Tom Steyer might not be the most familiar name to the average American, but the man announced in July of 2020 that he would be running for presidential office. For the layman, that brings up a ton of questions, like one very basic one: who even is Tom Steyer? From his announcement, we know that he is a billionaire hedge fund manager. Americans in the finance world will know a lot more than that, but to the average America, Steyer isn't a household name. So, who is this guy, and more importantly, how did Tom Steyer make his money? Who is Tom Steyer? Tom Steyer is an American businessman. He is most well-known for owning his own investment firm. Called Farallon Capital, Steyer and the firm was most well known for taking high risks on "distressed assets within volatile markets." In the public eye, Steyer is also known for his social activism. He's an environmentalist, liberal activist, and a fundraiser for a variety of organizations and causes. How did Tom Steyer Make His Money? And the important question surrounding any billionaire, how in the world did Tom Steyer make his money? How do you actually make that much? As we previously mentioned, Steyer founded his own investment firm -- Farallon Capital. He was able to grow it to astronomical levels, largely from his tendency for "taking high risks on distressed assets within volatile markets." When Steyer left Farallon Capital, the firm was managing $20 billion in investments. Steyer made tons of money off of Farallon Capital, and no doubt makes plenty of cash with his own investments to keep cash coming in. It's likely that his philanthropic ventures also bring in cash, but with Steyer's focus on philanthropy, that is likely re-invested into his nonprofits. What is Tom Steyer doing now? Like we mentioned, Tom Steyer has since left Farallon Capital, and he's no longer in the investment business. Steyer mostly focuses on philanthropy now, starting companies and banks that help underserved areas. Steyer and his wife started a business called OneRoof, which aimed at bringing technology to rural India. They also together founded Beneficial State Bank, which specialized in bringing commercial banking to underserved areas of the Bay City region for businesses, non-profits, and individuals. The billionaire hedge fund manager has also been very focused in political activity, helping fund and create ballot measures for primarily environmental issues. Most recently, Steyer decided to run for the 2020 Presidential Race, where Steyer is focused on bringing "more power to the American people." He previously said that he wouldn't launch a campaign, but has since changed his mind. Steyer is generally highly influential around Democratic circles. Verdict As you can see, Steyer has been all over the place. He made his fortune with his investment firm, but after that, Steyer and his wife have been largely focused on philanthropic ventures, as well as political activism, but largely in a very specific area -- environmentalism.