Tags: hedge | funds | lobbyists

Facing Scrutiny, Hedge Funds Hire Lobbyists

Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 09:22 AM

By Dan Weil

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When a major industry faces increased regulation from Washington, what’s the first thing it must do?

Hire lobbyists, of course. And that’s exactly the script being followed by the hedge fund industry.

The industry’s trade group, The Managed Funds Association (MFA), spent $750,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of this year, according to filings listed on OpenSecrets.org.

The MFA is expected to exceed last year’s lobbying expenditure of $2.5 million, Crain’s New York Business reports.

It recently hired big-time lobbyists Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to handle its relations with the federal government, Crain’s reports.

Brownstein Hyatt, based in Denver, already represents private equity titan Apollo Management and hedge fund heavy Citadel Investments.

The lobbying firm certainly has a lot to do. The hedge fund industry faces at least three bills in Congress to restrict its practices.

These include The Hedge Fund Transparency Act, which would make hedge funds register with the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Prevent Excessive Speculation Act, which would limit the funds’ use of derivatives; and the Fund Adviser Registration Act, which would require hedge fund managers to register as investment advisors.

Ironically enough, while Congress considers moves to rein in hedge funds, they’re returning to health.

At least eight new funds expect to raise more than $250 million each this year, brokers who provide credit and lend securities to managers tell Bloomberg.

“The fear seems to be over,” Jayesh Punater, chief executive officer of Gravitas Technology, tells Bloomberg.

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