The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering shifting some of its responsibilities to the states as the agency expects a surge of up to 15% in the number of investment advisors it oversees following Tuesdays passage of hedge fund registration requirements, Dow Jones reports. The SEC voted 3-2 in favor of requiring hedge funds of more than $25 million in assets to register with the Commission in order to allow it to collect more information on the growing investment product as well as have examination authority in that industry. Hedge funds are required to come into compliance as of February 2006. One of the arguments against regulation of the product is that it would stretch the resources of an already overextended SEC staff.
Paul Roye, the director of the SECs division of investment management, said the Commission estimates that 40% of hedge funds advisors are already voluntarily registered with the Commission, but that under the new rules, 8% to 15% more could come under the SECs jurisdiction. Roye said the Commission anticipates being able to handle an increase within that estimated range, but anything greater and the SEC has the authority to send some of the workload to the states if necessary. The uncertainty, however, comes from the fact that the information available about the hedge fund industry to date is sketchy and estimates are not necessarily reliable.