James “Jim” Simons founded Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge fund firms globally, in 1982, boasting a stellar financial career from that moment. He has been nicknamed the “Quant King”, or king of quantitative trading, for his success in this market.
Worth a net amount of approximately $12 billion according to Forbes, Simons retired in late 2010 but is still actively involved in Renaissance Technologies. With an average return of 33% in 2011, his share of the firm is still significant.
His company stands out from other hedge funds because of its highly scientific methods. Using complex computational and mathematical technology, Renaissance Technologies is able to follow and predict difficult trends in highly liquid assets’ worth. Renaissance Technologies now has $15 billion worth of assets under its control, with approximately 275 employees.
James Simons embarked on his career as a financial expert as a student of theoretical mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also worked as a code breaker for the Department of Defense for the United States during the Vietnam War era. His approach to finance has been influenced by mathematical models, leading to his firm’s proprietary technology being developed.
In his personal life, he is involved in philanthropic efforts, such as Math for America and research into autism through the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. His family’s foundation has given $38 million to research into the causes of autism; James Simons’ family has donated DNA for study to help with the research.
He is also the chair emeritus for the Stony Brook University Foundation, through which he has made significant donations to the university. James Simons and his wife donated $150 million to the establishment for the construction of a new medical research centre.
James Simons is a trustee of the Brookhaven National Laboratory; Rockefeller University; the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkley; and the Institute for Advanced Study, as well as being part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation.
Politically, he is affiliated with the Democratic Party’s political action committees.
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