Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates headed the list of the top 10 hedge fund rankings in America according to a recent survey released by Absolute Return + Alpha Magazine.

Dalio founded Bridgewater in his Manhattan apartment when he was in his early 20s, says Business Insider. Since then, the firm has grown to occupy a 22-acre wooded campus in Westport, CT, and manage $70.3 billion in assets.

Next in line was J.P. Morgan Asset Management/Highbridge Capital Management. The hedge fund arm of J.P. Morgan is headed by Highbridge Founders Glenn Dubin and Henry Swieca, and manages roughly $55.2 billion. J.P. Morgan bought a majority stake in Highbridge in 2004, and purchased it outright in 2009.

Number 3 on the list is Paulson & Company headed by John Paulson, famous for making perhaps the biggest winning bet during the subprime meltdown in 2008. Paulson’s firm manages $35.2 billion using multiple strategies including merger arbitrage and long/short equity. As famous as he is for his subprime bet, Paulson & Co. also picked up another $1 billion via a Citibank investment from 2009 to 2010.

Blackrock Financial Management Inc. sits at the number 4 position. Founded in 1988 by Larry Fink and Robert S. Kapito, Blackrock manages $29.6 billion using multiple strategies. Rounding out the top 5 is Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, founded in 1994 by Daniel S. Och. The $29.3 billion fund firm is reportedly one of the few hedge funds that avoided big losses during the 2008 meltdown. But an IPO launched in 2007 did not far as well – dropping from $32 initially to $4 during the crisis.

The other notables on the top 10 list include Soros Fund Management, at $25.5 billion, which earlier this year returned funds to investors in a transition to a family office. Baupost Group at number 7 with $24 billion. Angelo, Gordon & Co. at $22.2 billion, which has been described as more of a private equity firm that sponsors hedge funds. James Simons famous quant fund Renaissance Technologies holds the number 9 spot with $20 billion in assets under management. And finally, Farallon Capital Management holds the number 10 spot with $20 billion spread among value investments, event-driven, and merger arbitrage strategies.

According to BusinessInsider, American hedge funds have seen positive returns this year. Assets grew among American hedge funds by 8 percent to $1.399 trillion overall, in the first half of 2011, although things may have shifted south given the market volatility and uncertainty we’ve seen in recent months.

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