Answer by Siddharth Pathak:
I am biased towards what you would call as "global macro" fund managers. Global macro is the mandate that allows you trade almost every single asset class in the entire planet. If humans lived on Mars, these folks would be willing to even trade Martian assets. And it is an interesting bit of trivia that modern day hedge funds started out as macro shops.First is the Soros camp. Many have come out of this camp: the man himself, George Soros, his protege Scott Bessent, and Stanley Druckenmiller.Whiletalked about the first two, let me talk about Druckenmiller.While Soros is called as the man who broke the Bank of England, it was actually Druckenmiller who was responsible for that trade. I wrote another answer about it. Quoting from it,It just so happens he's in the office. He's usually in Eastern Europe at this time doing his thing. So I go in at 4:00 and I said, "George, I'm going to sell $5.5 billion worth of British pounds tonight and buy Deutsche marks. Here's why I'm doing and that means we'll have 100% of the fund in this one trade." And as I'm talking, he starts wincing like what's wrong with this kid, and I think he's about to blow my thesis away and he say's, "That is the most ridiculous use of money management I ever heard. What you described is an incredible one-way bet. We should have
200% of our net worth in it, not 100%. Do you know how often something like this comes around? Like one or 20 years. What is wrong with you?" So we started shorting the pound that night.He was the CIO for Quantum, and was responsible for generating all those insane returns. He left Quantum in 2000 to focus full time on his fund, Duquesne. He closed down the fund in 2010, citing his emotional toll of not being able to keep up with his own targets. This was despite the fact that in its 30 years of existence, the fund returned 20% annually. If you invested $1 in 1981, you would be sitting on $198 by 2010.Second, I would have to mention the name of another legend, Julian Robertson. His Tiger fund, and Soros' Quantum fund were quite really the pioneers who got the whole hedge fund strategy started.He eventually liquidated his fund in 2000 and returned all the money to his investors, tired of a strange "new economy" bubble from tech stocks. He now seeds wannabe hedge fund managers, and some of them are amongst the top performers.Horseman Capital. This is a relatively small macro shop operating out of London, but has had outstanding returns. It returned 31% in 2008, and interestingly enough it has been net short since 2012, and in this time period it returned 16%, 19%, 12% and 20%. The research they put out on their website, is very insightful, and I highly recommend you to read it –Paul Tudor Jones. His flagship fund has returned over 19% annually and it started in the 80s. He returned 50% in 1987 by calling the 20% drop in equities down to the damn day it happened. Incidentally, there was a documentary filmed before 1987 where it tracked what he did, and what were some of his reasoning for why he thought the market was headed for a big drop. If you get your hands on it, do make it a point to watch it, because it is an amazingly detailed look into the life of one of the most successful traders in our times. He turned down an MBA admit from Harvard for an apprenticeship with a futures trader down South.Other lesser known managers would be Jim Leitner, Jim Rogers, Keynes (yes, he was a quite a successful trader), and Hugh Hendry, Crispin Odey and many others who choose to stay out of limelight.