Tiger 21, a networking group for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth investors, reports that these investors reduced hedge fund weightings in their portfolios from 11% in 2007 to 2.8% in 2008.

Without question, said Michael Sonnenfeldt, founder of Tiger 21, hedge fund redemptions are occurring at an unprecedented rate. “This move out of hedge funds is like an earthquake,” he said. “Our members, many of whom made their money as entrepreneurs, feel that they have been played for a fool by hedge fund managers. They have found there was no harmony between them, as investors, and hedge fund managers. The depth of feeling towards hedge fund managers is palpable.”

Faith in hedge funds isn’t likely to return to this generation. If they deliver strong returns in coming years, perhaps the next generation of high-net-worth investors will embrace them as heartily as they did in the 1970s and 1980s, Sonnenfeldt said.

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