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HFs Need To Get With FASB Program

In addition to facing new registration requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission, hedge fund managers are going to have to learn to become better at valuing assets, according to the "fair value measurement" guidelines drafted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

In addition to facing new registration requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission, hedge fund managers are going to have to learn to become better at valuing assets, according to the "fair value measurement" guidelines drafted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Last October, the FASB introduced a draft of what it calls the "fair value" hierarchy, whereby hedge funds consider a variety of factors to determine value. For example, the first level involves "quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities in active markets," according to HedgeWorld. Higher levels deal with factors that make valuing an asset more complicated. At the highest level, for instance, hedge funds would have to put a value on a "complicated instrument" that the issuer says was "tailored just for you," says HedgeWorld. Speakers at a recent roundtable in Chicago sponsored by Deloitte & Touche recommended that hedge fund management should document every step of the valuation process, and that it best not go it alone: A valuation committee made up of accountants, the chief compliance officer and portfolio manager will help ensure a more accurate valuation.

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