Brussels, 18 December 2008
Commission launches public consultation on
The European Commission has launched a wide-ranging
public consultation on policy issues arising from the activities of the hedge
fund industry, in view of developing appropriate regulatory initiative. A
significant part of global hedge fund assets are managed and administered in
Europe. This consultation will make an important contribution to European and
international reflections on whether the approach to the regulation and
supervision of hedge funds should be reassessed in light of the financial
crisis. The results of the consultation will be discussed at a high-level
conference in Brussels in late February 2009, and will serve as the basis for
European input into the parallel reflections on hedge funds at international
level by the G20.
This consultation is part of the Commission's comprehensive review of
regulatory and supervisory arrangements for all financial market actors in the
European Union, which is to be finalised in 2009 upon consideration of the
report of the High Level Expert Group chaired by Jacques de Larosière. It
also responds to the recent reports by the European
Parliament, which raise a number of
concerns that have come into sharper international focus as hedge funds have,
like many other financial actors, been heavily affected by the current financial
Commissioner McCreevy announced his intention to launch the consultation in a
speech to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament
on 1 December (SPEECH/08/665).
Issues addressed by the consultation
In particular, views and evidence are sought in the following areas, so as to
guide on appropriate regulatory initiative
- Systemic risks. The consultation invites views on whether existing
systems of macro-prudential oversight are sufficient to allow regulators to
monitor and react to risks originating in the hedge fund sector and transmitted
to the wider market through counterparties, including prime brokers, and through
the impact on asset prices.
- Market integrity and efficiency. The consultation asks whether and
under what circumstances the activities of hedge funds pose a threat to the
efficiency and integrity of financial markets.
- Risk management. The consultation asks whether public authorities
should concern themselves more with the way in which hedge funds manage the
risks to which they and their investors are exposed, value their asset
portfolios and manage any potential conflicts of interest.
- Transparency towards investors and investor protection. The
consultation invites views on whether hedge fund investors are adequately
protected and receive the information required for sound investment
The deadline for responses to this consultation paper is
January 31st 2009. Responses should be addressed to:
The issues discussed in this document and feedback from this consultation
will also be discussed at a high-level conference in Brussels in late February
2009 (programme to be published shortly).
The consultation is available at:
 Report of the European
Parliament with recommendations to the Commission on hedge funds and private
equity (A6-0338/2008) ['Rasmussen' report] and European Parliament report with
recommendations to the Commission on transparency of institutional investors
(A6-0296-2008) ['Lehne' report].