SEC Mandates FINRA to Receive Form PF Filings
SEC has chosen FINRA to accept Form PF filings on its behalf when and if Form PF is adopted. As background, on January 26, 2011 the SEC issued a proposed Rule 204(b)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 which would require SEC registered investment advisers to file a new Form PF with the SEC on either a quarterly or annual basis. Although the rest of the proposed rule is still under consideration, the SEC has determined that if Form PF is adopted, investment advisers would file Form PF electronically through FINRA. FINRA currently is the operator of IARD, the system through which investment advisers electronically file their Form ADV and make necessary notice filings to states. If the rule is passed, FINRA will develop and maintain the filing system for Form PF as well.
The SEC initially anticipated that the proposed rule implementing Form PF would have an initial compliance date of December 15, 2011 – this appears less likely as we get closer to that date and plan to provide updates as appropriate.
Form PF Filing Process and Filing Fees
Because the filing system for Form PF will likely be an extension of the current IARD filing system, we expect the process will be substantially similar to the current process of filing Form ADV. Investment advisers filing Form PF will likely have to go through the entitlement process and then fund their accounts with the fees necessary to submit the filing through the system. Managers will have to make quarterly annual filing based on their assets under management. Regardless of assets under management, the filing fees shall be as the same for each filing:
- $150 for each Form PF annual update
- $150 for each Form PF quarterly update
FINRA is the logical choice to accept and manage the filing of Form PF because, as the current operator of the IARD system, they are uniquely situated to develop and deploy the Form PF filing system in a timely manner. The SEC believes that having FINRA expand its existing platform to accommodate this additional filing would be result in greater efficiency for both the advisers and the SEC. However, managers should be wary of the continued consolidation of filing platforms as FINRA continues to move towards becoming the SRO for hedge fund managers and other investment advisers.
The text of FINRA’s letter regarding Form PF can be found here: FINRA Form PF Letter
The text of SEC’s notice of intent to have Form PF filed through FINRA can be found here: SEC Form PF Announcement – IA-3297
Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP provides comprehensive registration and compliance services to hedge fund managers, including help with filing Form PF. Bart Mallon can be contacted directly at 415-868-5345.