The study by Hedge Fund Research (HFR), reported by CNN Money, said 344 private investment pools went under between July and September, compared to 105 funds in the third quarter of last year.
It beats the previous quarterly record of 267 closures, which was set in the last three months of 2006.
Overall, the number of funds closing outstripped the number of new launches for the first time on record.
HFR said figures for the first nine months of the year show a total of 693 fund closures, up from 409 for the same period in 2007.
If the current pace of closures is maintained over the last three months of the year, 920 funds could close in 2008, beating the previous record of 848 liquidations set in 2005.
HFR president Kenneth Heinz said: "The hedge fund industry is currently experiencing a structural consolidation that mirrors broader trends across the entire financial industry."
According to data from Eurekahedge, total hedge fund assets fell by $71.5 billion in November.