Money managers under the microscope
Starting a hedge fund from scratch has become notoriously difficult in the last couple of years.
Gone are the days, it has been said, when two traders with a terminal could rent out office space in Mayfair and attract a few hundred million dollars. Instead traders are staying put, either in banks (where they can) or in larger hedge funds.
Or perhaps not.
With pressure from French president Nicolas Sarkozy to cut back on banker bonuses, the talk is that talented traders could once again be looking to start up their own funds, where they can set their own pay.
Today the launch of Nexar Capital, a new hedge fund firm set up by former Soc Gen bankers and backed by private equity firm Aquiline Capital, was announced.
The war of words is hotting up in the days leading up to next week’s draft EC directive on hedge funds and private equity.
There has been no shortage of calls from continental European leaders such as Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy for regulation of the hedge fund industry to limit potential systemic risks to the global financial system.
But it’s little surprise that some executives in London, where the vast majority of European hedge funds are actually based, have privately suggested the calls stem from motives rather more mixed than simply wanting better regulation.