The largest U.S. hedge funds launched last year started with "significantly" fewer assets than those launched in 2007, according to Absolute Return magazine.

The funds launched last year with at least $50 million each started with a combined $23.17 billion under management, or 26.4% less than their 2007 counterparts.

Only 35 hedge funds launched with over $50 million in the first half. Those funds had $19.5 billion of assets, including $8.1 billion from two funds that were introduced by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

By comparison, the 72 funds that formed during the first half of 2007 had $14 billion of assets.

According to Absolute Return, the number of new hedge funds last year with at least $50 million declined 32.1%, to 55.

Six funds raised more than $1 billion, compared with eight in 2007, according to the magazine, which issued its results last week.

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