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ITG survey reveals concerns of hedge fund CFOs

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Changing financial rules and regulations are the most pressing issue on the minds of almost half (47 per cent) of the Chief Financial Officers at US hedge funds, according to a poll by execution broker and research provider ITG.

The need to streamline compliance processes is an issue for 37 per cent of the respondents to the poll, while 49 per cent cite European moves to unbundle research payments from equity trading commissions as a clear concern.

If Europe moves towards a "hard unbundling" of research payments from commissions, 65 per cent of the CFOs surveyed said they would likely segregate the accounts of their European clients in order to continue using Commission Sharing Agreements (CSAs) for the non-European clients, while 35 per cent said they would consider ending the use of CSAs altogether. 

Some 51 per cent of the hedge fund CFOs surveyed already pay for at least some of their research using hard dollars (i.e. dollars from the fund's management fees, not funds generated through trading commissions). 

Hedge fund CFOs rely on their peers to keep abreast of changes in the marketplace: 45 per cent cited conversations with their fellow finance and compliance professionals as their main source of updates, followed by content from their brokers or vendors (31 per cent) and content from business or trade publications (24 per cent). 

The survey polled more than 40 attendees of ITG's CFO dinner in New York in late June, from funds ranging from USD50 million to USD14 billion in assets under management, representing a collective total of more than USD115 billion in AUM. 

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