EUROPE - The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has called for the implemented form of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) to be flexible, proportionate and based on the principles of openness and transparency.
AIMA set out its recommendations in a consultation response to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). ESMA (previously known as the Committee of European Securities Regulators), issued a call for evidence last month ahead of the rule-making "Level 2" of the AIFMD process.
AIMA said it hoped ESMA would implement the AIFMD in such a way as to take account of one of the most striking features of the hedge fund sector - its great diversity.
AIMA said while some of the larger hedge fund firms may employ several hundred staff and manage over $10bn, the majority are smaller businesses, with much fewer staff and managing assets of less than $1bn in many cases.
"Flexibility, proportionality and openness are three key features which the regulation should retain if it is to succeed in delivering the policy objectives while preserving the existing breadth of business models and strategies," said Jiri Krol, AIMA's director of policy and government affairs.
The industry was asked to respond in January to the main issues raised in the document. AIMA immediately established a working group of member firms to study the proposals and contribute to the response.
"We welcome the opportunity to engage constructively in AIFMD implementation and are happy that ESMA is taking stakeholder consultation extremely seriously," said Krol. "We commend the high level of their professionalism in this complicated process with tight deadlines."
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