Billion Dollar Club

Top 160 U.S. firms run $540 billion

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But two Europeans head table, according to our latest survey

With the year only half over, 2004 has already made a place for itself in the hedge fund record books, with two European firms - Vega Asset Management and GLG - overtaking their U.S. counterparts to become the largest hedge funds in the world, each over $11 billion under management.

To be sure, the crown is not one that a lot of hedge funds operators - particularly those in the U.S. - admit to caring to win. And for those actively trying to rein in their bulk, any asset