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EC To Study Development Of Alternative Investments In Europe

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

07 December 2005

The European Commission has adopted decisions which pave the way for the creation of two advisory groups in the field of investment funds designed to examine how the single market for investments can be improved, and to study the development of alternative investment business, such as hedge funds and private equity, within the EU.

The first group, known as the Expert Group on Market Efficiency will advise the Commission on cost-effective ways to support a more efficient organisation of different stages in the European investment fund value-chain. The Group will seek to determine whether EU-level steps would deliver meaningful benefits, and it will explore different options for realising these and contribute to discussions on cost-effectiveness of actions.

Meanwhile, the second group, called the Expert Group on Alternative Investment Funds will bring together industry experts to report on the current state, structure and trends relating to the EU market for these funds. It will also identify whether there exist Single Market failures that are having a material detrimental impact on their efficient cross-border development.

The creation of these groups was foreseen by the Commission Green Paper on enhancing the EU framework for investment funds. Interested European trade associations are invited to propose candidates by 30th December 2005. The Commission will decide on the final composition of the advisory groups in January 2006.

“We want to maximize the benefits of the Single Market for the investment fund industry," Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy explained in a statement.

"Responses to the Green Paper demonstrate a widespread desire for improvements. Now we must try to find cost effective solutions and signal the way forward in a White Paper in autumn ‘06. I want people who have had practical, front-line, profit-generating responsibility for investment funds to participate in the advisory groups, and to help us deliver cost effective solutions. Once finalised the advisory groups’ reports will be exposed to scrutiny by all stakeholders," Mr McCreevy added.
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