EU Markets Chief Blasts 'Rearguard Lobbying' By Hedge Funds

Apr 3 2012 | 2:16am ET

Europe's top financial cop reacted angrily to new complaints about impending European Union hedge fund regulation from the alternative investments industry.

The Alternative Investment Management Association warned yesterday that the European Commission's draft for enforcing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive "diverges" from the line suggested by the European Securities and Markets Authority and would be "extremely problematic." Once again, the lobbying group warned that the rules could close Europe to foreign hedge funds.

But Michel Barnier, the EU's financial markets commissioner, would have none of it, saying that the EC "worked very closely with ESMA" on the 110-page draft while blasting the "rearguard lobbying" by AIMA.

"Despite the pressure from those trying to reopen old issues, we won't abandon our efforts to ensure that all financial actors, be they banks or hedge funds or other financial institutions, are appropriately regulated," Barnier said. "I will not be intimidated by those trying to undermine the real progress we are making."

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