The most-connected hedge funders

By Laurie Bennett

February 28, 2013 at 7:36am

Top investors are known for focusing on money networks more than social networks.

Yet there are ultra-wealthy managers whose activities extend well beyond their portfolios.

Our list of the most connected hedge funders all happen to be billionaires, which gives them some elbow room for outside commitments.

George Soros

George Soros
George Soros

Despised by the right for his politics and his spending on progressive causes, Soros and another billionaire, Peter B. Lewis, poured millions of dollars into the 2004 elections.

After playing a more subdued role in recent years, he contributed nearly $2.8 million to Democratic PACs in the 2012 elections.

Thomas Steyer

Thomas Steyer
Thomas Steyer

Steyer announced last year that he was stepping down from Farallon Capital to devote his time to political and philanthropic activities.

He’s a director of the Center for American Progress and a trustee at Stanford University.

Kenneth Griffin

Griffin, founder of Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, contributed more than $2.5 million to Republican super PACs in the last election.

He’s a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago and a director of E*Trade. He and his wife also provide over a family foundation that provides grants to such institutions as the University of Chicago and Harvard College.

Griffin is also a member of the nonpartisan Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.

He recently bought four properties in Palm Beach for almost $130 million, after acquiring the most expensive condo in Chicago, paying a record price of $15 million.

Paul E. Singer

The founder of Elliott Associates is active in Republican circles. He raised money for John McCain in 2008 and was a contributor to the 2012 national convention.

Singer is also a board member at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and Harvard Medical School.

Paul Tudor Jones II

Paul Tudor Jones II
Paul Tudor Jones II

Jones, founder of Tudor Investment, is active in conservation nonprofits. He chairs the Everglades Foundation and is vice chair of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

He’s also a director of the Robin Hood Foundation, which combats poverty in New York.

Marc Lasry

Lasry, founder of Avenue Capital Group, was a bundler for Hillary Rodham Carter in 2008 and Barack Obama in 2012.

He’s chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts and an advisory board member of the Center for a New American Security.

Carl Icahn

The corporate raider has been in the news lately for a couple of reasons: his $200 million gift to Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his public battle with hedge fund manager William A. Ackman, over the wisdom of investing in the nutritional supplements company Herbalife.

Icahn’s interests are still primarily in business, with a commitment to philanthropy. In 2010, he joined the Giving Pledge, promising to donate half his wealth to charitable causes.

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