ESMA Executive Director Analyzes Evolving Role and Regulatory Environment for Hedge Fund Managers in Europe

The role of asset managers in Europe and the status of funds under E.U. regulations are changing markedly as funds move into a breach left by the retreat of banks from lending in the years since the global financial meltdown. Regulators, along with much of the public, have moved past a perception of lending by non-bank entities as merely a form of “shadow banking” activity. See “Irish Central Bank Issues Proposed Rules to Enable Private Funds to Originate Loans” (Sep. 11, 2014). Passporting rights have also expanded significantly, although a lack of harmony among different countries’ regulatory regimes remains a persistent problem. These issues were the focus of a talk delivered by Verena Ross, Executive Director of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), at the recent AIMA Global Policy and Regulatory Forum in London. This article spotlights the portions of Ross’ speech most relevant to hedge fund managers operating in Europe. For insight from Ross’ colleague, ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor, see “ESMA Chair Calls for Increased Transparency and Regulatory Convergence As Interest Rates Rise” (Jan. 28, 2016); and “ESMA Chair Highlights Upcoming Focus on Supervisory Convergence” (Oct. 1, 2015).

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