Germany: BaFin fund regulator Bartels to retire
GERMANY - Financial services regulator BaFin has confirmed that Volckmar Bartels, its chief supervisor for institutional, retail and hedge funds in Germany, will retire at the end of this month.
A BaFin spokeswoman said a successor to Bartels had not yet been named but could be prior to his retirement. One likely candidate is his deputy Thomas Neumann, who is well-known in the German fund industry.
BaFin was created in 2002 following the merger of Germany’s regulators for banking, insurance, securities trading and asset management.
One of Bartels’ most important tasks since the rise of BaFin has been the implementation of Germany’s investment law of January 2004. The law spawned Germany’s hedge fund industry by permitting the products to be sold openly for the first time and for them to be domiciled in the country.
So far, the Bonn-based regulator has approved 20 fund of hedge funds and 18 single hedge funds.
However, BaFin has drawn fire for helping to include a controversial requirement into the investment law. Under the requirement, to take effect from January 1, funds based in the country must report every securities trade they make on a daily basis.
BaFin argues that the change would enable it to better guard against abuses, notably insider trading.
However, German fund industry association BVI retorts that the daily reporting is not only excessive from a regulatory standpoint, but also would increase administrative costs for German-based funds.
The BVI is currently lobbying the government to have the requirement removed from the investment law.