Church opposes hedge fund reform

| October 7, 2009 | 0 Comments
Church opposes hedge fund reform

The Church of England has spoken out in support of hedge funds and has expressed concern that EU proposals to tighten hedge fund regulation could damage its investments.

The Church Commissioners, who manage the Church’s £4.4 billion assets, said the European Union directive would limit their ability to make money for the Church.

In a letter to the House of Lords, signed jointly with five other charitable foundations, the Church Commissioners warned that the Alternative Investment Directive would have “serious” and “unintended” consequences.

“We are concerned that the directive as currently drafted will significantly restrict our ability to generate funds to pursue our charitable missions and thus reduce our impact for public good,” the letter said.

“The directive as currently drafted will severely restrict our access both to non-EU funds and to non-EU fund managers.

“This will impact access to private equity funds and to hedge funds.”

The letter points out that 95% of global hedge funds are currently not domiciled in the EU or have non-EU managers.

Restricting access to non-EU hedge funds would “limit the scope and potential return of our investment portfolio,” the Church Commissioners said.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the “unreal” mindset of bankers and called on the financial services sector to repent.

Last year, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, said short-selling shares - a common practice among hedge fund managers - is equivalent to bank robbery.

Tags: Church of England, , , financial sector,

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