June 12, 2003 -- The new king of Wall Street is hedge fund honcho Bruce Kovner, who pocketed $600 million in one of the market's worst years. Kovner, a 58-year-old political conservative who personally spent $2 million to print a new illustrated Bible, earned the title with uncanny picks all year on currencies, stocks, derivatives and other esoteric financial gambles. Kovner and his $10 billion hedge fund, Caxton Associates, headed the annual list of hedge fund giants compiled by Alpha, a new publication from Institutional Investor magazine. The secretive hedge funds running the show on battered and bruised Wall Street are making huge fortunes, despite the lousy year for most investors. Even in the rough times, the hedge funds did well. The average personal take for the managers of the top 25 hedge funds dropped about 30 percent, to $110 million from $158 million a year earlier. Trailing Kovner was James Simons and his Renaissance Technologies Corp. He raked up personal earnings of $287 million for the bad year. In third place was perennial hedge fund kingpin Paul Tudor Jones II, who hasn't had a down year in 16 years of running his global hedge fund at Tudor Investment Corp. Jones, 48, is spending many of his millions on philanthropy and was a founder of the hot charity Robin Hood Foundation. In fourth place is Chicago's Ken Griffin, with $225 million in earnings from his Citadel Investment Group. Until his recent engagement, the 34-year-old multimillionaire was one of Chicago's most eligible bachelors. He's marrying Ann Dias, who had run her own hedge fund out of Tiger Management in Manhattan.