James Simons, the former Stony Brook University mathematics department chairman who founded East Setauket-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, earned an estimated $2.2 billion in 2013, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha, an online publication. He was No. 4 in the publication's ranking of hedge fund managers.

Though Simons announced his retirement in 2009 from actively managing the firm, he extended his streak as the only person in the industry to qualify for Alpha's top 25 list in all 13 years of publication.

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The only hedge fund managers to earn more in 2013 were: David Tepper of Appaloosa Management, $3.5 billion; Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors, $2.4 billion; and John Paulson, Paulson & Co., $2.3 billion.

Total earnings estimated by Alpha include the executives' share of their funds' management and performance fees, plus gains on their personal account in the funds.

Simons helped pioneer high-speed trading strategies in which computers take advantage of small price moves in securities, and in academia he did research in mathematics and differential geometry. Last month, Simons was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Cohen's SAC Capital has agreed to disband and return client assets as a part of a government insider-trading settlement. More than a half-dozen employees of SAC were convicted of insider trading, and the firm agreed to a $1.2 billion fine in 2013, but Cohen was never charged.

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His Stamford, Connecticut company, now renamed Point 72 Asset Management, trades only on behalf of Cohen -- who attended Great Neck North High School -- his family and employees.