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Aima to engage policymakers at European Commission hedge fund conference

Date: Friday, February 27, 2009
Author: Hedgeweek.com

Hedge fund industry body the Alternative Investment Management Association will take part in a high-level conference on private equity and hedge funds organised by the European Commission on February 26 and 27 in Brussels.

The second day of the conference will examine hedge funds and will bring together representatives of the hedge fund industry, investors, members of the regulatory community and other experts to consider emerging policy issues.

Aima will be represented by executive director Florence Lombard (pictured) and Christopher Fawcett, former Aima chairman and managing partner of Fauchier Partners, who will address issues such as financial stability, risk management, investor protection and transparency.

The conclusions from these discussions, coupled with the results of an ongoing public consultation on hedge funds, will feed into the Commission's review of the supervisory and regulatory framework for all financial market actors in the context of the global financial crisis.

Earlier this week Aima unveiled a new policy platform featuring a major transparency initiative, announcing it would support the principle of full transparency and supervisory disclosure of systemically significant positions and risk exposures by hedge fund managers to their national regulators.

Other elements of the platform include an aggregated short position disclosure regime to national regulators, support for new policies to reduce settlement failure including problems with naked short selling, a global manager-authorisation and supervision template based on the model of the UK's FSA, and a call for unified global standards for the industry.

In its recent response to the European Commission's consultation paper on hedge funds Aima stressed that the hedge fund industry in Europe is currently rigorously regulated and argued that the industry has responded in an orderly way to the current crisis and not triggered any systemic risks.

'Aima is dealing with policy makers and regulators at a national, European and international level on the future regulatory framework of the hedge fund industry,' Lombard says. 'We look forward to working with the Commission and other bodies to achieve consensus on these major issues and we believe the active cooperation and leadership we are providing on behalf of the industry will prove helpful.

'We think the hedge fund industry is part of the solution, not part of the problem. Because of the essential role that hedge funds play in providing liquidity to capital markets, they will actually play an important role in assisting any eventual recovery.'

Founded in 1990, Aima has more than 1,200 corporate members in 43 countries including hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers, prime brokers, providers of legal and accounting services and fund administrators.