European Union Imposes Hedge Fund Regulations

EU Imposes New Hedge Fund Regulations
The European Union is proposing new rules extending oversight for the European hedge fund industry which has close to $1 trillion in assets by some estimates. The European Commission Wednesday proposed new disclosure requirements for hedge funds and private equity firms managing more than EUR100 million in assets. Many had expected, upon release of an early draft, that the AUM cutoff for firms would be as high as EUR250 million. This cutoff means only 3% of funds (accounting for 10% of assets), will be regulated under the proposal.

Germany and France in recent years have railed against hedge funds while the U.K., home to Europe's largest financial center has taken the opposite position. Germany and France, for example, believe certain derivatives and other aspects of financial markets have evolved to become beyond regulators' understanding and oversight. The U.K. for their part, believes stricter regulations will only push hedge funds and other alternative managers to locales with less stringent requirements.

Under the plan, firms exceeding the cutoff will have to register with regulators and provide information on their holdings, fees and the amount of money they borrow to boost their potential returns.

The commission's proposal still needs approval from E.U. governments and the European Parliament. Officials expect continued argument about how to manage the sector.

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