Bridgewater Tops List of Biggest U.S. Hedge Funds

Bloomberg – Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates Inc. overtook JPMorgan Chase & Co. to become the biggest U.S. hedge-fund manager, even as the firm lost assets during the industry’s worst year, according to a survey.

Bridgewater, based in Westport, Connecticut, managed $38.6 billion on Jan. 1, down 11 percent from July, according to Absolute Return magazine. New York-based JPMorgan, which owns Highbridge Capital Management LLC, ranked second at $32.9 billion, a decline of 26 percent.

“The bulk of hedge funds were delivering returns that were highly correlated with the market,” said Sharath Sury, chief executive officer of S4 Capital LLC, a Chicago-based firm that advises clients on investing. “So when the markets fell, so did their assets.”

Investment returns dropped an average of 19 percent last year, the most on record, according to data compiled by Chicago- based Hedge Fund Research Inc. Hedge-fund assets shrank to $1.2 trillion at the end of 2008 from the June peak of $1.9 trillion on the market losses and investor withdrawals, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis in London.

Assets at U.S. hedge funds that managed at least $1 billion each fell 32.3 percent in the second half to $1.1 trillion, according to Absolute Return, which is published by London-based HedgeFund Intelligence Ltd.

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