It's fun naming hedge funds. Think of an animal or river or Greek god and just run with it.

But for Alan Ware, finding the right name has become increasingly difficult. He eventually decided on Pike Place Capital Management, named after a prominent farmers' market in Seattle, the city where Ware was born, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

"It was harder than naming my children," said, Ware, a father of two.

That was three years ago, before thousands more people set out on the hedge fund gold rush.

Double in Five

Now, with more than 8,000 hedge funds worldwide - twice as many as five years ago, managers are in a virtual traffic jam trying to find the right name.

"It's nearly impossible to find a name that isn't taken," commented Peter McTeague, who recently left his job as chief strategist at Greenwich Capital Partners, an investment-management firm, to start a yet-to-be-named hedge fund.

Power to the Mighty

The logjam is particularly great among names that convey something soaring, mighty, fast or majestic. Much of the most impressive flora and fauna has been snapped up for hedge-fund names, including Blue Spruce, Aspen and Lone Pine (which, by the by, has also registered Lone Spruce and Lone Oak). Unicorn, Pegasus, Orca and even Ursus (Latin for bear), have also been snatched up.

"I call this the yuck' work of trying to start a hedge fund," said McTeague. "Every time you think you have the right name, you find out is it taken."

(c) 2005 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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