Alternative Investment Management Association
“We welcome the publication of the Turner Review, which is an impressive and comprehensive piece of work. It is about the banking system’s role in the current financial crisis and as such its principal focus is the banks, not the hedge fund industry. We are grateful to Lord Turner for his even-handed and measured approach and for not making hedge funds the scapegoat for this crisis.
The Review says that regulators and central banks need to gather better macro-prudential information on hedge fund activities and we completely support this – in fact we called, in our new policy platform of the 24th February, for the disclosure of systemically significant information by hedge fund managers to their national regulators (not all assets are managed in a collective fund structure). We also called for a global manager authorisation and supervision template on the FSA model. AIMA took the lead on behalf of the hedge fund industry globally in these respects.
We are glad that the Review points out that hedge fund leverage “is typically well below that of banks – about two to three on average” compared with levels of up to 50 times with some of the banks; and that “hedge funds in general are not today bank-like in their activities”.
Given those qualifications, we do appreciate why in the interests of financial stability the Review says that regulators need the power to apply appropriate prudential regulation to hedge funds if they judge that their activities have become bank-like in importance.
We note that any such regulation is hypothetical at present (the Review talks of “if it ever did become appropriate” to do this) and we are glad that Lord Turner has stressed that any regulation in this respect should focus on economic substance not legal form.”
Andrew Baker, Chief Executive of AIMA
London, 18th March 2009