Europe is divided over proposals to regulate alternative investment funds.
One of the most controversial elements of the European Commission’s response to the financial crisis has just arrived in the European Parliament, ripe for criticism, debate and amendment. Upcoming sessions of the Parliament and the European Council will grapple with a draft directive, put forward by EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in April 2009, aimed at regulating the activities of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM). The AIF Management sector in the EU is substantial, diverse and disproportionately based in a small number of member states (preeminently the UK but also Ireland), so proposals to regulate it were always bound to be politically contested. Indeed, in what looks set to be the latest installment in a long-running feud between the City of London and continental capitals over financial supervision and regulation, protests against the directive have so far been numerous, vocal and sustained. Read the rest of this entry »