Global hedge funds took in $16.6 billion in new money in February as pension funds and wealthy investors raced to capture a piece of the industry’s recent strong returns, data released on Monday show. The flood of new money helped raised assets in the loosely regulated industry to $1.5 trillion, the highest level since the financial crisis, researchers at TrimTabs Investment Research and BarclayHedge found. “Money is chasing performance,” Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge, one of a handful of asset tracking firms in the hedge fund industry, said in a statement. And industry analysts and investors expect more to come.

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