By Josh Friedlander
More than 35% of the largest U.S. hedge funds lost assets in the first half of the year, making the industry's 4.34% growth rate the lowest sixth-month gain on record. Impressive fundraising from some firms buoyed the total, as beneficiaries from the credit collapse continued to grow.
The Billion Dollar Club, Absolute Return's biannual survey of U.S. hedge fund assets, now includes 268 firms, each managing more than $1 billion, with a combined total of $1.675 trillion as of July 1. Despite an increase in the ranks of this elite group from 246 firms in July 2007, the current cohort manages only $218 billion more than last year's smaller group, a 14.9% gain and the lowest 12-month growth rate since 2002. By comparison, for the 12-month period ending July 2007, Billion Dollar Club assets increased by 48%.
Paulson & Co. jumped to...