ESMA Work Programme Provides Hedge Fund Managers with Key Guidance About E.U. Financial Services Legislation

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2016 Work Programme (Program), setting out for hedge fund managers and other market players its key priorities and planned activities in the E.U. financial services arena for next year.  The Program represents the first phase of ESMA’s Strategic Orientation 2016-2020 and sees the supervisory body shift its attention away from rulemaking, toward implementation of the single rulebook and enhancement of supervisory convergence among the various national financial services regulators across Europe.  The Program also highlights for hedge fund managers areas where ESMA will work with international organizations, European regulators and third-country supervisory authorities.  It affords hedge fund managers and other market participants more granular insight into the supervisor’s work plans.  See also “ESMA Chair Highlights Upcoming Focus on Supervisory Convergence,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 38 (Oct. 1, 2015).  In particular, it identifies specific guidance, advice and measures that will be promulgated in the upcoming year under the European financial markets regime that will affect hedge fund managers’ operations, in areas including reporting requirements, clearing obligations and European investment fund legislation.  This article summarizes the key provisions of the Program.  For more on European supervisory initiatives, see “European Regulator Issues Guidance to Market Participants on Penalties for Settlement Failures,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 38 (Oct. 1, 2015); and “European Commissioner Calls for Economic and Regulatory Coordination,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 39 (Oct. 8, 2015).

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