Report: Hedge Fund Industry Shrivels To Under $1T

Jan 15 2009 | 3:03am ET

The global industry is little more than half the size it was at the beginning of last year, according to a new report.

Hedge fund assets dropped 48% in 2008 to less than $1 trillion, according to TrimTabs Investment Research and BarclayHedge. The industry managed just $998.4 billion as of the end of December, the lowest total since July 2004, and down from $1.92 trillion at the beginning of last year. A big chunk of those losses, $148.8 billion, came in the form of year-end redemptions.

But redemptions, of course, were not the only culprit: The average hedge fund lost almost 20% last year, according to several industry indices. And that has left many hedge funds in something of a cash crunch.

“Approximately two-thirds of industry revenue comes from performance fees and we estimate that 81 percent of hedge funds were under water last year,” TrimTabs CEO Charles Biderman said in a statement.

Another research firm, HedgeFund.net, said earlier this week that the hedge fund industry posted its biggest annual decline ever in 2008, shedding 36% of its assets. HFN said the global hedge fund industry managed $1.84 trillion at the end of December.


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