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Building a Hedge Fund Industry in Korea: Issues and Concerns

Warren Park, Senior Researcher and Seonghak Ahn, Senior Researcher
Hana Institute of Finance
January 2012

As evidenced by the draft amendment on local hedge funds and prime brokers that has recently been released for public review, Korea is on the verge of having its own homegrown hedge fund industry. Many of the overly restrictive regulations that had previously stifled the development of Korean hedge funds are set to be eliminated or eased, while other areas have been given greater clarity. Because of these positive steps, many industry participants are sanguine about the potential for the industry, but some of the optimism may be excessive. This article attempts to outline some potential pitfalls for the industry in its early stages and show how financial regulators and institutional investors must continue to play an important role in ensuring that the industry develops in a manner that is not only sustainable but that promotes financial system stability and investor protections.

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