Money managers under the microscope
NAPF takes aim at EU AIFM draft
The hedge fund industry’s anger at the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive is hardly new now, but there are growing signs of discontent from another group — the pension funds that actually put their money into hedge funds.
Last week we reported USS (the Universitied Superannuation Scheme) and Hermes, which manages BT’s pension scheme, were criticizing the draft laws for potentially limiting their investment choice and upsetting portfolio balance.
Now the NAPF (the National Association of Pension Funds) has written to Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, saying the directive could reduce choice and increase costs, while expressing concern about the model of regulation being proposed.
The hedge fund industry has quickly mobilised itself to criticize the directive and lobby for extensive revision, but, as it found earlier this month when Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the EU assembly’s socialist bloc, spoke at a debate in the City, many supporters of the directive are already fully aware of hedge funds’ opposition to the plans.
While some sort of directive and tougher regulation looks inevitable, the hedge fund industry must be hoping that EU lawmakers will heed more closely the voices of pension funds representing savers across Europe when they decide what rules hedge fund firms will have to play by.