Hedge fund industry employs 300,000 globally: -AIMA

LONDON (Reuters) - The secretive $1.8 trillion hedge fund industry is calculated to employ an estimated 300,000 people worldwide, research from industry body the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) showed on Friday.

The data, based on a survey of the group’s members, shows hedge funds directly employ 100,000 people, while a further 200,000 people are employed indirectly in roles such as administrators, lawyers and accountants, AIMA said in a statement on Friday.

The U.S.’s dominance of the industry is underlined with 80 percent of jobs being located in North America, while 50,000 are in Europe and 10,000 in Asia Pacific.

The data on the opaque industry comes after a lengthy battle by the hedge fund industry against proposals for tough European rules on managers, in which the industry -- often the target of criticism by politicians -- has sought to emphasize its economic benefits.

AIMA has more than 1,200 corporate members worldwide.

Reporting by Laurence Fletcher, editing by Sinead Cruise and Will Waterman