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Alternative Market Briefing

Merlin issues a twelve-point guideline to hedge fund best practice

Monday, May 24, 2010

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London:

Things have changed so much in the hedge fund world since 2008; not just the performance which can be lukewarm at times, and the assets which have become a little more difficult to raise. It is also the way to conduct business that has changed and that is continuing to change.

For a start, the crisis and its subsequent liquidations, gatings and losses made regulators and hedge fund managers alike shift their attitude towards investor protection. Regulators and other official bodies came up with guidelines, proposals, legislation drafts, reform bills. The hedge fund world - including managers, administrators, and industry bodies - reorganised, especially after the Madoff scandal, to better meet investors' new more demanding requirements and regain their trust - through obligatory requirements of third party administrators for example, sets of best practice guidelines, deeper due diligence or escape into safer structures such as managed accounts or UCITS-compliant funds.

Last week was a historical week in that ongoing development of the industry. For one, the U.S. Senate approved the overhaul Wall Street reform bill, which will require, among many other things, hedge funds to register with the SEC. On the other hand, the European Parliament and EU's finance ministers voted to go ahead with the AIFM Directive, which will impose heavier requirements on alternative investment fund managers.

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