UPDATE 1-U.S. risk panel to host asset management conference May 19

Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:03pm EDT

(Adds background about debate surrounding the riskiness of asset managers)

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. risk council will host a May 19 public conference to assess risks asset managers pose to financial markets, as the regulator faces industry efforts to ward off more oversight of large operators.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council event at the Treasury Department will feature panel discussions moderated by U.S. regulatory staff, the department said on Friday.

The FSOC is seeking input from the industry and other stakeholders, including academics and public interest groups, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The FSOC is chaired by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and comprises the heads of every major U.S. banking and financial market regulatory agency.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law created the FSOC and empowered it to police the marketplace for possible emerging risks.

The FSOC can designate large financial firms as "systemic," a tag that carries capital requirements and additional supervision by the Federal Reserve. The designation already applies to two large insurance companies - American International Group Inc and Prudential Financial Inc , as well as GE Capital, a unit of General Electric Co .

The FSOC is studying the asset management sector to determine if large firms such as BlackRock Inc or Fidelity could also pose risks.

In September, the Office of Financial Research, a unit housed in Treasury, released a report that found asset management activities could pose risks to the marketplace.

The report has been largely panned by the industry, which claimed it contained flaws and fundamentally misunderstood how asset managers operate.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the industry's primary regulator, also privately disagreed with the report and put it up on its website for public comment. The posting provided a forum for a deluge of criticism from the industry, public interest groups and lawmakers.

Many firms and trade associations have called for the report to be withdrawn, and urged FSOC not to use it as a basis for determining whether asset managers should be designated. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by James Dalgleish and Richard Chang)

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