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The Conundrum of Hedge Fund Definition

By Hossein Nabilou

Abstract

This Article attempts to define hedge funds and to distinguish them from a variety of similar investment funds. After reviewing the hedge fund definition in the U. S. and the EU, this Article argues that the current regulatory framework, which defines hedge funds by reference to what they are not rather than to what they are, is prone to regulatory arbitrage. Even in the presence of a statutory definition, due to the ineluctable indeterminacy of language and regulatory arbitrage problems, borderline issues will persist, which makes statutory definitions of hedge funds neither possible nor desirable. Therefore, regulators should avoid the temptation of proposing such statutory definitions. Instead, they should rely on regulatory discretion within a broad principles-based regulatory framework to do so. For such a principles-based regulatory regime to work, regulators should rely on a functional definition of hedge funds. Accordingly, this Article defines hedge funds as privately organized investment vehicles with a specific fee structure, not widely available to the public, aimed at generating absolute returns irrespective of market movements (Alpha) through active trading and making use of a variety of trading strategies. This functional definition is likely to help address regulatory problems that might originate from statutory definitions of hedge funds

Topics: Hedge fund, Functional definition, Regulatory arbitrage, Law, criminology & political science :: Economic & commercial law [E04], Droit, criminologie & sciences politiques :: Droit économique & commercial [E04]
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1515/ecfr-2017-0006
OAI identifier: oai:orbilu.uni.lu:10993/30567

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