WASHINGTON — Matthew Fink, president of the Investment Company Institute, challenged alternative investments in his opening remarks at the group’s annual meeting, calling for their regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Certain alternative investment products, such as portfolio investment programs — which mimic mutual funds but avoid crucial investor protections — are creating serious and unnecessary risks, he said Thursday. If hedge funds want to offer their shares to the public, they must be subject to corresponding regulatory responsibilities, he added.

The institute recently suggested to the SEC that it review whether these new portfolio investment programs are investment companies within the meaning of the 1940 Investment Company Act.

“The structure of these synthetic fund-like products poses many of the precise risks that the 1940 Act was designed to prevent — self-dealing, excessive-fee arrangements, deviation from stated investment objectives, and abuses in disclosure and advertising. SEC rulemaking in this area is critical,” Mr. Fink said.

He also said he does not support the position that mutual funds should disclose their holdings more frequently.

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