December 20, 2016 / 12:55 AM / 3 years ago

UK hedge fund lobby group outlines Brexit wishlist

(Reuters) - A British hedge fund group on Monday laid out its wishlist for Brexit negotiations, with continued access to European Union investors and workers among its goals to limit the damage a UK exit from the bloc could have on the industry.

The Union Jack (bottom) and the European Union flag are seen flying, at the border of Gibraltar with Spain, in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, June 27, 2016, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU Brexit referendum. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The comments came as UK hedge funds lobby the British government to ensure the country’s exit from the single market does not end their so-called “passporting rights” to sell services freely across the European Union.

“The UK industry should continue to be able to access investors and provide investment management services to clients in the EU following Brexit,” the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), a global hedge fund industry association, said in a statement.

After Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23 AIMA said it was in the clear interest of its UK members to have access to EU markets and it would be heavily involved in Brexit negotiations.

“The UK industry should continue to be able to access skilled workers from the EU and beyond following Brexit,” the group said, adding that about 20 percent of the UK hedge fund industry workforce was comprised of non-UK European Economic Area nationals.

AIMA said UK firms should be able to manage EU-based funds or accounts even after Brexit and the UK had to retain the flexibility to set its own domestic and international-facing regulatory regime.

“The relationship between the UK and the EU for financial services should be based on an overarching international agreement based on equivalence and reciprocal non-discriminatory access”, the industry body said.

Appropriate transitional arrangements should be in place while this relationship is finalised, it added.

In July, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said hedge funds from the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong should be allowed to market themselves in the European Union.

ESMA’s recommendation to the EU’s executive European Commission for endorsement was a taste of what Britain’s financial services sector might face after it leaves the bloc.

AIMA said that new UK fund and securitization vehicles should be developed to keep hedge fund and private credit assets ‘onshore’.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay

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