Search This Blog

24 Nov 2008

International Regulators to Discuss Short Selling, Derivatives Regulation

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox announced a meeting of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Technical Committee today, Monday, November 24 by teleconference to discuss urgent regulatory issues in the ongoing credit crisis.

"In addressing turbulent market conditions, it is essential not only that regulators act against securities law violations, including abusive short selling, but also that there be close coordination among international markets to avoid regulatory gaps and unintended consequences," said Chairman Cox. "This high-level coordination among international regulators will allow us to review the steps we have taken thus far and ensure that our ongoing and future actions are effective and mutually reinforcing."

The Technical Committee meeting will consider Short Selling and the effectiveness of recent regulatory responses in reducing manipulative short selling without stifling legitimate short selling activity, also explore possible coordination on rules relating to naked short sales, in particular with regard to position reporting and delivery and pre-borrowing requirements.

The teleconference also covers Under-Regulated or Unregulated Products. Development and disclosure principles to promote transparency in OTC markets for derivatives and other financial instruments which will contribute to enhanced investor protection and mitigating systemic risk.

The meeting also will focus on Credit Rating Agencies. Assessing members' progress in adopting rules based on IOSCO's revised Code of Conduct, and accelerating work on developing a common examination module.

Also covered are, International Accounting Standards, ensuring that the process of developing international accounting standards continues to take account of the interests of investors.

GlobeOp Hires Hedge Fund Expert As Risk Manager

Hedge fund expert Tony Glickman has joined GlobeOp Financial Services as as global head of Risk Services. Glickman will report to Vernon Barback, GlobeOp president and COO, and will be based in the company's New York City office. He will also join GlobeOp's Operating Committee.

"Tony's experience in leading hedge funds and financial risk management teams creates an in-depth understanding of our clients' requirements for risk reporting services," said Vernon Barback. "The current turbulent market underlines the importance of risk measurement, analytics and reporting to hedge funds and investors alike. This presents GlobeOp with significant opportunities. We look forward to Tony's leadership and vision in further strengthening our risk expertise and services as the market evolution continues."

Glickman brings more than 25 years of financial market-related experience to GlobeOp. He began his career as a proprietary trader at Bankers Trust and at Chemical Bank. He also served as head of proprietary trading, and later as treasurer and head of portfolio risk management, during eight years with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Prior to and following CIBC, he launched and led funds specializing in bond arbitrage, volatility-arbitrage and global macro strategies. In addition, he has served extensively as a consultant to asset managers, public pension funds, central bankers and regulators on strategic risk management issues.

Glickman earned an MBA in finance from the Stern School of Business of New York University, where he was a University Fellow.

Short Selling Outperforms FOHFs as Investors Withdraw Over $40 Billion from Hedge Funds

According to data released by Hedge Fund Research (HFR), the global financial and economic crises accelerated in October, contributing to continued losses in the hedge fund industry, with the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index falling nearly 6% for the month.

“Performance of the hedge fund industry has declined over 17% since October 2007, making the current performance drawdown the largest in history,” said Kenneth J. Heinz, President of Hedge Fund Research. “The industry has now registered five consecutive months of losses, another inauspicious first. Consolidation is likely to continue into 2009 as investors across all asset classes indiscriminately liquidate assets to move portfolios into cash holdings.”

Investors withdrew over $40 billion from hedge funds in the month of October which, in addition to $115 billion in performance-based asset losses, reduced the industry capital base by $155 billion. Assets under management in the global hedge fund industry declined to $1.56 trillion at the end of October, a level last seen at the end of Q4 2006.

As of the end of Q3 2008, HFR estimates the entire hedge fund industry to contain more than 10,000 funds, which includes more than 7,400 single-manager funds. October losses follow a challenging third quarter during which global hedge fund capital fell by $210 billion.

The largest capital reductions during the month came from Funds of Hedge Funds, from which investors withdrew over $22 billion. Funds of Hedge Funds have underperformed the overall industry so far this year, with the HFRI Fund of Funds Index posting an 18.50% decline, compared to a loss of 16% for the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index.

Performance losses were most significant in funds focused on Emerging Markets, Relative Value Arbitrage and Energy/Basic Materials equities.

Short Selling has posted a strong gain of over 22% for the year. Macro Systematic strategies, which employ quantitative trend-following programs, gained over 6.5% in October and nearly 15% year to date.

Fifty-two percent of October capital outflows were from firms with greater than $5 billion under management; these largest funds represent only 5.5% of the number of funds in the industry but control over 58% of all hedge fund capital.