20 Best-Paid Hedge Fund Managers | Best Tips

A hedge fund is a pooled investment fund that trades in somewhat liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio construction, and risk management techniques in an attempt to bring about improvements in performance, such as short selling, leverage, and derivatives.

In this article, we will discuss the best and highest-paid hedge fund managers in the world.

Who is a Hedge Fund Manager?

A hedge fund manager is an individual or a firm who manages, makes investment decisions, and oversees the operations of a hedge fund.

Managing a hedge fund has the potential to be extremely lucrative hence can be an attractive career option.

To be successful at hedge fund management, you must put how to have a competitive advantage into consideration, and to have this done, you must have a clearly defined investment strategy, capitalization, a marketing and sales plan, and a risk management strategy. adequate

The year tagged the pandemic year, 2020, was not a nice one for millions as many persons lost their jobs and faced sudden poverty due to the outbreak of the deadly virus, Corona. But just as terrible times affect a lot of persons, it is not always disastrous for everybody. That was the case for some individuals like hedge fund managers as 2020 was even an outstanding year for them.

In 2020, the top 20 highest/best-paid hedge fund managers in the world earned a combined $23.2.4 billion and it is bound to increase in 2023.

The stock markets are known for high volatility and this being the case, hedge funds could earn more than was earned in the years before. There’s being economic turmoil but regardless of it, hedge fund managers have been able to make piles of money.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the 10 highest/best-paid hedge fund managers made a record $18.4 billion in 2020 in comparison to over 13.3 billion that was made in 2019. The increase was approximately placed at 40%.

As might be expected and in all likelihood, such big gains will attract criticism and questions not only from the public but also from lawmakers.

There’s the likelihood to have an increment in this controversy with regards to the concerns over fairness in financial markets which has the tendency to displease the public even more. 

What is Hedge Fund Management?

Hedge fund management is the art of managing high net-worth individuals (HNIs), banks, and insurance companies’ high volume funds; and in return, help them in realizing huge profits.

‘Hedge’ refers to a contract or arrangement reducing one’s exposure to risk (for example the risk of price movements or interest rate movements) while ‘funds’ refer to investors’ money.

A hedge fund is comprised of multiple assets, equity, including derivatives, bonds, currencies, and convertible security

Hedge funds are known for a huge set of assets hence need dynamic management. This makes the role of hedge fund managers critical.

The paramount role of a fund manager is to hedge the risk of investors against volatile market fluctuations and at the same time, make them have profits at the end of the day.

To be good at hedge fund management, an individual needs to take up courses & certifications in:

  • Banking and Investments
  • Financial modeling
  • Portfolio Management
  • Commercial Banking
  • Underwriting and Claims Management
  • JAIIB (Junior Associate of Indian Institute of Banking and Finance)
  • Investment Banking
  • Money Markets
  • Wealth Management and Mutual Funds

Do hedge fund managers make a lot of money?

Yes, hedge fund managers make a lot of money especially those that are experts in the field.

This is seemingly not short of what is expected as an individual or a firm who manages, makes investment decisions, and oversees the operations of a hedge fund, and is good at it should definitely be rich.

As a confirmation to this, Forbes release in 2018 has it that the richest hedge fund manager of 2017 made $2 billion, while the rest of the top four richest hedge fund managers made over the $1 billion marks.

The record also has it that the hedge fund managers at the bottom of the list of the top 25 richest/best paid hedge fund managers earned $200 million in the same year.

Read: How to Invest in Hedge Fund in 2023 | Sure Things You Must know

Why become a hedge fund manager?

There are a number of benefits that a hedge fund manager stands to get through hedge fund managers and they include:

  • Flexibility as the hedge funds unlike other mutual funds are much more flexible.
  • Clear aggressiveness in investment.
  • Hedge fund management adds diversification and also reduces risk. It increases the chance of diversification.
  • Hedge fund is known for loss reduction.
  • Hedge fund managers are well versed in financial management matters.

How do hedge fund managers make money?

Hedge fund managers make money by charging a management fee and a performance fee. These fees differ by the fund and commonly run 2% and 20% of assets under management.

Management Fees: A management fee is a fee calculated as a percentage of assets under management.  Commonly, management fee equates to 2% but can range from 1% to 4% depending on the fund. On a general note, management fees are paid monthly or quarterly and help pay overhead and daily expenses of running the hedge fund.

Performance Fees: Performance fee is calculated as a percentage of the fund’s profits.  It is otherwise known as an incentive fee. If the performance fund makes money, they will get paid, if not they won’t. The performance fee motivates the fund to generate excess returns and is generally used to pay employee bonuses and reward hard-working staff.

Read: 10 Best Ethical Funds For Investment In 2023| Expert Guide

Why are hedge fund managers so rich?

Hedge fund managers become rich and affluent by making money on the profits of their assets. For a hedge fund manager to be so rich, he has to make so much money on the profits of their assets.

Hedge fund managers charge individuals a 2% performance fee and cut the generated gains, which amounts to about 20%. That being the case, hedge fund managers only allow investments in hedge funds from wealthy and affluent individuals.

How much do Hedge Fund Managers Make?

In a year, the average hedge fund manager makes $124,686. That’s valued at $59.95 per hour!

There can be a variation in the range surrounding that average, between $69,000 and $225,000. This means that hedge fund managers can earn more once they move past entry-level roles.

Below, we will list the best-paid hedge fund managers in the world.

How to become a hedge fund manager?

To become a hedge fund manager, you are to meet certain educational and training requirements and they include:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business Administration or Finance. To prepare for a master’s program, relevant coursework in math and statistics can be done of huge help.
  • Earn a master’s degree in relevant fields like finance or business administration.
  • Obtain certifications to become a more competitive candidate.
  • Apply for entry-level positions either as personal investors or traders.
  • Apply for hedge fund manager positions after completing all educational and experience requirements.

Read: Best Mutual Funds In Canada 2023/Expert Guide.

Best Paid Hedge Fund Managers in the World

Kiiky Wealth in its commitment to keep you abreast with information concerning wealth creation and more brings to you the top 20 highest/best-paid hedge fund managers in the world and they include:

  1. Charles Coleman
  2. James Simons
  3. Carl Icahn
  4. David Tepper
  5. George Soros
  6. Israel Englander
  7. Kenneth Griffin
  8. Stephen Mandel
  9. Philippe Laffont
  10. Steven Cohen
  11. Jeffrey Talpins 
  12. William Ackman
  13.  Daniel Sundheim
  14.  Gabe Plotkin
  15.  David Shaw
  16.  Andreas Halvorsen
  17.  Joe Edelman
  18. Raymond Thomas Dalio 
  19.  David Alan Siegel
  20.  Nelson Peltz

1. Charles Payson Coleman III – $3,000,000,000

Hedge Fund: Tiger Global Management

Fund Return:+48%

Born in June 1975, Charles Payson “Chase” Coleman III is an American hedge fund manager and investor.

Charles Payson Coleman III is among the highest/best-paid hedge fund managers in the world and is known for running a hedge fund that had invested in tech companies whose stocks spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Zoom or Peloton known as Tiger Global Management.

By having a return of $3 billion, Chase Coleman III has been known as the highest-paid hedge fund manager for 2020.

Coleman’s hedge fund returned 48% in 2020 and this being the case, his performance was far beyond the U.S. stock market, which gained about 16%. 

2. James Harris Simons – $2,600,000,000

Hedge Fund: Renaissance Technologies

Fund Return:+76%

Born on 25 April 1938, James Harris Simons is an American mathematician, billionaire hedge fund manager, and philanthropist.

He is the founder of the hedge fund known as Renaissance Technologies, which is a quantitative hedge fund based in Setauket-East Setauket, New York.

He and his fund are known for quantitative investment, using mathematical models and algorithms to make investment gains from inefficiencies that abound in the market.

His Hedge fund establishment, Renaissance, and its Medallion Fund, one of Renaissance Technologies’ funds, have been known for long-term aggregate investment returns and has made Simons to be described as the “greatest investor on Wall Street,” and more specifically “the most successful hedge fund manager ever.”

This milestone was hit in the pandemic year of 2020 (its best year ever) was really available only to current and former partners. Medallion fund climbed 76%.

Nevertheless, for other RenTec funds that are available to outsiders, 2020 was the worst year of all time, especially for the Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund and Renaissance Institutional Diversified Alpha. Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund fell 22.62%, whereas the Renaissance Institutional Diversified Alpha lost  33.58%. This is according to Institutional Investor.

3. Carl Icahn

Net worth:  $14 billion

Carl Icahn is among the best-paid hedge fund managers in the world. His investment fund made $1.3 billion in the second quarter from shorting commercial real estate–an industry reeling from the pandemic.

Carl has an expansive conglomerate with interests in everything from casinos and metals to real estate and food packaging but of these New York City-based Icahn Enterprises of his have fallen more than 20% since January. 

4. David Tepper

Net worth:  $13 billion

Debatably, David Tepper is the greatest/best-paid hedge fund manager of his generation. He has scored annualized returns of 25% in his fund’s first 25 years and has been steadily returning money to clients in recent years.

Tepper is the founder and president of a global hedge fund based in Miami Beach, Florida known as Appaloosa Management.

He now manages about $13 billion, down from a peak of $20 billion.

David Tepper’s fortune is at an all-time high. He sold his 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers for an undisclosed amount.

5. George Soros

Net worth:  $8.6 billion

George Soros is a celebrated hedge fund tycoon who managed client money from 1969 to 2011. He shorted the British pound for a reported $1 billion profit in 1992, becoming known as the man who broke the Bank of England.

He has transferred a minimum of $18 billion of his earnings to his Open Society Foundations, a network that funds political organizations and makes grants to social justice causes.

Soros is known for not managing money for others since 2011.

He invests in a mix together of stocks, commodities, private equity, and bonds through his family office fund.

Read: Hedge Funds vs Mutual Funds: What is the difference in 2023

6. Israel Englander – $2,200,000,000

Hedge Fund: Millennium Management

Fund Return: +26%

Born in 1948 and an American, Israel Englander is an investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. 

Israel Englander is among the best-paid hedge fund managers in the world and was born in 1948. He is the founder and CEO and Co-Chief of Investment Officer of Millenium Management and is an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist.

He wanted his hedge fund in 1989 with Ronald Shear.

His hedge fund was founded in 1989 with Ronald Shear. He started his hedge fund with $35 million which increased to $39.2 billion in assets under management by 2019.

According to the Millennium Management website, the requirement for delivering high-quality returns include unyielding focus, continually adapting to dynamic conditions, and actively pursuing market opportunities.

His hedge fund gained 26% in 2020 which made it have the best performance among other hedge funds in 20 years. Bloomberg underscores that the hedge fund oversees $48.5 billion and returned a minimum of $8 billion to investors at the end of the year.

The hedge fund was started with $35 million, and as of 2019 had $39.2 billion in assets under management.

7. Kenneth Griffin – $1,800,000,000

Hedge Fund: Citadel

Fund Return: 24%

Founded by Kenneth Griffin, the hedge fund, Citadel, is among the highest/best-paid hedge funds that generate the most in the world. Kenneth Griffin is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Co-Chief Investment Officer (Co-CIO), and majority owner of Citadel.

With $34 billion investment capital, the investment firm, Capital, invests across five core strategies: macro, equities, quantitative strategies, commodities, and credit.  

In 2020 Citadel’s flagship fund, Wellington returned 24.4% which according to Clearbrook Global is its best end result in eight years.

As was the case for other hedge fund managers like Ken Griffin, the year of the pandemic was turbulent for his hedge fund, but after the February-March tanking, it bounced back and finished the year with an impressive end result. 

8. Stephen Mandel – $1,800,000,000

Hedge Fund: Lone Pine Capital

Fund Return: 23%

Stephen Mandel is the managing director of Lone Pine Capital which he founded in 1998 and former managing director at Tiger Management.

According to Forbes, Mandel is the 316th richest man in the United States with a net worth of 2.8 as of 2022.

He has been mentored by Julian Robertson – “The Wizard of Wall Street”, courtesy of being a former Tiger Management employee which made him belong to a prominent group of hedge fund managers called “Tiger Cubs”.

He is also one of the highest/best paid hedge fund managers in the world.

9. Phihilippe Laffont – $1,700,000,000

Hedge Fund: Coatue Management

Fund Return:65%

Philippe Laffont is the leader of a hedge fund known as Coatue Management. This hedge fund invests in technology-based companies.

Founded in 1999, Coate Management’s manager, Philippe Laffont worked at Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management LLC as a research analyst before establishing his hedge fund, and thus he is called Tiger Cub.

Financial Times has it that Coate Management gained over 52% in 2020 by betting on Tesla and Wirecard.

10. Steven Cohen –  $1,600,000,000

Hedge Fund: The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI)
Earnings:$1.0 billion
Fund Return: 14%

Sir Christopher AnthonyHohn, often called Chris John, was born in October 1966 and is a British billionaire hedge fund manager of a hedge fund known as The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) and philanthropist. He is also the owner of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball.

Steven Cohen founded his hedge fund, Point72 Asset Management, and also doubles as the manager. He is the majority owner of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball.

This hedge fund is a value-based investment fund and is prominent for long-term, owner-orientated engagement with publicly listed companies. It was established in 2003.

The hedge fund generated profits and they were proportionally allocated to a registered charity in England and Wales that focuses on improving the lives of children living in poverty in developing countries known as The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Known as an activist investor, Chris John, as of 2014, had given over $4.5 billion to TCI. 

According to the Forbes billionaires list in 2020, Chris Hohn is worth $5 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion from 2019.

Steven Cohen possesses one of the world’s most valuable private art collections which is valued at over $1 billion. 

SAC Capital was one of the performing hedge funds ever and was founded by Steve Cohen in 1992. This hedge fund eventually became defunct and paid $1.8 billion in penalties due to insider trading charges.

SAC Capital was converted into Point72 Asset Management in 2014. According to Forbes, the hedge fund was issued a two-year ban from the Securities and Exchange Commission and reopened to outside investors in 2018.

There was a deal between Cohen and the New York Mets and it was finalized on September 14, 2020, to become the majority owner, owning approximately 97.2% of the team. 

He is the founder of the hedge fund now-closed S.A.C. Capital Advisors, Point72 Asset Management, and both are based in Stamford, Connecticut.

11. Jeffrey Talpins  –  $1,300,000,000

Hedge Fund: Element
Earnings: $1.3 billion
Fund Return:19%

Jeffrey Talpins is among the highest/best-paid hedge fund managers in the world and is the founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of the hedge fund, Element Capital Management focused on macro investing.

Through the use of strategies targeted at staying ahead of the world economic changes and trends, Jeffrey Talpins increased the value of assets under Element’s management from $250 million to $17 billion.

The element was incepted in 2005 and since then, posts annualized return of 21%. This places it among the best-performing hedge funds.

The hedge fund betted on the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine last year for which it scored a gain of 18.8%. According to Forbes, it was proved that even the pandemic year can be successful.

According to Wall Street Journal, Talpins is “the hedge fund king you’ve never heard of” and “the hottest investor on Wall Street.”

Jeff Talpins founded the hedge fund in 2005 at Proxima Alfa Investments USA LLC as Element Capital Group and then spun out into an independent firm in 2009.

Element Capital Management is among the world’s largest hedge funds that specialize in macro trading. 

As of August 2018, Element Capital Management

has about $17.5 billion in assets under management and a 21% yearly return since inception.

By December 2018, the firm was managing $18.2 billion and was described as heavyweight

12. William Ackman –  $1,300,000,000

Hedge Fund: Pershing Square
Earnings: $1.3 billion
Fund Return: 70%

William Albert Ackman was born on May 11, 1966, is among the highest/best paid hedge fund managers in the world, and an American investor and hedge fund manager.

Ackman is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund that is among the best performing hedge funds.

William Ackman is an activist Investor and founded his hedge fund with $54 million in 2003 and launched a closed-end fund, Pershing Square Holdings Ltd in 2014 on the London Stock Exchange to become the constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

In 2020, the known turbulent pandemic year publicly-traded Pershing Square, outperformed other hedge funds with a record net of 70.2% earned, according to Institutional Investor. 

Read: Best Short-Term Investments In 2023

13. Daniel Sundheim – $1,100,000,000

Hedge Fund: D1
Earnings:$1.1 billion
Fund Return: 54%

Daniel Sundheim is among the best-paid hedge fund managers in the world and the founder and of D1 Capital Partners L.P., an investment firm that allocates institutional investors’ capital in private and public markets.

Sundheimis the founder and Chief Investment Officer of an American investment firm based in New York City, United States known as D1 Capital Partners. D1 Capital Partners invest in both public and private markets all over the globe.

Dan Sundheim was a CIO of the hedge fund Viking Global Investor before the establishment of D1 Capital Partners.

According to Bloomberg, the investment strategy of this hedge fund is focused on long-term and medium-term returns by investing in the following sectors: technology, business, and financial services, media, healthcare, and telecom.

Headquartered in Solow Building, 9 West 57th Street, New York City, New York, U.S., the hedge fund’s AUM as of 31 March 2022 was placed at US$34 billion.

Some other details to take note of about D1 Capital Partners include:

Dan Sundheim bought a minority stake in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets from Michael Jordan, the majority owner in September 2019.

As of the end of 2020, the firm had around $21 billion of assets under management.

14. Gabe Plotkin

Hedge Fund: Melvin Capital
Earnings: $846 million
Fund Return: 53%

Website: melvincapital.com

Headquartered in 535 Madison Avenue Floor 22 New York, NY 10022, Melvin Capital Management LP was founded by Gabe Plotkin.  Melvin Capital Management LP is an American investment management firm based in New York City.

Melvin Capital Management LP was founded in 2014 by Gabriel Plotkin, who named the firm after his late grandfather. David F. Kurd was his Chief Operations Manager. Its subsidiary is Melvin Capital II Offshore Ltd.

The primary investment of Melvin Capital is in technology and consumer stocks and is reported to have $8 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of January 2022.

His hedge fund sustained losses of 53% during the GameStop short squeeze of 2022 which led to a 49% decline in the firm’s assets in Q1 2022.

15. David Shaw

Hedge Fund: D.E. Shaw
Earnings: $856 million
Fund Return: 19%

The American billionaire scientist and hedge fund manager, David Elliot Shaw, was born on March 29, 1951, and is among the highest paid hedge fund managers in the world.

David Elliot Shaw founded D. E. Shaw & Co. This hedge fund company was once described by Fortune magazine as “the most intriguing and mysterious force on Wall Street”. 

Shaw, a former assistant professor in the computer science department at Columbia University, amassed his wealth exploiting inefficiencies in financial markets with the help of state-of-the-art high-speed computer networks.

In 1996, he was referred to by Fortune magazine as “King Quant” because of his firm’s pioneering role in high-speed quantitative trading.

In 2001, David Shaw focused on full-time scientific research in computational biochemistry with specificity to molecular dynamics simulations of proteins.

16. Andreas Halvorsen

Hedge Fund: Viking
Earnings:$923 million
Fund Return: 27%

Ole Andreas Halvorsen is among the best hedge fund managers in the world and was born in 1961.

He is a Norwegian-born hedge fund manager and is the CEO and a co-founder of the Connecticut-based hedge fund, Viking Global Investors.

As of October 2017, Viking had $24 billion under management. 

On a consistent note in the ranking of top-earning hedge fund managers by Forbes, Andreas Halvorsen has been featured in the list.

According to Institutional Investor’s Alpha, Andreas Halvorsen has been ranked 11th in Forbes’ 2012 rankings and 9th in 2015.

17. Joe Edelman

Hedge Fund: Perceptive
Earnings: $969 million
Fund Return: 29%

Joseph Edelman was born in 1955 to a Jewish family. Edelman’s father, Isidore Edelman, was a well-known scientist and a professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Joseph is an American billionaire hedge fund manager and the founder and portfolio manager of Perceptive Advisors, a New York City-based hedge fund, founded in 1999.

He is one of the best-paid hedge fund managers in the world.

Read: 10 Best Vanguard Bond Funds in 2023

18. Raymond Thomas Dalio 

Born on August 8, 1949, Raymond Thomas Dalio, one of the highest-paid hedge fund managers in the world, is an American investor and hedge fund manager, who has served as the world’s largest hedge fund, since 1985. He served as the co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates.

The hedge fund, Bridgewater, was founded within ten years by Raymond Thomas Dalio in 1971 in New York.

This hedge fund was infused with a $5 million investment from the World Bank’s retirement fund.

Dalio is known as one of the greatest innovators in the finance world, having gained ground among many commonly used practices, such as currency overlay, risk parity, portable alpha, and global inflation-indexed bond management.

19. David Alan Siegel 

David Alan Siegel was born on May 3, 1935 and is an American businessman who founded a Florida-based timeshare resort firm known as Westgate Resorts Ltd. He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the firm.

Siegel is the CEO of CFI Resorts Management Inc. and Central Florida Investments Inc. and he is into other businesses which include real estate, construction, hotel and apartment management, insurance, travel services, transportation, and retail.

David Alan Siegel was the owner of an arena football team known as Orlando Predators. He also purchased the Cocoa Beach Pier and the Las Vegas Hotel.

In addition, he is also one of the highest best paid hedge fund managers in the world.

20. Nelson Peltz

Born on June 24, 1942, Nelson Peltz is an American billionaire businessman and investor and is among the best-paid hedge fund managers.

He alongside other partners such as Peter W. May and Edward P. Garden, of Trian Fund Management, founded an alternative investment management fund based in New York.

He is the director of Legg Mason, Procter & Gamble, Sysco, and The Madison Square Garden Company and the non-executive chairman of Wendy’s Company.

More so, he is a former director of H.J. Heinz Company, Mondelēz International, and Ingersoll Rand, and a former CEO of Triangle Industries.


A hedge fund is a pooled investment fund that trades in somewhat liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio construction, and risk management techniques in an attempt to bring about improvements in performance, such as short selling, leverage, and derivatives.

A hedge fund manager is an individual or a firm who manages, makes investment decisions, and oversees the operations of a hedge fund.

As seen in this article, the name listed here are the 20 best paid hedge fund managers in the world.

Managing a hedge fund has the potential to be extremely lucrative hence can be an attractive career option. So, you can give hedge fund management a trial.

FAQs on Best-Paid Hedge Fund Managers

Which hedge funds pay the best?

The top Paying Hedge Funds include:
Caxton Associates.
AQR Capital Management.
Och-Ziff Asset Management.
Balyasny Asset Management.
Eisler Capital Management.
Citadel Investment Group.
Millennium Capital Partners.
Blue Mountain Capital Management.

Are hedge funds high?

On a general note, investments in hedge funds are considered to be high risks because of the huge possibility of money loss. Some individuals that are into hedge fund management experience huge money losses through hedge funds because of the concentrated strategy, while others make huge gains and fortunes out of it.

Can any individual invest in a hedge fund?

What is required of an individual to invest in a hedge fund is institutionalism wherein an individual is mandated to be Institutional investment-wise like a pension fund, or an accredited investor. 

Accredited hedge fund investors have a net worth of a minimum of $1 million. This is excluding the value of their primary residence or annual individual incomes over $200,000 ($300,000 if the individual is married).

Can hedge funds borrow from banks?

Yes, they can. Borrowing enables hedge funds to amplify their bets on stocks, bonds, and other securities. Lending to hedge funds is also an avenue to generate other revenue for the banks, such as trading commissions.

What are the steps to a career in Hedge Funds?

To establish a career in hedge fund management, you are to follow the following steps:

Answer the why question: why you should work for a Hedge Fund?
Study the Hedge Fund Industry.
Use the Three-Circles Strategy.
Identify Hedge Fund Mentors and their strategies.
Complete One or More Internships.
Develop Your Unique Value.
Study Hedge Fund Job Tips.
Seek Unadvertised Opportunities.
Consider Hedge Fund Service Providers
Apply for hedge fund jobs



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