Hedge fund watchdog highlights key differences between EC and ESMA directives

18 April 2012   Category: News, Global, Europe  

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global hedge fund industry association, has published detailed analysis of the European Commission’s (EC’s) draft implementing rules for the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) which shows substantial policy differences between the Commission text and the advice provided by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Key areas where the EC text diverges substantially from the ESMA advice include third country provisions, depositaries, delegation, leverage, own funds, professional indemnity insurance, appointment of prime brokers and calculation of assets under management.

Andrew Baker, AIMA CEO, said: “This is an exercise attempting to shed more light on the process. We tried not to focus on mere drafting or technical detail here but highlight substantial changes of policy that, if implemented, will have a major impact on the EU and global asset management industry.

“We urge the Commission to follow ESMA’s advice, which was published after a very thorough and highly technical process involving representatives of the EU’s national regulatory authorities and which we assume is fully in line with the directive.

“We also fully respect the Commission's right to diverge from ESMA advice but we believe that, to avoid any unintended consequences, changes should be properly assessed and consulted with the public before any final decisions are made."

The EC is intending to implement AIFMD swiftly through the format of a “Regulation” which does not allow flexibility of implementation at a national level and is directly applicable. The EC gave EU member states only two weeks to respond to its new text.