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Pillsbury and the California Hedge Fund Association invite you to join us on Thursday, April 25, 2013 for an educational program featuring Ms. Jan Lynn Owen, the Commissioner of the California Department of Corporations (DOC) and Person to be Announced from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Commissioner and her staff will discuss the new investment adviser registration rules that were recently adopted by the DOC, including the “exempt reporting adviser” provisions, the interplay between the DOC rules and those of the post-Dodd-Frank rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This program will provide startup hedge fund managers and new investment advisers with the information they need to navigate the registration process, regulatory requirements, and examination focus of the DOC and the SEC, including:

  • Eligibility for reliance on the “exempt reporting adviser” provisions and what that means in the registration process
  • What the DOC and SEC expect to see in hedge fund manager and investment adviser compliance programs
  • Examination and enforcement by the DOC and the SEC and coordination efforts between the two agencies
  • Tax planning and compliance for fund managers at the state, local and federal levels
  • New DOC and SEC rules in the concept or proposal stage aimed at investment advisers

Date & Time

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm PT

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm PT
Keynote: Jan Lynn Owen

4:30 pm – 5:45 pm PT
Panel Discussion

5:45 pm – 7:30 pm PT

Pillsbury’s San Francisco Office
Four Embarcadero Center
22nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Event Contact
Juliana Curmi 

Featured Speaker
Jan Lynn Owen, Commissioner, California Department of Corporations

Host and Moderator
Jay B. Gould, Partner, Pillsbury

Additional Speakers
Jerry Twomey, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Securities Regulation, California Department of Corporations

Doug Bramhall, Tax Managing Director, KPMG

Kristin A. Snyder, Associate Regional Director–Examinations, Securities and Exchange Commission, San Francisco Regional Office 

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Contributed by: The Family Office Association

The Family Office Association is pleased to contribute its latest Q&A “white paper” regarding family enterprise governance to the Investment Funds Law Blog.  The Q&A has contributions from James Grubman, Ph.D. and Dennis Jaffe, Ph.D., two of the world’s leaders on the topic of family enterprise governance.  Among other things, the Q&A discusses implementing mechanisms for inclusive decision-making, formulating a family governance plan, including non-blood line family members into the governance process and incorporating a family council.  Read more from the Family Office Association Q&A white paper.

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Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), published its examination priorities for 2013.  As we suggested in our Blog posting at that time, the SEC is fixated on examining and bringing enforcement against its newest class of investment adviser – managers of private equity funds.  Fast forward four weeks, and we should not be surprised to see that the SEC is doing what they said they would do.  Today, the SEC charged two investment advisers at Oppenheimer & Co. with misleading investors about the valuation policies and performance of a private equity fund of funds they manage.

The SEC investigation alleged that Oppenheimer Asset Management and Oppenheimer Alternative Investment Management disseminated misleading quarterly reports and marketing materials, which stated that the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund I L.P.’s holdings of other private equity funds were valued “based on the underlying managers’ estimated values.”  The SEC, however, claimed that the portfolio manager of the Oppenheimer fund actually valued the Oppenheimer fund’s largest investment at a significant markup to the underlying fund manager’s estimated value, a change that made the performance of the Oppenheimer fund appear significantly better as measured by its internal rate of return.  As part of the Order entered by the SEC, and without admitting or denying the regulator’s allegations, Oppenheimer agreed to pay more than $2.8 million to settle the SEC’s charges and an additional $132,421 to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.

In its press release, the SEC reiterated its focus on the valuation process, the use of valuations to calculate fees and communicating such valuations to investors and to potential investors for purposes of raising capital.  The SEC’s order also claimed that Oppenheimer Asset Management’s written policies and procedures were not reasonably designed to ensure that valuations provided to prospective and existing investors were presented in a manner consistent with written representations to investors and prospective investors. This claim gave rise to an alleged violation of Rule 206(4)-8 (among other rules and statutes) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”), the rule that the SEC passed after the Goldstein case permitted many funds to de-register as investment advisers from the SEC.

This case illustrates the new regulatory landscape for private equity fund managers.  Many private equity fund managers have not dedicated the time and resources to bringing their organizations in line with the fiduciary driven rules under the Advisers Act.  Many of these managers have not implemented the compliance policies and procedures required by the Advisers Act, nor have their Chief Compliance Officers been empowered to enforce such compliance policies and procedures when adopted.  Much of this oversight goes to the fact that many private equity fund managers do not have a history of being a regulated entity nor have they actively sought out regulatory counsel in their typical business dealings.  Private equity fund managers generally use outside counsel to advise them on their transactional or “deal” work and they often do not receive the advice that a regulated firm needs in order to meet its regulatory obligations.  Oppenheimer serves notice that failing to meet these regulatory obligations can have dire consequences.

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Last week the SEC issued a Risk Alert and an Investor Bulletin on the Custody Rule after its National Examination Program (“NEP”) observed significant deficiencies in recent examinations involving custody and safety of client assets by registered investment advisers.  The stated purpose of the Risk Alert was to assist advisers with complying with the custody rule.  The Investor Bulletin was issued to explain the purpose and limitations of the custody rule to investors.  We encourage advisers and investors to review the Risk Alert and the Investor Bulletin, and remind advisers, particularly advisers to private equity funds,  fund of funds and funds that invest in illiquid assets that they may only self custody securities if they satisfy the requirements for “privately offered securities” (i.e., securities are (i) not acquired in any transaction involving a public offering, (ii) uncertificated, (iii) transferable only with the prior consent of the issuer and (iv) are held by a fund that is audited). Many advisers may not be in compliance with the custody rule because they self custody assets that do not satisfy the definition of privately offered securities.  Please feel free to contact us for more information on the Risk Alert, Investor Bulletin or the custody rule.

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Written by Bruce A. Ericson

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Gabelli v. Securities Exchange Commission (Feb. 27, 2013) rejects an attempt by the Securities and Exchange Commission to extend a statute of limitations by invoking a “discovery rule.” The SEC had proposed that, in an action by the SEC to impose a civil penalty for securities fraud, the time to bring an action should not begin running until the fraud was discovered, or reasonably could be discovered by the SEC. The Supreme Court rejected the SEC’s view.


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