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Data from Hedge Fund Research indicates that as a whole, hedge funds returned 10.5% for 2010, lagging the S&P 500 return of 15.06%. Below you'll find specific hedge fund performance from top managers for last year. We'll continually update this post as more numbers roll in.

In general, the month of May was brutal for hedgies, but the majority managed to turn things around by the end of the year. And if you're interested in a year-over-year comparison, head to our posts on 2009 hedge fund returns as well as 2008 returns.

Hedge Fund Returns: 2010

Paulson & Co: +11%. That number pertains to John Paulson's Advantage Fund. The firm saw varied performance last year as its Advantage Plus Fund returned 17%, its Recovery Fund soared 24%, its Gold Fund returned 35%, and its merger arbitrage fund returned 27%.

Also worth highlighting is the fact that the gold share classes of Paulson's funds performed markedly better. The gold share class of the Advantage Fund was up 31% in 2010 (compared to +11% for the normal class). As always, we've showcased an in-depth look at Paulson's gold fund.

Bridgewater Associates: +38%. Ray Dalio's 'zen' approach to an investment firm paid off as his fund returned one of the higher totals across the hedge fund industry last year. The firm manages around $34 billion.

Renaissance Technologies (Medallion Fund): +30%. Jim Simons' legendary hedge fund continued its epic run of performance in 2010. What's astonishing is that those numbers are net of a 5% management fee and a 44% performance fee (gross performance of the fund would have been around 60%). Back in 2008, Medallion returned an astonishing 80% while markets crumbled.

RenTec's RIFF finished up 22.7% and its RIEF was up 16.5%. We've posted up the Medallion Fund's historical returns before for those interested.

Millennium Management: +13.3%. Israel Englander's firm now manages around $9.1 billion.

Greenlight Capital: +12.5%. We've of course covered David Einhorn's portfolio in-depth on the site. Last year seems to be the first that he's lagged the major market indexes as he took a cautionary stance given economic uncertainty.

SAC Capital: +15%. Steven Cohen's firm was amongst a bevy of other hedge funds that saw returns in the mid-teens.

Pershing Square Capital: +29.7% net. Bill Ackman's hedge fund had a stellar year as a bet on General Growth Properties' (NYSE:GGP) bankruptcy turnaround paid off. Ackman discusses his portfolio here.

Tudor Investment Corp: +7.5%. Paul Tudor Jones' flagship BVI Global fund was positive for the year but still lagged the markets in general.

Glenview Capital: +15.3% net. Here is our coverage of Larry Robbins' portfolio activity.

Moore Capital: +3%. Louis Bacon's flagship Moore Global was up only single digits for 2010, but its macro managers fund returned 105%.

AQR Capital: +27.3%. Cliff Asness' firm saw solid returns last year in its macro strategy.

Third Point: +34%. Dan Loeb's Offshore hedge fund had an impressive year and we've detailed his portfolio throughout the year. He manages around $2 billion.

JANA Partners: +8.4%. Barry Rosenstein's activist and event-driven hedge fund has around $1.9 billion AUM.

Clarium Capital: -23%. Peter Thiel's hedge fund continues to struggle as its long-term predictions face near-term volatility. While Clarium was down single digits in 2008 (and thus beat the market that year), the fund has lost money for three straight years. At last tally, Clarium managed $681 million, way down from its peak of over $7 billion.

Citadel Investment Group: +10%. Ken Griffin's investment firm saw 10% returns in its main Kensington and Wellington funds.

Passport Capital:
+18.3% gross. John Burbank's macro style of investing has been known for its volatile near-term swings but solid long-term performance. We previously posted Passport's market commentary.

Centaurus Energy: -3.8%. Famed energy trader John Arnold suffered his first yearly loss in 2010. Arnold makes large and concentrated bets and has been hampered by regulators imposing position limits.

Xerion Fund (Perella Weinberg Partners): +12.66% net. Dan Arbess' fund manages $2.3 billion and we posted Xerion's 2011 investment outlook.

BlueCrest Capital: +16%. This quant fund turned in better numbers than its multi-strategy fund, which was up 8% or so.

T2 Partners: +10.3% net. Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue's hedge fund had a great start to the year but then bled gains as their short positions rallied against them. Here are T2's long and short positions.

Och-Ziff: +8.44%. Performance is for their flagship Master Fund. Their Special Investments Fund was up 13.16% for 2010. The firm manages over $27 billion.

Perry Capital: +14.6%. We talked about one of Richard Perry's latest investments here.

Possibly the most intriguing note about hedge fund returns for 2010 is that a number of big name investors lagged market indices. This includes Ken Griffin (Citadel), Paul Tudor Jones (Tudor Corp), and one of Louis Bacon's funds (Moore Capital). Heading into 2011, we've already seen that hedge funds have reduced equity exposure so it will be interesting to see how they zig and zag through markets this year.

For past returns, head to our posts on 2009 hedge fund performance numbers and 2008 hedge fund returns.

Sources: Anonymous investors/investor letters, Hedge Fund Research, Bloomberg, Institutional Investor, Dealbreaker, Reuters, & HSBC.

Original article

Source: Performance Numbers for Top Hedge Fund Managers in 2010