Geneva-based funds of hedge funds were especially hard-hit by the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. And two years after its collapse, they're still struggling to pick up the pieces.
Funds based in the Swiss city have seen their assets under management drop by 60% since the week before Madoff's arrest in 2008. The more than 180 funds of funds managed US$14.8 billion at the end of October.
The same funds once managed as much as US$40 billion. A big chunk of the losses—some US$7 billion—were suffered in the Madoff fraud. Much of the rest is a result of investors fleeing the scandal-tarred firms, and funds of funds generally.
Union Bancaire Privée, the private bank that settled the Madoff receiver's lawsuit against it earlier this month for US$500 million, suffered particularly large losses. The fund lost about US$700 million in the Madoff scam and has seen its assets plummet more than 70% through June to about US$17 billion.