Including lift-outs and partial deals, investment firms have shelled out more than $50 billion so far this year to acquire mutual fund companies and other asset management firms, in a record 241 deals this year, according to Jefferies Putnam Lovell, a division of Jefferies.

Sales of alternative investment firms account for a majority, 40%, of the deals in the global investment management business thus far in 2008, according to the investment banking firm, which specializes in asset management and financial IT transactions.

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