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Ingraham Speaks On Regulation, Hedge Funds

by Amanda Banks,, London

20 November 2007

Speaking last week at the Hedge Funds World Conference, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham outlined future plans for the regulation of the jurisdiction's financial services sector, and discussed its role in the global hedge fund community.

He suggested that a more streamlined regulatory regime is needed to attract hedge funds and related operations to locate in the Bahamas.

"The thrust now is to emphasize a facilitating and efficient environment, sufficient skilled human resources and state of the art technology. We hope this environment will attract, nay persuade, offshore prime brokerage operations – the backbone for hedge fund management – to set up operations here," Prime Minister Ingraham told those attending the conference, according to the Bahama Journal.

Commenting on the small but growing Bahamian market for services relating to hedge funds, the Prime Minister was quoted by the Nassau Guardian as announcing that:

"Today, I am advised that total assets in the hedge fund sector exceed $1.8 trillion dollars, with some estimates as high as $2.5 trillion. The offshore sector is the most important in terms of domicile, with almost 50 percent of these assets domiciled in the Caribbean."

"The Bahamas is the seventh most popular destination worldwide in terms of assets domiciled, and we boast hedge funds managed here that are among the top 10 percent worldwide in terms of size despite lacking the physical presence of many of the top prime brokerage operations which we would like to attract, accommodate and welcome to our shores."

He went on to observe that there is, as yet, no "clear consensus" internationally on how hedge funds should best be regulated.

Ingraham also reportedly signalled the coming into force in the near future of new insurance legislation, in order to increase recognition of the jurisdiction in this area as well.

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