Most Hedge Funds Already Registered With SEC

Feb 3 2009 | 1:48am ET

Hedge funds may soon be required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the move may not have the dramatic effects its proponents are hoping for. That’s because the majority of U.S. hedge funds—managing the overwhelming majority of U.S. hedge fund assets—are already registered with the regulatory agency.

According to Hedge Fund Research, almost 55% of hedge fund firms located in the U.S. are currently registered with the SEC, which has been voluntary since July 2006. What’s more, SEC-registered firms manage nearly 71% of all U.S.-based hedge fund capital, and about 60% of global hedge fund assets.

Most fund of hedge funds assets—nearly two-thirds, according to HFR—is also managed by SEC-registered firms.

Under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week, hedge funds would once again be required to register—a policy supported by top members of President Barack Obama’s economic team—for the first time since a federal court struck down the SEC’s registration rule in June 2006. That rule went into effect in February 2006. Despite the court ruling, however, many hedge funds remained registered—and others have since registered—as investors, particularly large institutional investors, have pushed for greater transparency. Many institutional investors require hedge funds to be registered with the SEC before they will invest with them.

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