Renaissance Technology Hedge Fund Founder Wins Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

250px-James_Simons_2007New York (HedgeCo.Net) -The American mathematician who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge fund companies, Dr. James Harris Simons and his wife, economist Dr. Marilyn Simons are this year’s recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, which recognizes those who use their private wealth for the public good.

In 1982, Simons founded Renaissance Technologies, a private hedge fund investment company based in New York with over $15 billion under management. Simons retired at the end of 2009, as CEO, of what is one of the world’s most successful hedge fund companies. Simons’ net worth is estimated to be $10.6 billion.

The philanthropic activities of this year’s Carnegie medalists span the globe and include support for education, science, entrepreneurship and the arts. This year’s recipients also include: Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science Community Development and one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women; Sir Tom Hunter, the British entrepreneur who the Sunday Times of London called Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire; Dr. Dmitry Zimin, the founder of the second largest telecom business in Russia; and Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton DBE on behalf of the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation.

The wealth that Simons has amassed funds his many philanthropic pursuits. Known as the “Quant King,” Simons is a benefactor for the mathematical sciences, supporting research projects, chairs, and conferences in the United States and abroad.

Simons and his second wife, Marilyn Hawrys Simons, co-founded the Paul Simons Foundation, a charitable organization that supports projects related to education and health, in addition to scientific research. Marilyn serves as the foundation’s President, while Jim serves as its Secretary and Treasurer. In memory of his son Paul, whom he had with his first wife, Barbara Simons, he established Avalon Park, a 130-acre nature preserve in Stony Brook. In 1996, 34-year-old Paul was killed by a car while riding a bicycle near the Simons home. Another son, Nick Simons, drowned at age 24 while on a trip to Bali in Indonesia in 2003. Nick had worked in Nepal and the Simons have become large donors to Nepalese healthcare through the Nick Simons Institute. Jim Simons also founded Math for America, a non-profit organization with the mission to significantly improve math education in public schools.

Alex Akesson
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