As the Securities and Exchange Commission grapples with the question of how much transparency is needed in hedge funds, the industry nearly reached the $750 billion mark worldwide, Reuters reports.

Citing the research firm Tass, which is owned by Tremont Capital Management, reports indicate the industry grew by $60 billion in net assets in 2003, nearly four times as much as the $16.3 billion growth in inflows the industry saw the previous year.

Hedge funds took center stage during the early months of last year, as regulators held a roundtable ( see MME 5/26/03) to discuss the product’s appropriateness for retail investors and its lack of transparency . The SEC commented at the time that the hedge fund industry was too big for the SEC to know so little about it.

Well, it continued to grow not only in assets, but in number of funds as well. There are now 6,700 hedge funds in existence, 1,700 of those are funds-of-hedge funds, way up from the 5,000 to 6,000 range estimated in 2002, according to Tass estimates.

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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