Number of hedge funds could halve in ’09

Reuters – Turmoil in financial markets could halve the number of hedge funds by next year, and the survivors will likely charge less for their service, an industry executive said on Monday.

Ultra-wealthy investors, who fueled a doubling in hedge-fund industry assets to about $1.9 trillion in the last three years, are now increasingly fearful about hedge-fund failures and pulling their money out, fast.

"I think people are nervous," said Robert Elliott, senior managing director at Bessemer Trust, a New York asset manager that advises clients with at least $10 million in assets.

"They have seen noteworthy blowups and don’t understand them," he told the Reuters Wealth Summit. "Hedge funds could be the next hiccup and people could say this is another example of poor regulation."

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