Rich hedge fund manager has terrible year, still earns $33.5m

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One of the UK’s richest hedge fund managers took home $33.5m in a year when profits at his firm fell by nearly 50% and investors pulled out over performance concerns.

Clive Capital, the commodities-focused hedge fund run by ex-Moore Capital trader Chris Levett, posted profits of $39.6m for the year ending February 2013, compared to $79.5m in 2012, according to new filings on Companies House. Despite this, the highest paid member – believed to be Levett - received pay of $33.5m for the period.

It’s been a tough period for Clive Capital, with assets under management said to fall by 46% throughout 2012 after the fund lost money for the second year running. It was also forced to cut its fees from a steep 2.5% management fee and 25% performance fee to the industry standard 2 and 20 earlier this year.

Like many hedge funds with a high profile boss, notably Yan Huo’s Capula Investment Management, Clive Capital has paid its star manager at the expense of general employees. The firm has just three members, who split a total pay pot of $38.8m. With Levett taking over $33m, the remaining $5.3m was shared between two other managers. Still, pay has tumbled compared to 2012, when the highest paid partner received more than $60m.

This windfall may have been in part been responsible for propelling Levett into the Sunday Times list of highest paying fund managers in 2012. He ranked 15th last year with a personal fortune of £250m ($381.7m). In the 2013 league table, he slipped to 19th with his personal fortune still at £250m

Pay for the 11 rank and file staff at Clive Capital has remained relatively constant. They received $3.9m, compared to $4.7m last year, meaning an average payout of $360k per head. And it has kept faith with its staff, employing the same number of people in 2013 as it did last year.