Whit yatt’s that yer aff?
The billionaire’s yacht Archimedes in the harbour at Oban in the West Highlands. Picture by Bill Heaney
I wouldn’t say that being a journalist makes you nosy, but it certainly makes you curious.
And so it was when I opened the curtains of our holiday apartment overlooking the harbour at Oban this morning.
Who in hell’s name owns that, I wondered.
“That” was a super yacht, a private sailing vessel by the name of Archimedes.
A cool 68 metres in length – that’s 222ft – with accommodation for 12 guests in six cabins and a crew of 18, whose living quarters are in eight more modestly furnished cabins.
And its value? A staggering US$ 100 million.
Its owner, who I didn’t see any sign of on the deck or in the private swimming pool, is one Jim Simons, pictured right.
Eighty-year-old Jim’s worth, according to Forbes Magazine, is US$ 15.5 billion.
That’s money he has made as a hedge fund owner and the proprietor of New York-based Renaissance Tech.
The yacht Archimedes was built by Royal van Lent in Holland and was delivered to her owner in 2008.
Her twin Caterpillar engines give her a top speed of 16 knots, while at her cruise speed of 12 knots, she has a range of 6.000 nautical miles.
Archimedes is named after the Greek mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse, known as the leading scientists and mathematician in the classical antiquity.
Archimedes was credited with the discovery that the buoyancy of an object is equal to the weight of the water it displaces, the Archimedes Principle.
Simons founded the hedge fund management company Renaissance Technologies in 1982. Renaissance Technologies has over USD 20 billion of assets under management.
Its most successful fund is the Medallion Fund, which manages USD 5 billion and has an average of 35% in annual returns.
James or Jim Simons is a very active philanthropist. He founded the Simons Foundation, a charitable organization which supports projects related to education and health, in addition to scientific research. He also founded Math for America, a non-profit organization with the mission to significantly improve math education in public schools.
The net worth of James Simons is estimated at US$ 15.5 billion. He lives with his wife Marilyn Simons in a large house in East Setauket, Long Island New York.
Simons also owns a US$ 70 million G650 private jet with registration N773MJ. The MJ refers to Marilyn and James. The jet was built in 2013 and has a list price of US$ 70 million. Simons was a mathematics professor and subsequent chair of the mathematics department at Stony Brook University, never to be confused with Stoney Broke University.
James Harris Simons was born on April 25, 1938 to an American Jewish family, the only child of Marcia (née Kantor) and Matthew Simons, and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. His father owned a shoe factory.
Simons shuns the limelight and rarely gives interviews, citing Benjamin the Donkey in Animal Farm for explanation: “God gave me a tail to keep off the flies. But I’d rather have had no tail and no flies.”
On October 10, 2009, Simons announced he would retire on January 1, 2010 but remain at Renaissance as non-executive chairman.
He was named by the Financial Times in 2006 as “the world’s smartest billionaire”. According to Forbes Magazine Simons has a net worth of $18 billion USD as of February 2017. This makes him number 24 on the Forbes 400 richest people list.
Simons and his second wife, Marilyn Hawrys Simons, co-founded the Simons Foundation in 1994, a charitable organisation that supports projects related to education (one is concerned with autism) and health, in addition to scientific research.
The billionaire lifestyle in Vilamoura, Portugal, but the action it seems for the moguls with the money is not here or Monaco but in Oban and Mull.