Tag Archives: hedge fund manager registration

SEC Rulemaking Agenda for Hedge Fund Registration

Timeline for Proposed & Final Manager Registration Rules Released

The Dodd-Frank bill requires the SEC and CFTC to propose and promulgate final rules with respect to a number of important areas for investment managers.   As we have seen, significant time has already been devoted to trying to develop a framework for OTC derivatives clearing.  Over the next couple of months, however, hedge fund and private equity fund managers will begin to see how the registration and hedge fund compliance process will proceed under the new laws and regulations.

The SEC has released a timeline for implementing the provisions under Dodd-Frank.  While the SEC discusses a number of the major rule making initiatives, below we have only reprinted the items relating to investment adviser registration.  We have also provided some of our thoughts on these items.  [Note: section numbers reference the Dodd-Frank act.]



§409: Propose rules defining “family office”

This definition will be important because “family offices” are not required to register as investment advisers with the SEC.  Family offices which manage the assets of numerous families will need to pay special attention to the proposed rule because it is possible that the SEC may not provide such offices with an exemption or exclusion from the registration provisions.

See SEC Proposes “Family Office” Definition on Hedge Fund Law Blog

Novemeber – December 2010 (planned)

§§407 and 408: Propose rules implementing the exemptions from registration for advisers to venture capital firms and for certain advisers to private funds

Private equity fund advisers are going to be carefully reviewing this provision to see if there is any way to escape SEC registration.  Depending on the scope of the definition of “venture capital,” managers to private equity funds may be able to find a way to fall outside of registration.

§410: Propose rules and changes to forms to implement the transition of mid-sized investment advisers (between $25 and $100 million in assets under management) from SEC to State regulation, as provided in the Act

This will be an important provision for a number of managers who are currently registered with the SEC.  Both the SEC and the states want to see an easy and seemless transition from SEC to state registration and there will need to be significant coordination between the SEC, NASAA, the states and FINRA (which runs the investment adviser registration depository).

§418: Propose rules to adjust the threshold for “qualified client”

Changes to the definition of “qualified client” will require hedge fund managers to revise their fund offering documents.  Additionally, currently unregistered private equity fund managers should note that they will be subject to the qualified client regulations (i.e. performance fees or the carried interest may be charged only to an investors who fall within the definiton of qualified client).  Accordingly, private equity fund managers may need to start thinking about revising their offering documents and/or begin requesting more information from their investors with respect to net worth.

§413: Propose rules to revise the “accredited investor” standard

The SEC has already promulgated guidance with respect to the accredited investor standard which states that an investor’s equity in a primary residence does not count toward the net worth requirement.  It is likely that the proposed rules will mirror the guidance.

§926: Propose rules disqualifying the offer or sale of securities in certain exempt offerings by certain felons and others similarly situated

NASAA has lobbied hard to have the ability to have greater control over Regulation D offerings if the promoters of the offerings have previous been subject to certain regulatory or criminal proceedings.  Any proposed provision would likely limit the ability of such promoters to offer securities to investors without first going through a rigourous process with each of the states where the securities are sold.

§§404 and 406: Propose (jointly with the CFTC for dual-registered investment advisers) rules to implement reporting obligations on investment advisers related to the assessment of systemic risk

Investment managers with a large amount of AUM will likely be subject to increased reporting requirements to the SEC.  The SEC (and the CFTC) will likely use this information (potentially in conjunction with other government agencies) to determine the risk the manager poses to the financial system.  It is expect that most, if not all, of the information to be provided to the SEC and CFTC under this provision will not be available to the public, even under a FOIA request.

§913: Report to Congress regarding the study of the obligations of brokers, dealers and investment advisers

NASAA has been fighting for a uniform fiduciary standard for brokers and investment advisers.  After the Dodd-Frank act was signed into law, the SEC solicited comments from the public on whether there should be a uniform fiduciary standard.  The SEC has already received a large number of comments on this very important issue.

§914: Report to Congress regarding the need for enhanced resources for investment adviser examinations and enforcement

The SEC needs more resources.  Ultimately the lack of proper funding for this agency will likely lead to the creation of a self regulatory organization for investment managers similar to FINRA for broker-dealers.  This is a separate subject which we intend to discuss in future posts.

§919B: Complete study of ways to improve investor access to information about investment advisers and broker-dealers

It will be interesting to see what additional information that the SEC would like advisers to give investors.  The Form ADV and Part 2 are publicly available to investors through the SEC’s Advisor Search tool.  Additionally, the SEC recently changed the format of Part 2 to provide more information to investors about investment managers.

April – July 2011 (planned)

During this time the SEC will be adopting finalized rules (taking into account public comments on the proposed rules) with respect to the following matters:

  • reporting obligations on investment advisers related to the assessment of systemic risk
  • exemption from registration for advisers to venture capital firms
  • “family office” definition
  • transition of mid-sized investment buy cialis soft online advisers (between $25 and $100 million in assets under management) from SEC to State regulation
  • “qualified client” definition
  • “accredited investor” definition
  • disqualifying Regulation D offerings by certain felons

Additionally, the SEC may decide to propose rules during this time based on the §913 study conducted on the obligations of brokers, dealers and investment advisers


Other related hedge fund law articles:

Bart Mallon, Esq. runs the hedge fund law blog and provides registration and compliance services to hedge fund managers through Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, a leading hedge fund law firm.  He can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Hedge Fund Manager Registration to Cost Taxpayers $140 Million (at least)

CBO Calculates Cost of House Hedge Fund Bill

This past week the Congressional Budge Office (“CBO”) released a cost estimate of H.R. 3818, the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009.  In a number of private conversations I have had about hedge fund registration over the last 9-12 months one of the issues that was continually raised was appropriate funding for the SEC.  As we have seen recently (most notably from the Inspector General’s Madoff report), the SEC’s budget is not large enough to adequately fulfill their investor protection mandate.  Adding hedge fund registration would obviously further burden the cash-strapped agency (for more see Schumer Proposal to Double SEC Budget).  According to the CBO, and based on the SEC’s estimates that it will need to add 150 employees, the estimated outlays over four years will be equal to $140 million.

However, taxpayers should understand that this assumes that registration will only be required for those managers with at least $150 million in assets under management.   At the $150 million AUM level, the CBO expects that 1,300 hedge fund managers would be required to register.  The current draft of the Senate hedge fund registration bill calls for managers with $100 million in AUM to register – lowering the AUM exemption threshold will increase the amount of managers required to register.  Additionally, there are outstanding political issues.  First, it is unclear whether the final bill will require private equity fund managers and venture capital fund managers to register – we do not necessarily understand the arguably arbitrary carve-out for these industries.  Second, it is clear that a majority of the state securities commissions are unable and unwilling to be responsible for overseeing managers with up to $100 million in assets.  Hedge fund managers who would subject to state oversight would rightly want to be subject to SEC oversight (which does not say much for many state securities commissions).  These issues will continue to be addressed during the political sausage-making process.

Of additional interest – the CBO estimates that hedge fund registration is likely to cost around $30,000 per each SEC registrant which is welcome news to investment adviser compliance consultants and hedge fund lawyers!

For full report, please see full CBO Hedge Fund Cost Estimate.

Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Bart Mallon, Esq. of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP runs the Hedge Fund Law Blog and provides hedge fund manager registration service through Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP He can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Obama Moves Forward with Hedge Fund Registration Legislation

Bart Mallon, Esq.

Treasury Announces New “Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009”

After much discussion in the press over the last 8 to 10 months abut the possibility for hedge fund registration, the Treasury today announced the Obama Administration’s bill which requires managers to “private funds” to register with the SEC.  This registration requirement would apply to managers of all funds relying on the Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) which includes managers to private equity and venture capital funds.  Additionally, all registered managers would need to provide the SEC with certain reports on the funds which they manage.

The Treasury release is below and can be found here.  We will post the text of the new act shortly.  [Update: we have just published the text of the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009.]


Fact Sheet: Administration’s Regulatory Reform Agenda Moves Forward: Legislation for the Registration of Hedge Funds Delivered to Capitol Hill

Continuing its push to establish new rules of the road and make the financial system more fair across the board, the Administration today delivered proposed legislation to Capitol Hill to require all advisers to hedge funds and other private pools of capital, including private equity and venture capital funds, to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In recent years, the United States has seen explosive growth in a variety of privately-owned investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds, and venture capital funds. At various points in the financial crisis, de-leveraging by such funds contributed to the strain on financial markets.  Because these funds were not required to register with regulators, the government lacked the reliable, comprehensive data necessary to monitor funds’ activity and assess potential risks in the market.  The Administration’s legislation would help protect investors from fraud and abuse, provide increased transparency, and provide the information necessary to assess whether risks in the aggregate or risks in any particular fund pose a threat to our overall financial stability.

Protect Investors From Fraud And Abuse

Require Advisers To Private Investment Funds to Register With The SEC.  Although some advisers to hedge funds and other private investment funds are required to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and some register voluntarily with the SEC, current law generally does not require private fund advisers to register with any federal financial regulator. The Administration’s legislation would, for the first time, require that all investment advisers with more than $30 million of assets under management to register with the SEC.  Once registered with the SEC, investment advisers to private funds will be subject to important requirements such as:

  • Substantial regulatory reporting requirements with respect to the assets, leverage, and off-balance sheet exposure of their advised private funds
  • Disclosure requirements to investors, creditors, and counterparties of their advised private funds
  • Strong conflict-of-interest and anti-fraud prohibitions
  • Robust SEC examination and enforcement authority and recordkeeping requirements
  • Requirements to establish a comprehensive compliance program

Require Increased Disclosure Requirements. The Administration’s legislation would require that all investment funds advised by an SEC-registered investment adviser be subject to recordkeeping requirements; requirements with respect to disclosures to investors, creditors, and counterparties; and regulatory reporting requirements.

Protect Financial System From Systemic Risk

Monitor Hedge Funds For Potential Systemic Risk. Under the Administration’s legislation, the regulatory requirements mentioned above would include confidential reporting of amount of assets under management, borrowings, off-balance sheet exposures, counterparty credit risk exposures, trading and investment positions, and other important information relevant to determining potential systemic risk and potential threats to our overall financial stability. The legislation would require the SEC to conduct regular examinations of such funds to monitor compliance with these requirements and assess potential risk. In addition, the SEC would share the disclosure reports received from funds with the Federal Reserve and the Financial Services Oversight Council. This information would help determine whether systemic risk is building up among hedge funds and other private pools of capital, and could be used if any of the funds or fund families are so large, highly leveraged, and interconnected that they pose a threat to our overall financial stability and should therefore be supervised and regulated as Tier 1 Financial Holding Companies.


Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  Mallon P.C. helps hedge fund managers to register as investment advisors with the SEC or the state securities divisions.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund or register as an investment advisor, please contact us or call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-296-8510.  Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Hedge Fund Adviser Registration Act of 2009

Congressional Bill Proposed in House

In January we gave significant attention to the Hedge Fund Transparency Act of 2009 and we did not focus at all on a similar bill introduced in the House of Representatives.   The Hedge Fund Adviser Registration Act of 2009, introduced on January 27, would change the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to require those managers with more than $30 million in assets to register as investment advisors with the SEC (for background, please see 203(b)(3) exemption).  The Hedge Fund Transparency Act takes a decidedly different route to regulation – it would require hedge fund managers, under the Investment Company Act of 1940 , to register as investment advisors and it would also require hedge funds to submit certain information to the SEC.

The fate of both of these bills is currently in question.  It seems as though Congress and the SEC are waiting for President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner to develop a plan for a comprehensive regulatory system.  While we remain in this holding pattern it seems likely that any regulatory changes are months and months away.

The full text of the Registration Act are reprinted below along with a press release announcing the proposed measure.  Other related hedge fund law articles include:


Hedge Fund Adviser Registration Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)

HR 711 IH


1st Session

H. R. 711

To amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to remove the registration exception for certain investment advisors with less than 15 clients.


January 27, 2009

Mr. CAPUANO (for himself and Mr. CASTLE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


To amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to remove the registration exception for certain investment advisors with less than 15 clients.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Hedge Fund Adviser Registration Act of 2009′.


Section 203 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-3) is amended by striking subsection (b)(3).




Capuano, Castle Bill Would Improve Oversight of Hedge Funds

Requires money managers to register with SEC

January 27, 2009

Washington, DC — Today, Reps. Mike Castle (R-DE) and Mike Capuano (D-MA), introduced bipartisan legislation that is intended to close a loophole created in the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, which exempts hedge fund managers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if they have less than 15 clients. The Hedge Fund Managers Registration Act, would require anyone who manages hedge funds to register with the SEC, and therefore improves federal oversight of these investments.

“This measure would require all hedge fund managers to register with the SEC so that their actions on behalf of investors are transparent,” said Rep. Capuano. “I have long advocated this simple step as a way to better understand how hedge fund managers are operating, and how they are investing the resources of their clients. In addition to providing us with basic census information on hedge funds, this measure can be used to detect and deter fraudulent practices and risky behavior before it’s too late.”

“Hedge funds are a $1.5 trillion industry that account for roughly 30 percent of U.S. stock trading, but also have tremendous presence in other areas of our markets. Without greater attention and oversight to protect investors from fraud, hedge funds pose systemic risk to our economy,” said Rep. Castle, senior member on the House Financial Services Committee. “As we work to help regain our economic health, I believe we can and should scrutinize money managers more carefully and begin to reclaim some order in equity markets. I am hopeful that this legislation will work as a tool to help protect investors from becoming victims. This is the first in a series of reforms I intend to strongly advocate in the coming months.”

Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208
Contact: Stephanie Fitzpatrick (202) 225-4165 (Rep. Castle)

Withdrawing from Investment Advisor Registration – the Form ADV-W

For many different reasons a hedge fund manager will decide to de-register as an investment advisor.  The manager may no longer be required to be registered or a manager may have registered simply for marketing purposes and has found that it is too much of a hassle (and cost) to be registered.   In such instances a hedge fund manager can withdrawal from registration by filing Form ADV-W through the IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository) system.   The process for de-registering is substantially the same whether the manager is registered with the SEC or with the state securities commission.  This article will discuss (i) issues with de-registration for the hedge fund manager and (ii) detail the process of deregistering.  Continue reading