BORIS Johnson accused the European Commission (EC) of trying to “strangle” the City with its draft directive on regulation of hedge funds.
The London mayor said the EC’s proposals threatened to drive alternative investment managers out of the City, where 80 per cent of Europe’s $300bn (£184bn) in hedge fund assets are managed.
Private equity houses, hedge funds and venture capital have put together a fighting fund to lobby against the directive, under the leadership of the Alternative Investment Management Association (Aima).
And Johnson, who met with a group of hedge funds this week to hear their concerns, yesterday threw his weight behind efforts to combat the proposals, which he labelled “badly thought out, or thought out with malign intent”.
He urged the European Commission to “see sense”, or risk watching the alternative investment sector leave Europe altogether.
City minister Lord Myners said earlier this week that the UK would seek “urgent surgery” to the proposals, which include a stringent disclosure regime, minimum capital requirements and leverage limits on managers with assets worth more than €100m (£86.3m).