The free reign of hedge funds may soon come to an end as the SEC prepares new regulations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it expects to issue new regulations in May requiring some hedge funds to register as investment advisors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The unregulated status of hedge funds has for years been a political football passed between asset managers lobbying for total autonomy in catering to accredited investors and consumer advocates demanding additional regulatory oversight in the wake of several disastrous scandals at boutique investment firms.

During a speaking engagement at a meeting held by the Security Traders Association, SEC Chairman William Donaldson downplayed the step of bringing hedge funds into the fold of registered investment advisors by calling the move "a very simple step" and said criticism of the measure "misses the point."

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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