Fund Managers Push Back on Too-Big-to-Fail With Global Regulator

U.S. asset-management executives met with international regulators Tuesday to make the case that their firms don’t pose a risk to global financial stability.

BlackRock Inc., Fidelity Investments and Pacific Investment Management Co. were scheduled to participate in a day-long session Tuesday in New York with officials of the Financial Stability Board, according to a draft agenda of the meeting obtained by Bloomberg.

The FSB, which includes officials from the Group of 20 nations, said in March that the failure of a large asset manager “could cause or increase disruption to the global financial system,” a premise the firms challenge.

Asset managers argue that they differ from banks because their funds aren’t backed by U.S. government guarantees, and fund companies manage client assets, not their own. Clients also direct their own investments and can withdraw them at any time.

In the U.S., the firms are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a group of officials led by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, is looking at ways to increase scrutiny of asset managers and has asked the industry for input on how to judge whether the companies’ activities could threaten the financial system.

The meeting Tuesday was to be held at offices at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

U.S. lawmakers including Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, have questioned U.S. regulators on whether they are too reluctant to disagree with the FSB since they are part of the global group.

Spokesmen from Fidelity and BlackRock declined to comment, and a spokesman for Pimco didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Efforts to reach FSB’s press office after business hours were unsuccessful.

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