Wachtell fights hedge fund activism

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has joined the throng of vocal opposition to a recent ruling rejecting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rule requiring hedge fund advisers to register under the Investment Advisers Act.

The New York heavyweight, which is known for its anti-activist hedge fund stance, voiced its discontent at the ruling in a paper calling for increased regulation of the hedge fund industry to control activist investors.

The firm states: “The transparency and restraint created by the hedge fund rule makes for a fairer fight when hedge funds attack. At this time public companies can only hope that some form of hedge fund regulation persists.”

The statement follows Wachtell founding partner Martin Lipton’s comments to The New York Times earlier this year in which he called hedge fund activism “a terrible thing for corporate America”.

The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on 23 June sent the hedge fund registration rule, which was adopted in October 2004 and came into affect from 1 February, back to the SEC to be reviewed.

The court’s main concern centred around the rule’s classification of investors in a hedge fund as clients of the fund’s adviser.