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Forbes: James Simons is wealthiest Long Islander

James Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies and seen

James Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies and seen in an undated photo, remains Long Island's wealthiest person, according to Forbes. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Hedge fund founder James Simons remains the richest Long Islander and is the 49th wealthiest person in the world, according to a new list released Monday by Forbes.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corp., took the top spot worldwide for the fourth consecutive year with $86 billion, a gain of $11 billion from last year.

Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett was No. 2 on the global list with $75.6 billion, followed by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos with $72.8 billion.

Simons, an East Setauket resident and mathematician whose Renaissance Technologies Corp. pioneered computerized, quantitative stock trading, amassed $18 billion, up from $15.5 billion a year ago.

Among New Yorkers, Simons ranked fourth, behind Manhattanites David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund investor George Soros of Katonah.

Other Long Islanders on the list included:

  • Katherine Rayner (No. 159) of East Hampton, whose grandfather founded what became conglomerate Cox Enterprises, at $8.1 billion
  • Margaretta Taylor (tied at No. 159) of Southampton, sister of Rayner, also at $8.1 billion
  • Charles Dolan and family (No. 359), with a family fortune valued at $4.6 billion. Dolan, of Oyster Bay, is founder of Cablevision Systems and a member of Newsday’s board of directors. His son Patrick Dolan is the majority owner of Newsday.
  • Julian Robertson Jr. (No. 474) of Locust Valley, a hedge fund founder, at $3.8 billion
  • Kenneth Langone (No. 660) of Sands Point, an early investor in Home Depot, at $3 billion
  • Marc Rowan (No. 745) of Southampton, co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, at $2.7 billion
  • Louis Bacon (No. 1,161) of Oyster Bay, founder of Moore Capital Management, at $1.8 billion
  • Mitchell Jacobson (No. 1,376) of Locust Valley, chairman and the largest shareholder of Melville-based MSC Industrial Direct Co., at $1.5 billion
  • J. Tomilson Hill (No. 1,678) of East Hampton, executive at Blackstone Group, at $1.2 billion
  • Steven Roth (No. 1,795) of East Hampton, chairman of real estate investment trust Vornado Realty, at $1.1 billion.

The Forbes Billionaires list is “a snapshot of wealth taken on Feb. 17,” the magazine said. The number of billionaires identified by Forbes climbed 13 percent to 2,043 in 2017 versus last year.

The United States had the most billionaires with 565, 25 more than in 2016. China ranked No. 2 with 319, followed by Germany at 114 and India with 101.

With Laura Mann

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