Hedge Fund Lobby Heats Up, Doubles Fourth-Quarter Spending

Mar 30 2010 | 12:38pm ET

With the prospect of new hedge fund regulations in the U.S. on the near horizon, the industry’s top lobbyist has redoubled its efforts—and doubled its fourth-quarter lobbying budget.

The Managed Funds Association spent $1.08 million over the last three months of 2009 lobbying on such issues as requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC, despite the fact that the measure is a near-certainty and that the MFA itself has expressed support, in principle, for mandatory registration. The MFA also lobbied on President Barack Obama’s proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, new derivatives regulations and a proposal that would force defined benefit pension plans to disclose their hedge fund investments, according to a filing with the House of Representatives’ clerk’s office.

In addition to Congress, the MFA spent time (and money) lobbying the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the departments of Labor and the Treasury.

The $1.08 million the group spent in the fourth quarter is more than double the $520,000 it spent in the year-earlier period. It’s also 19% more than it spent in the third quarter of last year.

The MFA did not lobby on President Obama's proposal to bar banks from owning, investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. The president unveiled the "Volcker rule" in January.

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