Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Lobbying campaign by hedge funds not declared in Commission register

According to eFinancialCareers "it emerged yesterday that the Alternative Investment Management Association is paying Finsbury €1m to lobby against the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ Directive."

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the main lobby group for the hedge fund industry in Europe, vigorously opposes the very modest light-touch regulation of the proposed EU directive. AIMA's lobby campaign to further weaken the directive will now be boosted by lobby consultancy firm Finsbury, but none of this will be visible in the Commission's lobby disclosure register. Both AIMA and Finsbury make use of the voluntary nature of the register to simply opt out. The fightback by vested interests against the proposed investment fund directive is one of the biggest lobbying battles of the last years. The failure of the Commission's register to throw light on who's involved in this lobbying, on whose behalf and with what financial resources reflects at least two major shortcomings:
- lobby transparency must become mandatory
- consultancies lobbying for industry clients should be obliged to report more frequently than the current yearly update, so new clients appear in the register when the lobbying is happening, not years after

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