It could take as long as five years for asset managers around the world to recoup the $10 trillion they lost in 2008, according to a report by Cerulli, which calls the global meltdown "of near-biblical proportions."

It took the industry three years to generate than $10 trillion between 2005 and 2008, and only six months to lose it all, with the bulk of the losses in the fourth quarter, the Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2009 report said.

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