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Hedge fund assets hit $3.8 trillion

Date: Thursday, July 31, 2008
Author: Christine Williamson, Pensions & Investments Online

Assets invested in hedge funds totaled about $3.8 trillion as of March 31, according to results of a survey by operations consulting firm Carbon360 Research. Fund-of-funds assets, including both private equity and hedge fund strategies, totaled $1.32 trillion.

Carbon360 researchers predicted that growth of assets for the year will slow to between 8% and 9% from an annualized 28.5% for the three years ended Dec. 31. Hedge funds and funds of funds will total a combined $4 trillion by the end of 2008, the firm projected.

Unlike hedge fund database providers who base industry size estimates on funds that report to their databases, Carbon360 estimates the size of the hedge fund market based on answers from fund administrators who oversee a larger universe of funds. In addition, Carbon360’s estimate includes about $438 billion of assets managed by self-administered hedge funds.

Carbon360 surveyed 103 fund administrators over the past three months.

Brian Shapiro, Carbon360’s president, said consolidation among fund administrators will increase.

“Continued merger action and private equity-backed liquidity events are expected among fund administrators as many start to experience technology and personnel limitations, requiring fresh capital to keep growing. This is also a case of getting while the getting is good, with the majority of smaller players all hanging out ‘for sale’ signs,” Mr. Shapiro said in a news release accompanying the survey results.