Mon. May 27th, 2024

Jim Simons

Billionaire investor Jim Simons, the renowned mathematician and Cold War codebreaker who founded one of the world’s most prominent and profitable hedge funds, Renaissance Technologies, passed away on Friday at the age of 86.

Jim Simons

James Harris Simons, known as Jim Simons, served as the chair of the mathematics department at Stony Brook University in New York before venturing into finance. In 1978, he established the secretive quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, which officially began operating in 1982. Over the years, Renaissance Technologies has earned a formidable reputation in the industry, particularly for its Medallion fund, which boasted an impressive average annual return of 66 percent.

Following the news of Simons’ passing, fond remembrances poured in, highlighting his pioneering contributions to mathematics, finance, and technology. His legacy as a trailblazer in quantitative investing and his impact on the financial world will undoubtedly endure for years to come.

Jim Simons

“Jim was actively involved in the work of the Simons Foundation until the end of his life. His curiosity and lifelong passion for math and basic science were an inspiration to those around him,” stated the Simons Foundation.

“He was determined to make a meaningful difference in the level of support that mathematics and basic sciences received in the United States, notably by sponsoring projects that were important but unlikely to find funding elsewhere,” the foundation added.

Jim Simons and his wife Marilyn Simons founded the private New York City-based foundation in 1994. The Simons Foundation stands as one of the largest charitable institutions dedicated to advancing mathematics and basic science.

Renaissance CEO Peter Brown paid tribute to Jim Simons as a visionary in a note sent to staff today. Brown emphasized Simons’ unwavering faith in people and science, describing it as his most invigorating quality.

Jim Simons

“Jim’s most invigorating quality was his faith in people and in science,” wrote Brown. “He could not have known in 1982 that the company he was founding would revolutionize the investment industry. But viscerally, he grasped that by bringing together mathematicians, physicists, and engineers to formalize the science of buying low and selling high (in either order), he was likely to create something of tremendous value — value that he would then use to fund philanthropic efforts to make even more far-reaching contributions to society.”

The investment and hedge fund community swiftly responded to the news of Simons’ passing with heartfelt tributes.

Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, expressed his condolences on Twitter: “RIP to an absolute legend and a good man.”

Ray Dalio, co-founder of Bridgewater Associates, shared his thoughts on social media: “Jim Simons was the greatest—an unbelievably great investor, philanthropist, and man of character. I and all who knew him will miss him.”

Mike Bloomberg, co-founder of Bloomberg, also paid tribute, highlighting Simons’ brilliance in finance and his impactful philanthropic endeavors: “Jim Simons’ brilliant mind made him a legend in finance, but his most important investments were in philanthropy, including all the work he and Marilyn led together through the (Simons Foundation).”

Bloomberg highlighted Jim Simons’ founding of ‘Math for America’, a community dedicated to supporting mathematics and science teachers, along with his contributions to Stony Brook University and his funding towards combating climate change. “Jim was a force for progress on many of the most pressing challenges we face,” said Bloomberg.

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