Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

All very British

February 10, 2010

The debate over the EU hedge fund directive at this week’s Edhec-Risk conference in London was in danger of becoming all a bit too friendly before one delegate’s intervention.

“Isn’t it the case that you’re all being terribly polite?” she asked, drawing widespread applause from the hedge fund industry audience with the suggestion that most of the panel secretly believed the controversial regulation may be driven a rather sinister rivalry between EU member countries.

The EC’s representative on the panel was forced to defend his position.

“I have no idea of member (states’) intentions,” he said. “(But) I don’t consider myself to be part of a Franco-German plot.”

Whatever the motivations behind the regulation and whatever political manoeuvring is going on behind the scenes, the UK’s FSA highlighted that things could still go badly wrong for London, Europe’s hedge fund central.

“I would not underestimate the significant risks that still exist in this draft directive,” said Dan Waters. “The parliamentary text is very far away from an acceptable position from the UK’s point of view.”

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