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SEC move on asset managers risks regulatory turf war

"The Securities and Exchange Commission’s move to seek opinions on whether asset managers pose a risk to the financial system is raising eyebrows among some fellow regulators, which could spark a turf battle for oversight of the industry, people familiar with the matter said.

"The study of asset managers is the first time the Financial Stability Oversight Council is faced with taking jurisdiction away from one member and giving it to another. The 15-member group is made up of the heads of every major US regulatory body, including the Federal Reserve chairman, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the SEC chairman. The Treasury secretary is head of the council.

"The group, which was formed as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation, is charged with assessing whether asset managers and companies in other industries pose a risk to the financial system. A designation as a systematically important financial institution, or SIFI, for an asset manager would move oversight of that firm from the SEC to the Fed.

"How the asset management issue is resolved could affect other industries that may be studied for SIFI designation, and the regulatory agencies that oversee them, such as private equity and hedge funds. Those industries are mainly regulated by the SEC."

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