, Matthew Simons, was a shoe factory owner, and his mother, Marcia (née Kantor), was a homemaker.

From a young age, Simons exhibited a strong aptitude for mathematics, which he pursued with great enthusiasm. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1958. He then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1961 under the supervision of Bertram Kostant.

Career

Simons began his professional career in academia, teaching at MIT and Harvard University before joining the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, New Jersey, as a codebreaker for the National Security Agency during the Vietnam War. His mathematical work, particularly in differential geometry, earned him significant recognition, including the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry in 1976 for his work on the Chern-Simons form, which has applications in string theory and quantum field theory.

In 1978, Simons left academia to start Monemetrics, which was later renamed Renaissance Technologies in 1982. Renaissance Technologies became one of the most successful hedge funds in history, primarily due to its use of quantitative analysis and algorithmic trading strategies. The firm’s flagship Medallion Fund, known for its high returns, was only open to Renaissance employees and owners. Simons’s innovative approach to investing earned him the nickname “Quant King,” and his net worth grew substantially as a result. 

Philanthropy

Simons and his wife, Marilyn, co-founded the Simons Foundation in 1994, which has donated billions of dollars to support research in mathematics, basic sciences, and autism. The foundation is a major benefactor of institutions such as Stony Brook University, MIT, and the University of California, Berkeley.

In 2023, the Simons Foundation made a historic $500 million donation to Stony Brook University, the largest unrestricted endowment gift in U.S. higher education history.

Personal Life

James Simons was married twice and had five children, including Nat Simons. He lived a relatively modest lifestyle despite his immense wealth, residing in the same Long Island home for over 30 years. Simons was known for his humility and down-to-earth personality. He was deeply committed to various social causes, particularly in the fields of education and scientific research. 

Simons passed away on May 10, 2024, at the age of 86, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking contributions to mathematics, finance, and philanthropy.

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