John Alfred Paulson, aged 59, is an American hedge fund manager who leads his firm Paulson & Co., which he founded in New York in 1994.
Paulson is a very well-known name in the world of finance, and is known as someone who has made one of the biggest fortunes in the history of Wall Street.
In 2007 he earned nearly $4 billion by using credit default swaps as a way of betting against the United States sub-prime mortgage lending market.
As of September 2015, John Alfred Paulson is estimated to have a net worth of $11.4 billion.
Paulson started his career in 1980 working for Boston Consulting Group.
With this company he performed extensive market research and offered advice to various companies before moving onto Odyssey Partners and eventually Bear Stearns.
Paulson then moved over to Gruss Partners LP, making partner, and then ultimately founding his own hedge fund under the name of Paulson & Co.
Paulson & Co managed $2 million dollars initially and held just one employee, but by 2003 the fund had exploded with more than $300 million in managed assets.
It wasn’t until 2006 when he set up the Paulson Credit Opportunity Fund that he shot to fame and fortune betting against sub-prime mortgages by using credit default swaps. Author Gregory Zuckerman even wrote a book about this, entitled The Greatest Trade Ever.
In addition to being a major investor in gold, Paulson smashed records by making $5 billion in 2010.
In recent years John Paulson has made donations to several different charities.
These donations include $20 million to the New York University Stern School of Business, and a further $15 million to construct a Children’s Hospital in Ecuador.
Being a lifelong New Yorker, he also donated a whopping $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy.
Paulson has also donated to various political candidates and parties, including $1 million that was donated to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future in 2011.
In addition to his successes in the markets, he has also contributed quite significantly to the political landscape by sharing his views in various media outlets.
Of particular note is his 2012 interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, where he discussed the Occupy Wall Street movement and the protesters who had picketed his house one year before.
Paulson stated: “We pay a lot of taxes, especially living in New York—there’s an almost 13 percent city and state tax rate. … Most jurisdictions would want to have successful companies like ours located there. I’m sure if we wanted to go to Singapore, they’d roll out the red carpet to attract us.”
There is no doubting the accomplishments of this man in the world of finance, and his founding and subsequent growth of his hedge fund Paulson & Co is almost definitely one of his greatest achievements.
Paulson’s record-breaking gain of $5 billion in 2010 is probably his most notable achievement due to the sheer scale of profits made during this single year period.