France Hopes To Boost Local Hedge Fund Industry

Aug 17 2011 | 12:48am ET

Despite France’s hostility towards hedge funds, the country’s capital could yet become a major hedge fund center, experts say.

The passage of the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Manager directive—including several provisions opposed by the French government—could have the effect of drawing hedge fund firms to Paris. New hedge funds have already opened in the City of Light, and while it isn’t exactly challenging London for the position of European hedge fund capital, the AIFM directive will help weaken the British capital’s stranglehold, French industry players said at a recent Opalesque roundtable.

In addition to the EU measure, France is trying to make itself more attractive. The country has launched a seeding fund to attract French fund managers back onshore, and its regulator is mulling more flexible registration rules.

The Autorité des Marches Financiers has called attracting more hedge fund managers to France a “necessity.”

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