Its been an anecdotal fact of life for some time now, but, thanks to a recent survey, the convergence between hedge funds and private equity can now be quantified. A survey of 123 p.e. and HF pros by the Association for Corporate Growth and Grant Thornton found that the overwhelming majority believe there is now at least some overlap between HFs and p.e., with about half from each group believing it is primarily affecting the biggest firms right now but will continue to grow. But, according to Grant Thorntons Harris Smith, a number of significant challenges may stifle convergence beyond the very largest hedge funds and private equity firms. Both sides point to hedge funds as the driver of the trend, though more p.e. respondents (39%) said it is having an effect on their industry than did HF respondents (23%). Most p.e. respondents (84%) also believe that convergence is driving up the price of acquisitions, which could depress returns on both sides.