Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive: an inconvenient truth

At the time of writing this article, the European Union is battling yet another crisis among one of its members, with the looming bankruptcy of Cyprus threatening to further destabilise the region at a time when it can ill-afford it. As the green shoots of recovery in the US start to bloom — the Dow having reached all-time highs earlier this month — and the Asian engine room continuing to power ahead, Europe continues to struggle under a mountain of sovereign debt and the political discord that goes with it.

From an investor’s standpoint, when compared to the US and Asia, Europe currently represents the least compelling proposition for investment - low growth, high unemployment and increasing geopolitical risk. Will the Euro survive? Is the whole Euro “project” unravelling? And, at a time when it desperately needs to start attracting meaningful foreign investment in order to kick-start growth, what is Europe’s response?

It has forged ahead with sweeping, protectionist, Euro-centric regulation (in the form of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive), which will ultimately make it more difficult and costly for investors (particularly foreign investors) to access European markets…

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