Michelle Celarier, editor, Absolute Return
From the billions of dollars hedge funds made shorting sub-prime to the billions lost in the quant meltdown, 2007 was a year of extremes for the US hedge fund industry.
The year started on an ebullient note, and nowhere was this more evident than in the overwhelming success of the first initial public offering of an alternative asset management company, Fortress Investment Group, which had about $30 billion in both private equity and hedge fund assets at the time.
When Fortress went public on 9 February, its stock was valued far higher than any other publicly traded asset management company had ever been, given the hedge fund mystique and the unique nature of the deal. The offering was many times oversubscribed, and after being listed at $18.50, the stock burst out of the gate at $35, somewhat reminiscent of the IPO performance of internet stocks...