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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Time may be running short for policy makers globally to redefine the industry

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This article was written by Craig Asche, Executive Director of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA).

We are well over a month into the New Year and still significant uncertainties overhang the financial industry in general and the alternative investment community specifically.

In Europe, institutions still lack clarity on a number of critical issues surrounding the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive. With Spain having assumed the Presidency of the European Union at the beginning of 2010, and despite an optimistic assessment of progress from the outgoing Swedes, significant divisions remain on a number of key issues. These include such fundamental questions as what rules will govern registration and authorization; what institutions will be allowed to take customer deposits and what reporting requirements will they be subject to in order to properly monitor systemic risk; what models, frequency, and independence of valuation are appropriate; whether remuneration should follow that of the banking sector or be adjusted to reflect the unique structural differences in the AI industry; and how will funds domiciled within and without be allowed to market themselves in the EU?

In the US, in addition to much of the above, financial institutions are uncertain in what businesses they will be allowed to compete. Senior advisors within the Obama administration, including ex- Fed chairman Paul Volcker in his current ......................

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