SEC Commissioner Christopher Cox said August 7 that the SEC will not appeal the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Goldstein v. SEC, which struck down the SEC’s hedge fund manager registration rule.
Instead, Cox said, the SEC is moving aggressively on an agenda of rulemaking and staff guidance “to address the legal consequences from the invalidation of the rule.” Among the significant new proposals, he said, will be a new anti-fraud rule under the Investment Advisers Act that would have the effect of ‘looking through’ a hedge fund to its investors. This would reverse the side effect of the Goldstein decision that the anti-fraud provisions of the Act apply only to ‘clients’ as the court interpreted that term, and not to investors in the hedge fund.
Hedge funds today remain subject to SEC regulations and enforcement under the antifraud, civil liability, and other provisions of the federal securities laws, Cox said. “The SEC will continue to vigorously enforce the federal securities laws against hedge funds and hedge fund advisers who violate those laws,” pledged Cox. “Hedge funds are not, should not be, and will not be unregulated.”
…According to Barclays Global Investors, exchange traded fund flows surged in June as investors poured $9.7 billion into ETFs, following a contribution of $7.1 in May. Total U.S. ETF funds reached $340.5 billion as of the end of June; as of the end of June 2005, the total was $243.0 billion.
…Fidelity Investments announced that its Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund has received more than $8.3 billion in contributions from more than 39,000 donors since its inception in 1991, and that the donor advised fund has made more than $6 billion in grants to charities, including $945 million in the year ended June 30, 2006. Fidelity said that the Fund’s donors have granted 27% to support community and human services organizations, 33% to religious organizations, 25% to education, 7% to the arts, 6% to health and medical research, and 2% to environmental causes.
…Legg Mason announced in July that it will streamline its mutual fund offerings, “principally by merging certain of its U.S.-domiciled mutual funds as well as liquidating or reassigning certain funds. Most of the former Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers mutual funds will be re-branded Legg Mason Partners Funds. Selective mergers involving the Legg Mason fund family will also be pursued.” Under the plan, the number of open-ended funds across both families will be reduced from 166 to 119.
…Bob Doll, president and CIO of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, predicted in his annual mid-year update on the markets and the economy that the equity markets may struggle for another few months, but stock prices should rally before year-end as economic growth moderates and fears of further rate tightening by the Fed diminishes. In a July 24 conference call, Doll said that “conditions for a mid-cycle economic slowdown are clearly in place, with several quarters of slower growth likely to come.”
…Ameriprise will provide its 10,500 advisors with access to Albridge Solutions Inc.’s enterprise data, portfolio accounting, and performance reporting platform, expanding on a 2004 agreement which covered Albridge’s core wealth reporting application.