Hedge funds oversee $2.02 trillion, hit new record

BOSTON (Reuters) - Hedge funds are back and bigger than ever. Fueled by fresh investor demand, these loosely regulated portfolios now manage $2.02 trillion, marking an all-time high for the industry, data released on Tuesday by Hedge Fund Research (HFR) show.

The previous record for assets was $1.93 trillion and was reached in the second quarter of 2008.

Investors added $32 billion in new money during the first three months of 2011, sending the biggest amount of new dollars to hedge funds since the third quarter of 2007, HFR said.

For hedge funds the news signals the industry appears to have recovered from the 2008 financial crisis when the average fund lost 19 percent and many managers lost significantly more.

"The current asset level reflects an increase of over 50 percent from the Financial Crisis low of $1.33 trillion in the first quarter of 2009," HFR wrote in a news release.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Andre Grenon)