Managed Funds Association Tailors Agenda to Changing Conditions

NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)--Developing sound practice guidelines and educating regulators and the public about the hedge fund industry are the main components of the Managed Funds Association's new strategic agenda.

"The industry is continuing to grow but perception of the industry is at an inflection point," said MFA Chairman Adam Cooper at the association's 2004 Forum, being held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Investors look for certainty and stability, said Mr. Cooper, who is senior managing director and general counsel at Citadel Investment Group LLC, Chicago.

He added that the MFA constantly is revisiting issues as the legal and regulatory landscape evolves. The trade group has organized initiatives on sound practices for asset valuation, disaster recovery and other areas.

"The challenge for the industry is to preserve the legal system that has worked well for hedge funds and their investors," said MFA President John G. "Jack" Gaine. He emphasized that the MFA favors keeping retail business out of hedge funds, and to this end has proposed doubling or tripling the income and assets that investors need to possess by law to get access to these investment vehicles.

But the Securities and Exchange Commission has not picked up on that proposal. The larger funds that are the MFA's constituency prefer to stay in the institutional market. An influx of retail investors would almost certainly encourage increased regulation of the industry.

CKurdas@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Robert F. Keane with questions or comments at:

bkeane@ia-mag.com.

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