Hedge funds are privately controlled and notoriously secretive investment firms with billions of dollars in assets. Here's a document listing all of the income, salaries, and spending for one hedge fund over several years.
This document, provided to us by a source, is an internal spreadsheet from a New York hedge fund called TPG-Axon Capital, showing its income and costs for the years 2005-2010. The firm is headed by Dinakar Singh, formerly a highly placed partner at Goldman Sachs. When shown the document, TPG-Axon spokesperson Mary Lee told us, "The document is not authentic, nor do the numbers make sense." Lee did not reply to a request for more specific details about what was incorrect or inaccurate about the document and its data.
Our source provided us with corroborating documents supporting our source's claim that this document is genuine.
The chart shows the compensation for the fund's three "Original Partners," as well as for its "Investment Team," which numbered in the neighborhood of 30 people during the latter years shown on the chart.
We provide this document simply as an illustration of the numbers behind the operation of a hedge fund, both before, during, and after the economic collapse of 2008. We encourage those of you with financial expertise to pore over this document and leave your observations in the discussion section below. We will note just a few things:
•For a concrete demonstration of why the average American cannot understand our nation's tax laws, look no further than the discrepancy between what this firm paid in taxes, and what the partners walked away with each year. In 2007, for example, the firm's total taxes were $1.67 million, while the total "Distributions" to the firm's Original Partners came to $461.4 million. [Clearly, the firm's taxes don't include the income tax (or "carried interest" tax, which is far lower than a normal person's income tax rate) that would be paid on those distributions. Still, the gap between the revenue generated by the firm and the taxes it pays out as a line item seem jaw-dropping to the naked eye. We encourage any tax or finance professionals to weigh in on these numbers with a further explanation.]
• What could "partner discretionary" expenses—totaling over $1.6 million in 2008—possibly include, that does not fall in any of the other listed categories? (Notice that the "Entertainment" category was not added until 2010.) You'll have to guess.
• The employees were apparently quite well fed. In 2009, for example, the firm spend $837,000 on "Office Catering," in addition to $209,000 on "Pantry Supplies."
• Interesting expenditures for 2007: $17,000 on Parking, vs. $535,000 on "Car Service" that same year; and $33,000 in "Gifts." What were the gifts? Not parking spots, presumably.
• It's not hard to tell that the firm's fortune's declined after 2009. In 2009, they spent $39,000 on flowers; in 2010, they spent nothing on flowers.
• You can calculate a rough ballpark figure for the total amount of money the firm was managing by assuming that total "Management Fees" in a year are between 1.5%-2% of total assets under management. For 2008, for example, that would mean that the firm was managing something like $15 billion.
• We're told that the "2010 Lights On" category is a scenario constructed to discuss how deep expenses could realistically be cut for the year of 2010, when things stopped going so well. It is hypothetical.
• If you have any interesting internal balance sheets you'd like to share, please feel free to email Hamilton@Gawker.com.
[Image via Getty]