Call it the changing of the guard. In 2011, a year when a majority of hedge fund managers lost money, 15 of the 25 managers who top AR's annual ranking of the biggest earners failed to make the previous year’s list. In fact, eight individuals are making their debut on the 11-year-old ranking, which first appeared in the pages of Institutional Investor.

Sure, the top five earners are well-known names to readers familiar with the Rich List: Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio ($3.9 billion), Icahn Capital Management’s Carl Icahn ($2.5 billion), Renaissance Capital’s James Simons ($2.1 billion), Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin ($700 million) and SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen ($585 million).

Yet all but five of the rest of the top earners are making their debut or reappearing after a one- or two-year absence. Managers such as Centaurus Energy’s John Arnold, Bridgewater’s Greg Jensen and Robert Prince, Tiger Global’s Chase Coleman, Viking Capital’s O. Andreas Halvorsen and ValueAct’s Jeff Ubben — whose strategies are all very different — figure to become the next fixtures in the top 25 ranking as their respective firms continue to grow in size.