Jim Simons: A Life of Philanthropy, Scholarship, and Leadership

The billionaire quant investor dies at 86

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 11, 2024   Update on : May 11, 2024

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Billionaire investor James Simons, a mathematician and a Cold War code-breaker, who established one of the world’s most distinguished and commercially successful hedge funds, Renaissance Technologies, has died at the age of 86, reports Reuters.

The Simons Foundation, which confirmed the matter, did not give a cause of death.

About 60 years ago, Simons — who preferred to go by the name Jim — shifted from teaching mathematics and working in the US intelligence to investing.

His use of computer signals for trading decisions, that he spearheaded, earned him the nickname — “Quant King.”

With a net worth of $31 billion estimated by Forbes, Simons also became a renowned philanthropist, donating billions of dollars during his lifetime to support research and development in medical and sciences, and teaching. He was also a war chest for Democratic candidates vying for electoral seats.

Quoting British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Managing and Founding Principal of AQR Capital Management Clifford Asness, said it was seldom that “great” and “good” are the same man. However, Jim Simons was the exception to Churchill’s rule, he added.

Simons was used to working large sets of data as a mathematician and found comfort in seeking out patterns to guide buying and selling.

He founded Renaissance in 1978 in New York’s East Setauket, 70 miles east of Wall Street, where he quickly forged a new way to invest.

There he laid the foundations of quantitative trading, which has been adopted by a number of firms in recent years.


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