New York, July 8, 2008 — The Absolute Return New Funds Survey, published in the July/August issue of Absolute Return magazine, shows that new hedge fund launches this year in the Americas totaled $19.5 billion, with the top five funds amassing $13.7 billion, for more than 70% of the total. The number of fund launches is down 50% from last year, highlighting the growing barriers to entry for start-up managers and indicating that large capital flows are continuing to go to established, brand-name firms.
According to Absolute Return, 35 new funds began trading with a total of $19.5 billion between January 1 and June 30, 2008. That’s significantly more capital than in the same period in 2007, when 72 new funds launched with $14 billion. This year, five funds were formed with more than $1 billion each, in contrast to three funds that managed to surpass the billion-dollar mark in last year’s first half. Long/short equity funds dominated, followed by funds that invest in mortgaged-backed securities and those pursuing distressed strategies.
The survey also reported that Goldman Sachs Asset Management amassed $8.1 billion of the $19.5 billion total with $7 billion in its Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, an equity long/short fund, and $1.1 billion in Goldman Mortgage Credit Opportunities. The second-largest launch was Conatus Capital Management’s Conatus Capital Partners fund, which had $2.3 billion. Other sizeable launches included Lone Pine Capital’s $1.8 billion emerging markets fund, Lone Dragon Pine Fund, and Highliner Investment Group’s Alyeska Fund, a market-neutral fund that ended the first half with $1.5 billion.
Total assets under management in the hedge fund industry are $2.65 trillion, according to HedgeFund Intelligence.
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