February 5, 2009

Proposed bill would force hedge fund transparency

Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., have introduced a bill that could require private funds with $50 million or more in assets to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Private Equity International, a financial information group dedicated to global alternative assets. The bill proposes several changes to the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Funds will be exempted from registering as investment companies if they register with the SEC and file an information form each year.

The information form would require funds to disclose the name and address of each owner, primary accountant and primary broker of the fund; an explanation of the structure of ownership in the fund; information on any affiliation that the fund has with another financial institution; a statement of any minimum investment commitment required of a limited partner; the total number of any limited partners; and the current value of the assets of the fund and any assets under management by the fund. The public will be able to search this information in an electronic format at no charge.

The bill would require funds to set up anti-money laundering programs, and to report any suspicious transactions.

You can find full text of the proposed bill at thomas.loc.gov.

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