Nat Simons

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Nat Simons
Nat Simons.png
Nathaniel Simons

1966 (age 56–57)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
OccupationInvestment manager
SpouseLaura Baxter-Simons
Parent(s)James Harris Simons, Barbara Simons
RelativesMarvin R. Baxter (father-in-law)

Nathaniel Simons (born 1966) is an American billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist.[1][2] He is the founder of Meritage Group, an investment management firm managing over $12 billion in assets, co-founder of Prelude Ventures, a clean tech investment fund, and is the former co-chair of Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge funds in the world.[3]

He is the son of the founder of Renaissance Technologies, Jim Simons.

Simons is also the co-founder and a director of the Sea Change Foundation, which focuses on climate change and clean energy policy.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

The son of James Simons, a mathematician and the founder of Renaissance Technologies,[7] and Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and former president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM),[8] he attended the University of California, Berkeley. There, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1989, followed by a master's degree in mathematics in 1994.[4][7]


Simons began his career at Cylink Corp in 1989.[9][10] Since 1994, Simons has been a principal at Renaissance Technologies.[11][7][12] At Renaissance, Simons worked as a data analyst from 1994 to 1995, then as a futures trader from 1995 to 1997. In 1997, he began the Meritage family of funds, which was spun off from Renaissance. Simons served as vice chair at Renaissance from 2006 to 2020[4] and is senior managing director and chair of Meritage Group.[4][13]

In 2009, Simons co-founded Prelude Ventures, a clean-technology venture fund.[14] In that same year, he was listed #20 on Fortune's World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators.[14] In 2015, Simons and his wife, Laura Baxter-Simons, joined the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.[15][16] The coalition is a partnership of individuals who have pledged to invest in new energy technologies.[17][18]


In 2006, Simons co-founded Sea Change Foundation, focused on climate change and clean energy policy.[12][19] In 2009, Simons spoke along with Bill Clinton and Al Gore at the National Clean Energy Project roundtable. In discussing philanthropy's role in combating climate change, Simons stated:

I think the role of philanthropy is more than anything to just facilitate the process. There are many different stakeholders, and they all have to be brought together. The grid is perhaps the best example we can think of where there are many disparate interests. And to get it done quickly is going to take a herculean effort from all sides.[11]

Simons has been on the board of the Exploratorium and Berkeley's board of visitors.[4][20][21]

He and his family are long-time benefactors of their alma mater, Berkeley,[7] including SERC[22] and the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change.[23] In May 2017, Simons and his spouse signed The Giving Pledge, a foundation created by Bill Gates where individuals pledge to donate the majority of their wealth.[24] Laura Baxter-Simons is a member of the Advisory Board for the College of Letters & Science at Berkeley and of the Steering Committee for Berkeley's "Light the Way" campaign.[25]

Personal life and family[edit]

Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons have two children.[4] Baxter-Simons, who holds degrees in economics, German, and German literature from Berkeley, is the daughter of former California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter[26][27] and is an attorney, having received her JD from Stanford. Baxter-Simons serves as the general counsel and chief compliance officer at Meritage Group.[12]


  1. ^ "Democratic Donor Built up Vast $8bn Private Wealth Fund in Bermuda". The Guardian. 2007-11-07.
  2. ^ "How the Heirs to a Vast Hedge Fund Fortune Are Giving Big on Climate Change". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  3. ^ Reiff, Nathan (March 4, 2020). "What Are the Biggest Hedge Funds in the World?". Investopedia. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Nat Simons | Exploratorium". Exploratorium. 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  5. ^ "The World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  6. ^ "Jim Simons Revamps Renaissance Board in Nod to New Generation". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  7. ^ a b c d ""World's Smartest Billionaire:" James Simons is Cal Alumnus of the Year for 2016". Cal Alumni Association. 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  8. ^ Simons, Barbara (19 October 2016). "Hacking the Election?" (PDF). Columbia Engineering. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Alumni US - University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area". Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  10. ^ "Prelude Ventures - A VC firm focused on climate innovation". Prelude Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  11. ^ a b "Nathaniel Simons |". Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  12. ^ a b c "The Quiet Hedge Fund Heir Who's Engaged in Massive Climate Giving". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  13. ^ "Nathaniel Simons: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  14. ^ a b "Billionaires versus big oil". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  15. ^ "Gates, Dalio, Zuckerberg, U. California Team Up on Clean Energy - Chief Investment Officer". Chief Investment Officer. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  16. ^ Tucker, Bill. "Just In Time For COP21; The Breakthrough Energy Coalition". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  17. ^ "Breakthrough Energy - Investing in a Carbonless Future". Breakthrough Energy. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  18. ^ Goldman, David (2015-11-30). "COP21: The 30 rich and powerful people Bill Gates signed on to save the Earth". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  19. ^ "Sea Change Foundation". Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  20. ^ "Campus Fundraising Task Force - Spring 2015 - Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost". Archived from the original on 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  21. ^ "Berkeley Office of the Chancellor: Board of Visitors". Archived from the original on 2020-10-16.
  22. ^ Weiner, Jon (2012-10-19). "Berkeley Lab Breaks Ground on New Solar Energy Research Facility - Berkeley Lab". News Center. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  23. ^ Staff, Justin Sidhu (2017-01-19). "Berkeley-Tsinghua Joint Research Center receives $5 million donation". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  24. ^ Wile, Rob (May 31, 2017). "Meet the 14 Billionaires Who Just Promised to Give Their Fortunes Away". Archived from the original on August 16, 2020. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  25. ^ "National Campaign Steering Committee". Archived from the original on 2021-01-22.
  26. ^ "Sea Change Foundation: Grants for Climate Change". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  27. ^ "California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter to retire". Los Angeles Times. 2014-06-18. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-15.