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As the US expresses worry about hedge fund protectionism in Europe, domestic regulators may inflict more damage

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From Kirsten Bischoff, New York:

While Tim Geithner has expressed his concern over European regulation that will make it difficult for US hedge funds to compete in EU countries, hedge fund managers in the US are just as concerned about the scope of proposed domestic regulation. The fear for US managers is that the swinging pendulum will be pushed by political agendas and the final regulations aimed at the industry will be more costly than beneficial to both managers and investors.

"The SEC is an agency under fire. You put that together with broad new authority and many people think the SEC will be looking to redeem itself and that may result in overregulation," says Mitch Nichter, partner in the Investment Management Practice at international law firm Paul Hastings.

Most managers are resigned to the fact that hedge fund registration will become the rule. In fact, many have come to embrace the fact that registration and a certain level of additional regulatory oversight may be one of the best ways for US hedge funds to rehabilitate their image.

Although hedge fund performance has been strong over the past year and February brought inflows of $16.6bn (according to BarclayHedge), US hedge funds can now only boast 60% of market share (a number that has continued to decline through the past decade). "We're losing market share," Vince......................

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