U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.)—who will be promoted from senior Democratic member of the House Financial Services Committee to chairman following Tuesday’s election—has promised to go easy on hedge fund regulations but scrutinize executive pay and work to create more affordable housing, Bloomberg reports.

Frank has vowed to take a more activist role than his predecessor, Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), on the committee, which oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve.

“A handful of people are getting very wealthy, and a lot of people aren’t getting anything,” Frank told Bloomberg. “And I think one of the most visible signs of that is runaway executive compensation unrelated to performance.”

On the other hand, Frank has said that holding hearings on hedge fund regulation is not a priority. This is somewhat of a departure for Frank, who introduced legislation to restore the SEC’s right to require hedge funds to register with the Commission after a federal court tossed out the rule in June.

Since then, executives in the hedge fund industry have noted that Frank appears to be taking a balanced approach toward them. John Gaine, president of the Managed Funds Association, a trade group representing hedge funds and alternative investments, said Frank is now likely to support a different bill that will require four federal agencies to conduct a study into whether regulations are needed.

Noting that Frank is not a “pro-regulatory hawk,” Gaine said, “I think he’s going to do a careful examination of the industry, working with his counterparts on the committee.”

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.