Speaking before students at MIT, billionaire investor George Soros predicted that the number of hedge funds could shrink by as many as two-thirds, the Ottowa Citizen reports.
The hedge fund industry is going to move through a shakeout, Soros said. In my estimation, [the industry] will be reduced in size by anywhere between half and two-thirds.
Currently, there are about 10,000 hedge funds around the world with an estimated total of $1.9 trillion in assets.
As regulators continue to put limits on credit markets, this will add sorely needed stability while reducing profitability, Soros said. Undoubtedly, the financial business will not be as profitable as it has been in the past 25 years. Regulation will certainly make some businesses unprofitable, and certain businesses that rely on excessive leverage will prove to be unworkable.
In recent years, financial companies have contributed as much as 40% of GDP. That was an excess we will not come back to, Soros said. The United States will not have the influence that it has today.