Renaissance Technologies

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Renaissance Technologies LLC
Type Private
Industry Investment Management
Founded 1982 (1982), New York
Headquarters East Setauket, New York, United States
Key people
AUM US $ 23 Billion (2011)
Employees 275[2] (2009)

Renaissance Technologies is an American hedge fund management company that operates three funds.[3] 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 $23 billion[4] in assets under management.[5] Since 1989, the company's $5 billion Medallion Fund has averaged 35% annual returns after fees.[6][7] The Medallion Fund is one of the most successful hedge funds.[6] In 2011, out of 144 tech pro, Renaissance Technology was ranked as no. 4 of the best IT department in financial services. Simons retired at the end of 2009.

Renaissance charges a management fee of 5% and a profit participation of, initially 36%, and now 44%, both of which are higher than the industry standard of 2% and 20%, respectively.[8]


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[9] Axcom Trading Advisors after that company's dissolution in 1992.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Investment strategy[edit]

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.[8] 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.[8]

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 August 10 (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."[10]

On September 25, 2008, Renaissance wrote a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, discouraging them from implementing a rule change which 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".[11]

Investment returns[edit]

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 SorosQuantum Fund, with a 1,710.1 percent return.[12] A measurement of the risk (e.g., beta, volatility, or leverage figures) which 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.[13]


  • Jim Simons, Founder, President & CEO
  • Peter Brown, co-CEO[14]
  • 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[15]
  • George Zweig

Renaissance alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Smythe, Christie (17 July 2013). "Renaissance Co-CEO Mercer Sued by Home Staff for Over Pay". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ 1, 1 (29 December 2011). "Insider Monkey - Ren tech". Insider Monkey. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Sarnet.Org WSJ Front Page: Titan's Millions Stir Up Research Into Autism
  7. ^ Shalev, Ofra (2007-10-19). "The MBA is Dropping to a Lower League (ה - MBA יורד ליגה)" (in Hebrew). Ha'aretz. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  8. ^ a b c d Teitelbaum, Richard (2008-10-27). "Simons at Renaissance Cracks Code, Doubling Assets". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  9. ^ James Ax
  10. ^ Burton, Katherine (2007-08-10). "Renaissance's Stock Hedge Fund Falls 8.7% in August". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  11. ^ "Comment Letter from Renaissance". S.E.C. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  12. ^ Zuckerman, Gregory (2005-07-01). "Renaissance's Man: James Simons Does The Math on Fund". The Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ Opalesque (8 January 2010). "Renassaince Technologies’ Medallion fund tops list of most profitable hedge funds in 2009". 
  14. ^ Schroeder, Robert, "Hedge fund dodged over $6 billion in taxes: senators", MarketWatch, July 22, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  15. ^ "Nathaniel Simons: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  16. ^ Metro Briefing | New York: Port Jefferson: Couple Identified In Murder-Suicide
  17. ^ "Math Ph.D. Alumni", Penn State University webpage. Shows 2003 affiliation with Renaissance. Retrieved 2014-08-02.

External links[edit]