The volumes you could fill with criticism and praise of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act… well, it would be almost as long as the bill itself. Much has been made of how complex and expensive the new regulations will be for businesses – and for those who still aren’t sure quite what the law contains, Businessweek has a great interactive graphic breaking down many of the highlights.
But despite all the arguing, Dodd-Frank has been steadily coming into full effect. Rather than just arguing about how the new rules will affect the financial industry, we’ll soon be able to just watch it in action. In fact, the results of a recent survey are already providing a first look at how hedge funds are reacting to the new rules:
A majority of advisers estimated the cost of compliance with Dodd-Frank at somewhere between $50,000 and $200,000 (with a significant minority putting the price tag between $100,000 and $400,000+) and the majority also put the time required to comply with Dodd-Frank at under 500 hours.
In response to Dodd-Frank, a majority of respondents have: (1) outsourced compliance work, (2) hired additional counsel, (3) instituted new record-keeping policies, (3) hired additional staff, (4) changed marketing materials and (5) changed communication with investors. A minority of respondents have changed their funds’ legal structures in response to registration and disclosure requirements.
The gist of the results seems to be that the new rules aren’t quite as onerous as some feared – though the cost is certainly real. Now we’re starting to have an idea of how expensive Dodd-Frank will be – but will the new rules bring stability the financial system? On that question, the jury’s still out.
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