|Headquarters||East Setauket, New York, United States|
|AUM||US $ 22 Billion (2012)|
Number of employees
Renaissance Technologies is an American hedge fund management company that operates three funds. It operates in East Setauket, Long Island, New York, near Stony Brook University with administrative functions handled in Manhattan.
Started in 1982 by James Simons, Renaissance currently has more than $22 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 1988 to 1999, the company's $3.3 billion Medallion Fund has averaged over 35% annual returns after fees. The Medallion Fund is one of the most successful hedge funds and is closed to new outside investors since 1993. Simons retired at the end of 2009.
The Medallion Fund has traded non-stock instruments and is international. American-traded instruments include commodities futures and US Treasury bonds. Foreign-traded instruments include currency swaps, commodities futures, and foreign bonds. The Medallion Fund has its own internal trading desk, staffed by approximately 20 traders, and trades from Monday opening bell in Australia through Friday closing bell in the US. Its origins date to the late 1980s, and it is believed to have essentially subsumed the trading positions and intellectual property of James Ax's Axcom Trading Advisors after that company's dissolution in 1992.
The Nova Fund has traded NASDAQ stocks only, executing purely electronically, with a desk staffed by 1–2 traders overseeing operations. In the mid-1990s, Nova was one of Instinet's largest volume customers. On one day in 1997 Nova executions accounted for 14% of the share volume of the NASDAQ.
The Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund started in mid-2005 and is offered as a fund for institutional investors. Renaissance manages a number of other funds in various markets, including mortgage-backed securities and funds of external managed funds like the Renaissance Return Fund.
For more than twenty years, Simons' Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, which trades in markets around the world, has employed complex mathematical models to analyze and execute trades, many of them automated. Renaissance uses computer-based models to predict price changes in easily traded financial instruments. These models are based on analyzing as much data as can be gathered, then looking for non-random movements to make predictions. Some also attribute Renaissance performance to employing Financial signal processing techniques such as pattern recognition.
Renaissance employs staff with non-financial backgrounds, including mathematicians, physicists, astrophysicists and statisticians. About a third of the 275 employees at the East Setauket office have Ph.Ds.
Like many other quantitative funds, their RIE Fund had difficulty with the higher volatility environment that persisted throughout the end of the summer of 2007. According to an 10 August (2007) article in Bloomberg by Katherine Burton, "James Simons's $29 billion Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund fell 8.7% in August 2007 when his computer models used to buy and sell stocks were overwhelmed by securities' price swings. The two-year-old quantitative, or 'quant', hedge fund now has declined 7.4 percent for the year. Simons said other hedge funds have been forced to sell positions, short-circuiting statistical models based on the relationships among securities."
On 25 September 2008, Renaissance wrote a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, discouraging them from implementing a rule change that would have permitted the public to access information regarding institutional investors' short positions, as they can currently do with long positions. The company cited a number of reasons for this, including the fact that "institutional investors may alter their trading activity to avoid public disclosure".
For the 11 years ending in December 1999, Medallion's cumulative returns were 2,478.6 percent. Among all offshore funds over that same period, according to the database run by hedge fund observer Antoine Bernheim, the next-best performer was George Soros' Quantum Fund, with a 1,710.1 percent return. A measurement of the risk (e.g., beta, volatility, or leverage figures) that accompanied Medallion's high annual returns is not publically available. In 2009 the Medallion fund topped the list of the most profitable hedge funds with profits of over $1 billion.
- Jim Simons, Founder, President & CEO
- Peter Brown, co-CEO
- Gudjon Hermansson, Production Manager, Medallion Fund. Stony Brook University, PhD, Computer Science, 1993
- Robert Lourie, Head, Futures Research
- Nathaniel Simons, Principal, Vice Chairman, and Director
- George Zweig
- Alexander Astashkevich—Research, Medallion Fund, committed murder and suicide in February 2006
- James Ax, founder of Axcom Trading Advisors, predecessor to the Medallion Fund, and a mathematician
- Elwyn Berlekamp, president of Axcom Trading Advisors, predecessor to the Medallion Fund, and a mathematician
- Leonard E. Baum, the coauthor for the Baum-Welch algorithm, built early trading models for Axcom Trading Advisors
- Robert J. Frey, 1992–2004, Managing Director Emeritus
- Henry Laufer, Vice President of Research
- David Lysenko, Principal; now Managing Director, Stone Beach Investment Management
- Nick Patterson, Research, Medallion Fund; chess player, formerly with the UK's Government Communications Headquarters| MIT's Broad Institute
- Kresimir Penavic, Research, Medallion Fund (retired)
- Alkes Price, Research, Medallion Fund; now at Harvard
- Serge Ferleger, Research, Medallion Fund
- Peter J. Weinberger (the "W" in AWK), Medallion Fund, left Renaissance for Google in 2003
- Smythe, Christie; Mider, Zachary (17 July 2013). "Renaissance Co-CEO Mercer Sued by Home Staff for Over Pay". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- renfund.com (login required)
- "Is Renaissance Technologies Falling off the Mark?". Institutional Investor's Alpha. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "The Secret World of Jim Simons". Institutional Investor Magazine (Americas and International Editions). Retrieved November 1, 2000.
- Teitelbaum, Richard (2008-10-27). "Simons at Renaissance Cracks Code, Doubling Assets". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- Burton, Katherine (2007-08-10). "Renaissance's Stock Hedge Fund Falls 8.7% in August". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- "Comment Letter from Renaissance". S.E.C. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- Zuckerman, Gregory (2005-07-01). "Renaissance's Man: James Simons Does The Math on Fund". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Renassaince Technologies' Medallion fund tops list of most profitable hedge funds in 2009". Opalesque. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Schroeder, Robert (22 July 2014). "Hedge fund dodged over $6 billion in taxes: senators". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
- "Nathaniel Simons: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- Julia C. Mead (1 March 2006). "Metro Briefing | New York: Port Jefferson: Couple Identified In Murder-Suicide". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Math Ph.D. Alumni". Pennsylvania State University. Shows 2003 affiliation with Renaissance. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Official website
- "High Frequency Trading". Bulldog Trust.
- Ann Bednarz (15 September 2011). "Survey ranks best IT departments in financial services". Computerworld. NetworkWorld.