Hedge Funds

No need for radical change to hedge fund rules, says EU official

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union is not planning to radically overhaul its hedge fund rules given they are already a “success story”, an EU official said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The bloc is reviewing its “AIFMD” regulations for hedge funds and other alternative investment funds.

“On AIFMD, we at this stage believe that there will be no need for a complete overhaul of the framework, we think of targeted adjustments here and there... it’s a success story,” said Ugo Bassi, director of financial markets at the EU executive European Commission.

Bassi also told the online event held by the Investment Association, a UK funds industry body, that the asset management sector overall showed “robustness” during COVID related market stresses in March.

“We have not seen any significant cracks... This means the framework is generally speaking satisfactory,” Bassi said.

Global regulators are studying how to reinforce the ability of some types of funds to withstand stresses better.

Asset managers in Britain manage over a third of fund assets across Europe and the bloc has agreed to allow cross-border stock picking, known as delegation, to continue from January, when Britain will have fully left the EU.

UK finance minister Rishi Sunak told the conference that Britain was determined to remain a global leader in asset management after Brexit.

But the funds sector is worried that Brussels will use its AIFMD review to make delegation harder by requiring asset managers to have more “boots on the ground” in the EU, in a knock to the City of London.

Nausicaa Delfas, head of international at Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, said delegation was a global model that worked.

“We are supportive of the current model of delegation,” Delfas said.

Bassi said the objective was to be as “constructive” as possible with UK regulators after Brexit.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Kirsten Donovan