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”End-of-era’ feel for hedge fund sector

Business Intelligence Middle East  – As the eye-popping profits of hedge funds dry up amid the financial crisis, the industry looks set to shrink substantially in its European headquarters of London over the next year.

Discretion is everything in London’s exclusive Mayfair district which is quietly home to a third of the world’s hedge funds, the highly speculative investment vehicles often blamed when markets plunge.

A small brass plaque on a door tucked in between Chanel and Versace boutiques is often the only sign of their existence. But those highly polished doors cannot hold back the same chaos that has swept through the rest of the finance world.

John Godden, CEO at hedge fund consultancy IGS Group, is one of the rare figures in a secretive world to speak openly about the scale of the problems.

He was in the process of drawing up next year’s aims for his group when US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in September, and panic buttons were pressed all over the financial world.

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