E.U. Action Plan to Unify Capital Markets May Affect Hedge Fund Managers

On September 30, 2015, the European Commission (Commission) launched an Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union (Action Plan).  At their core, these measures are designed to stimulate long-term investment and growth in the European economy by improving debt and equity market functioning throughout Europe.  The Action Plan is divided into six sections, embodying the priority action areas identified by the Commission to achieve Capital Markets Union (CMU) in Europe.  This article focuses on the areas relevant to hedge fund managers and others undertaking investment activity in Europe, specifically addressing the Action Plan’s approach to long-term investment, infrastructure and sustainable development; fostering retail and institutional investment; and facilitating cross-border investing.  These sections bring hedge fund managers valuable insight regarding the Commission’s priorities in order to assess their impact and evaluate potential opportunities.  The remaining sections of the Action Plan deal with initiatives in financing for innovation, start-ups and non-listed companies; facilitating capital raising on public markets; and leveraging banking capacity to support the wider economy.  For more on the CMU, see “European Commissioner Calls for Economic and Regulatory Coordination,” in this issue.  For more from the Commission, see “E.U. Commission Publishes Regulations Setting Forth Clearing Obligations for Hedge Funds and Other Counterparties,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 32 (Aug. 13, 2015).

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