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The Early Birds Are Awake

Known for being among the first to find talent in down markets, hedge fund seeder firms are striking deals now.

When Dow Kim left his job in May 2007 as co-president of global markets and investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co. to open a New York–based hedge fund, his timing could have been better. Expecting to raise $500 million to $1 billion in day-one money from Merrill — and

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