AIMA Says EC Ignored Securities Watchdog Advice

Apr 17 2012 | 8:00am ET

A hedge fund lobby group says the European Commission has ignored the advice of the European securities watchdog in drafting its rules for implementing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.

The Alternative Investment Management Association has just published an analysis of the EC’s draft implementing rules for the AIFMD which it says shows “substantial policy differences between the Commission text and the advice provided by the European Securities and Markets Authority.”

AIMA says the key areas of difference include third-party provisions, depositaries, delegation, leverage, own funds, professional indemnity insurance, appointment of prime brokers and calculation of assets under management.

Andrew Baker, AIMA CEO, said: “We urge the Commission to follow ESMA’s advice, which was published after a very thorough and highly technical process involving representatives of the EU’s national regulatory authorities and which we assume is fully in line with the directive.”

AIMA objects to what it says is the Commission’s intention to implement AIFMD “swiftly through the format of a ‘regulation’ which does not allow flexibility of implementation at a national level and is directly applicable.”

Earlier this month, Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, said the Commission had “worked very closely with ESMA” on the draft rules and warned he would not be “intimidated” by “rearguard lobbying” against the new directive.

“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 in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg on April 2. “I will not be intimidated by those trying to undermine the real progress we are making.”

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