Articles Tagged with Proposed Rules

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In line with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) goal to enhance regulatory safeguards in the asset management industry, the SEC yesterday released a proposed new rule and rule amendments under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The proposed new rule 206(4)-4 would require SEC-registered investment advisers to adopt and implement written business continuity and transition plan (BCP) and review the plan’s adequacy and effectiveness at least annually.  The proposed amendment to rule 204-2 would require such advisers to keep copies of all BCPs that are in effect or were in effect during the last five years, and any records documenting the adviser’s annual review of its BCP.

The proposed rule is designed to address operational and other risks (internal or external) related to a significant disruption (temporary or permanent) in the investment adviser’s operations. Operational risks and disruptions generally include natural disasters or calamities, cyber-attacks, system failures, key personnel departure, business sale, merger, bankruptcy and similar events.

Under the proposed rule, an SEC-registered adviser should develop its BCP based upon risks associated with the adviser’s business operations and must include policies and procedures that minimize material service disruptions and address the following critical elements:

  • System maintenance and data protection
  • Pre-arranged alternate physical locations
  • Communication plans
  • Review of third-party service providers
  • Transition plan in the event of dissolution or inability to continue providing advisory services

The comment period will be 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

A full copy of the proposed rule is available HERE.

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The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will soon propose new rules that may require investment advisers to establish and implement written anti-money laundering programs designed to prevent advisory clients from using advisers to launder funds or perpetrate other criminal activities. The rules also may require advisers to report suspicious client activity.

The new rules may be similar in certain respects to rules proposed by Treasury in 2003, when the Department attempted to subject investment advisers to the AML provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act. The 2003 rules would have required advisers to (1) establish and implement policies, procedures and controls reasonably designed to prevent advisers from being used to launder money or finance terrorist activities, (2) provide independent testing of compliance by the advisory firms’ personnel, affiliates or third parties, (3) designate persons responsible for implementing and monitoring the operations and internal controls of the program and (4) provide ongoing training for appropriate persons who are involved with the program.

The new rules are likely to reflect comments received in response to the 2003 proposal and may be informed, in part, by certain practices followed by advisers in offshore jurisdictions. It is unclear whether the rules will require investment advisers to apply their anti-money laundering programs to their clients’ beneficial owners.

If the new rules are adopted, investment advisers will need to review and update their compliance manuals, as necessary, to incorporate anti-money laundering policies and procedures that are tailored to their business, clients and risks. In addition, private offering memoranda, fund governance documents, advisory agreements and other client communications should be updated to include information about the anti-money laundering program and suspicious activity reporting requirements.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today proposed rules, forms and amendments to modernize and enhance the reporting and disclosure of information by investment advisers and investment companies.

Investment advisers. The investment adviser proposed rules would amend the investment adviser registration and reporting form (Form ADV), and Investment Advisers Act Rule 204-2. On Form ADV, the proposed rules would require investment advisers to provide additional information for the SEC and investors to better understand the risk profile of individual advisers and the industry. Investment advisers would be required to report, among other things, detailed information about their separately managed accounts, including assets under management and types of assets held in the accounts. The proposed amendments to Investment Advisers Act Rule 204-2 would require advisers to maintain records of performance calculations and communications related to performance.

Investment companies. The investment company proposed rules would enhance data reporting for mutual funds, ETFs and other registered investment companies.  The proposals would require a new monthly portfolio reporting form (Form N-PORT) and a new annual reporting form (Form N-CEN) that would require census-type information.  The information would be reported in a structured data format, which would allow the SEC and the public to better analyze the information.  The proposals would also require enhanced and standardized disclosures in financial statements, and would permit mutual funds and other investment companies to provide shareholder reports by making them accessible on a website.

Highlights of the investment adviser and investment company proposals are available HERE.

The SEC is requesting for comments which should be submitted to be received within 60 days from publication of the proposed rules in the Federal Register.