Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

Myners sets his sights on EU directive

July 7, 2009

There has been no shortage of people lining up to lambast the EU’s draft directive on hedge funds and private equity.

rtr251dkBut today the UK’s Financial Services Secretary Lord Myners stepped up the attack, criticizing the draft rules on leverage caps and where funds can be sold and promising a blitzkrieg of lobbying.

“It is perhaps easy for other European countries to make political capital out of demanding intrusive regulation of an industry of which they have little or no direct experience,” he told a meeting organized by the Alternative Investment Management Association this morning. “But it is woefully short-sighted, bordering on a weak form of protectionism.”

Declaring that the draft required “major surgery”, Myners set out plans to “leverage natural alliances” and also to win over other countries.

“Officials will lobby in more than a dozen key capitals over the summer. I myself will be engaging directly with my opposite numbers in key member states.”

To add to the broadside, IMA chairman Robert Jenkins said regulators had got the wrong industry.

“When the banks ran out of liquidity, our customers for whom we act as agents helped supply it. When the banks ran out of capital, the funds we manage contributed to the take-up of new debt and equity issues.

“And when, one day, governments divest their shares in the walking wounded of the banking world, to whom do you suppose they will sell? In short, the investment management industry is not part of the problem but we are part of the solution.”

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