The timing of the Alternative Investment Management Association's hedge fund disclosure initiative indicates just how strong the winds of change are blowing in hedge fund land.
Coming just a day after ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet called the credit crisis "a loud and clear call" for extending hedge fund regulation, the move shows the hedge fund industry feels it must be more active in deciding the future shape of regulation.
The move, which will include regular -- probably quarterly -- disclosure of systemically significant holdings and risk exposure to national regulators, goes further than that suggested at last month's Treasury Select Committee by Marshall Wace chairman and Hedge Fund Standards Board trustee Paul Marshall, who had proposed aggregating data through prime brokers.
"The international agenda is starting to gallop away... We can see which way the wind is blowing and we want to exercise leadership," said AIMA CEO Andrew Baker, adding the proposals had been in the pipeline since early in the new year.
But AIMA's drive to do this also serves to highlight the low number of funds that have signed up to the HFSB's voluntary code -- a fact seized upon by last month's Treasury Select Committee.