The state of play: In general, there are two ways to become a billionaire hedge-fund manager. The first is to be a pirate — raid the Bank of England, bet on a housing collapse, that kind of thing. The returns on those bets can be so enormous, you can make billions even off a relatively small asset base. Between the lines: Steyer was the kind of hedge-fund billionaire who was quieter, and didn't make big audacious bets. But he was able to promise conservative institutional investors predictably good returns, in both bull and bear markets.