A shakeout of the hedge funds industry could be over by June 2009, with nearly half of firms likely to shut up shop, a leading hedge fund manager said.

If half were to close down, I wouldn't be surprised. But the nice thing about hedge fund land is that things move very very quickly, it will probably be done and dusted by June, he continued

Hedge funds returns were a negative 19 percent last year, when investors pulled out a record $158.9 billion, according to data from Lipper.

Kinsey-Quick believes that only strong hedge fund models are likely to survive the financial meltdown.

You will have only very robust models -- only the fittest will survive. But there is going to be some collateral damage. There will be some good players taken out, he said.

And he noted that the hedge fund industry was already adapting to meet the calls for greater scrutiny.

Transparency has gone through the roof. Liquidity terms are beginning to match the liquidity of underlying assets, he said.

(Editing by Rupert Winchester)