Assets held in hedge funds increased in 2009, but it was a small victory in the grand scheme of things for an industry that is losing top talent and had more funds continue to liquidate last year.

Claude Schwab, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles International and head of its U.S. hedge fund practice, said more than 20% of hedge funds shut down in the past two years, as 1,500 funds were liquidated in 2008 and 900 more in 2009. Schwab hedge fund managers with less than $1 billion in assets under management remain “especially vulnerable.”

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