Alternative Investment Management Association Representing the global hedge fund industry
I was delighted that one of my first big tasks after taking over as CEO was to be asked to host the AIMA Global Policy and Regulatory Forum in New York on 6 March. This has for some time now been one of the key regulatory events in the calendar, providing a great opportunity for the industry to engage closely with policymakers and regulators from around the world, and this year’s event was no different.
The leading participants included senior representatives from the IMF, IOSCO, SEC, FSOC, US Treasury, New York Fed, ESMA, the European Parliament, the FCA, HM Treasury, Banque de France, Central Bank of Ireland, Hong Kong SFC and ASIC.
One of the recurring themes was the need to support capital markets growth with appropriately tailored regulation. This is clearly an important and timely issue for policymakers globally.
On 20 March, new research commissioned by AIMA was published that found that debt and equity financing provided by hedge funds and other capital markets participants drives significant economic activity and expansion. The paper, based on original research by two leading academics in this field, Christoph Kaserer and Marc Steffen Rapp, puts a figure on this impact – it says that growing capital markets by one-third could fuel a long-term real growth rate in per-capita GDP of around 20%.
The implication is clear: allowing capital markets to flourish, particularly in economies still regarded as bank-based, could have enormous benefits for businesses, shareholders and other stakeholders in the so-called “real economy” and help to ensure that the global economy is placed on a surer footing for future growth. The research paper and a four-page summary by AIMA can be downloaded from the AIMA website.
The positive “real economy” impact of hedge funds is an issue that I am keen for us to focus on and will be a theme that we return to this year, particularly in the context of discussions on shadow banking.
 Capital markets and economic growth – Long-term trends and policy challenges, by Christoph Kaserer and Marc Steffen Rapp (2014)
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