U.K. Hedgies Risk Courting U.S. Trouble

All that U.S. business could come back to haunt you.

U.K. hedge fund managers, beware: All that U.S. business could come back to haunt you. Robert Kelly of Baronsmead, a hedge fund insurer, warned in a Telegraph interview that U.K. managers that deal heavily in the U.S. could earn an involuntary trip to America if they run afoul of regulations as the result of a new extradition treaty. These managers, Kelly says, “couldn’t be more at risk unless they moved” to the U.S. An estimated 165 British hedge fund managers reportedly have registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which Kelly says is “red hot on fraud and insider trading.” The U.S. has yet to ratify the 2002 Extradition Treaty, reports The Telegraph, but, Kelly notes, “The fact that they have a number of people already in that waiting line makes the risk very credible.” Painting a bleak picture of what could happen if a U.K. hedgie gets nabbed, Kelly explains, “A London manager will be tried in a U.S. court, as a foreign national. As a foreign national, you don’t get remanded on bail because of the risk of flight; you get remanded in prison.” The Telegraph, citing one hedge fund manager, estimates that about 50 of London’s 1,050 hedge funds have a “pure” U.S. focus with another approximately 150 involved in the U.S. markets because their funds are global.