Assets raised by hedge fund startups in 2009 fell 36% to $14.89 billion from $23.17 billion the previous year, marking the second year in a row that new fund assets declined significantly, according to AbsoluteReturn-Alpha.com’s AR magazine. The amount was less than half of the $31.5 billion new hedge funds raised in 2007, and is the lowest on record.

Although 53 funds with at least $50 million in assets launched in 2009, on par with the 55 $50 million-plus hedge funds that opened their doors in 2008, the average size of the funds fell significantly. Further, only two new funds were able to end 2009 with $1 billion or more in assets, whereas in 2008, five $1 billion hedge funds opened for business.

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