Strategy shifts now the focus, the SEC extracts another pound of flesh from a fund adviser. In a recently settled administrative proceeding, UBS agreed to return $8.2 million of advisory fees to investors, compensate investors for $4.9 million of investment losses and pay $4.4 million in interest and penalties to the SEC for allegedly failing to disclose an investment strategy shift and failing to supervise disclosures. UBS neither admitted nor denied culpability.
Investment advisers are advised to periodically review the description of their strategy and adjust the disclosure if their practices materially diverge from the described strategy over time. In addition, advisers should consider what manner of disclosure is appropriate in light of the facts and circumstances of a major strategy shift – whether, for example, to disclose promptly in an investor letter, prior to the strategy shift with an opportunity to redeem, and whether and when to involve the board of directors and/or outside counsel.