CFTC Regulation 4.22 Overview
CFTC registered commodity pool operators have a number of regulatory and compliance issues to be aware of. In addition to a having a compliance program which addresses the business and regulatory issues applicable to the manager, one of the more important compliance requirements is found in CFTC Regulation 4.22 which provides the reporting framework with respect to (i) periodic reports to investors and (ii) annual reports to investors and the NFA. While many hedge fund administration firms provide a monthly or quarterly report/statement, generally those reports/statements do not provide the detailed information that is required for commodity pools. This article provides an overview of the information required to be included in the periodic and annual statements and will also discuss other aspects of the regulation.
Overview of the Statements
Generally CPOs are required to distribute, within 30 days of end of the required period (see below), an account statement to each investor the fund. The account statement must included an itemized “statement of operations” and “statement of changes in net assets” which is presented and computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).
The statement of operations must separately itemize the following:
- Realized net gain/loss on commodity interest positions
- Unrealized net gain/loss on commodity interest positions
- Total net gain/loss on other transactions (including interest and dividends earned), unless the gain/loss from trading are part of a related trading strategy (see 4.22(e)(3))
- Total management fees during period
- Total advisory fees during period (including performance fees/allocations)
- Total brokerage commissions during period
- Total of other fees for investment transactions
- Total of other expenses incurred or accrued by the fund during period
Note: most of the above items must be itemized according to 4.22(e)(1) and special allocations should be noted according to 4.22(e)(2).
The statement of changes in net assets must separately itemize the following:
- Fund NAV at beginning of period
- Fund NAV at end of period
- Total contributions to fund during period
- Total redemptions (voluntary or involuntary) during period
- Total fund income/loss during period
- Total value of investor’s interest in the fund at the end of the period
Monthly or Quarterly Commodity Pool Reporting
For funds which have more than $500,000 of assets, the account statements must be sent to investors on a monthly basis. The account statement is due to the investor within 30 days of the end of the month. For funds which have less than $500,000 of assets, the account statements must be sent to investors on (at least) a quarterly basis. The account statement is due to the investor within 30 days of the end of the quarter. In both cases, a final report for the year does not need to be sent to fund investors if the CPO’s annual report (described below) is sent to pool participants within 45 calendar days after the end of the fiscal year.
Annual Reporting Requirement
The CPO will need to provide, within 90 days after the end of the fund’s fiscal year (or within 90 days of the cessation of trading if the fund closes), an annual report to (i) each investor in the fund and (ii) the NFA. The annual report must be presented and computed in accordance with GAAP consistently applied and must be audited by an independent public accountant.*
Annual report must include:
- Fund NAV for the preceding two fiscal years
- Total value of investor’s interest in the fund at the end of the preceding two fiscal years
- Statement of Financial Condition for the fund’s fiscal year and preceding fiscal year
- “statement of operations” and “statement of changes in net assets”
- Footnotes if required to make statements not misleading (including certain information on underlying funds if the fund invests in other commodity pools)
- Certain information if there is more than onve ownership class or series.
In the event that the CPO will not be able to file the annual report with the NFA within the 90 day period, the CPO can file an extension under certain circumstances. It is very important that the CPO provides the annual report on time or files for the exemption. If a CPO cannot file the report within the time frame required and does not file for the exemption, the NFA will take action against the CPO see CFTC Fines CPOs For Late Annual Reports.
*Note: if the fund is organized offshore then the CPO may be able to prepare and calculate the annual report in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, please generally see 4.22(d)(2).
Statements Required to be Signed by Principals
Both the account statement and the annual report must contain a signed affirmation (usually provided by a principal or associated person of the CPO) that the information contained in the account statement is accurate and complete.
Such information shall include:
- Name of individual signing
- Capacity of individual signing
- Name of the CPO
- Name of the fund
Regulation 4.22 is intricate and there are many specifics for certain fund managers. Specifically, if a commodity fund invests in other commodity funds there are certain rules which I have not covered in-depth in this overview.
With regard to the fiscal year, most commodity pools will elect to have their fiscal year be the calendar year. A fund can elect to have the fiscal year end on a different date under certain circumstances, see generally 4.22(g).
With regard to account statements and annual reports, these can be provided to fund investors electronically (either through email or through a password-protected website). In the event a fund manager wants to provide statements in this way, the manager will need to make sure the commodity pool’s offering documents specifically discusses this possibility. Additionally, the manager should make sure the fund’s subscription documents include a specific place for the investor to consent to the electronic delivery of the account statement or annual report.
Regulation 4.22 is detailed and, for some groups, complicated. The NFA has shown a willingness to send a message to firms which do not follow NFA rules or CFTC regulations. If you are a CPO and have questions with regard to your account statements or annual reports, please feel free to contact us.
Other related hedge fund law articles include:
- CPO Annual Reporting Guidance From CFTC
- CPO Fund of Fund Exemptions
- How to register as a CPO or CTA
- CPO Exemptions
- CPOs Prohibited From Taking Loans From Managed Funds
- Forex Hedge Fund