The Capital Commitment

Proskauer on Private Equity Litigation

Anthony Drenzek

Anthony Drenzek

Special Regulatory Counsel

Anthony Drenzek is a special regulatory counsel in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Investment Funds Group. His background includes more than a decade of comprehensive agency experience in the registration and regulation of securities market participants in coordination with state, federal and self-regulatory organizations nationwide.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Anthony was associate director of the Massachusetts Securities Division, with supervisory responsibility for the Division’s Registration, Inspections, Compliance and Examinations Section, which managed the regulation of broker-dealers, investment advisers and exempt reporting advisers, and which annually audited in excess of $3.2 billion in managed assets. He personally conducted or supervised more than 500 regulatory examinations of registered investment advisers and broker-dealers for compliance with state, federal and self-regulatory organization regulations.  He also authored and amended regulations and policy statements on behalf of the agency in the areas of custody of assets, discretionary authority and disclosure requirements, as well as comment letters to the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with proposed federal rulemaking.

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SEC Speaks: 2017 Enforcement and Exam Trends for Private Funds

At the recent SEC Speaks program, sponsored by PLI, senior SEC staff members provided valuable insight into the SEC’s 2017 priorities for private funds.  While the tenor of this year’s discussion seemed to focus more on retail investors, the staff discussed several topics that private fund advisers should keep in mind from both an enforcement … Continue Reading

The Top Ten Regulatory and Litigation Risks for Private Funds in 2017

Private investment funds and advisers are likely to face new regulatory challenges and increased litigation risks in 2017, not only because of a change in the administration, but also because many advisers have not corrected and aligned past practices with current regulatory guidance.  In this post, we have highlighted ten areas that should be on … Continue Reading

SEC Staff Announces 2017 OCIE Examination Priorities

On January 12, 2017, the staff of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its annual announcement on examination priorities in the coming calendar year. The 2017 examination priorities are organized around three thematic areas: (i) examining matters of importance to retail investors; (ii) focusing on risks … Continue Reading

Six Reasons Why a Wholesale Repeal of Dodd-Frank is Unlikely

In the days following the November elections, U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump promised that his Financial Services Policy Implementation team would be working to “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). However, a more recent account in the Wall Street Journal reported Mr. Trump’s transition team as tempering his promise in … Continue Reading

Outgoing SEC Chair Reflects on the Agency’s Enforcement Program and Advocates for Increased Authority

On November 18, 2016, outgoing SEC Chair Mary Jo White delivered a speech at New York University School of Law entitled “A New Model for SEC Enforcement: Producing Bold and Unrelenting Results.”  Chair White’s remarks covered a broad range of enforcement initiatives and outcomes from her tenure as SEC Chair.  This post summarizes the aspects … Continue Reading

SEC Shake-Up: President-Elect Trump Expected to Make Key Appointments

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, Mary Jo White has announced her intent to step down from her role as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Chair White, the 31st and one of the longest-serving Chairs of the SEC, will be leaving her … Continue Reading

Whistleblower Alert – OCIE to Examine Registered Investment Advisers for Overbroad Confidentiality or Severance Agreements

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently published a risk alert noting that the SEC exam staff intends to examine registrants’ compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions.  OCIE intends to examine registered advisers for compliance, in light of recent enforcement cases the SEC has filed based on violations of the Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading

OCIE By the Numbers and the Use of Big Data

On October 17, 2016, Marc Wyatt, the Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspection and Examinations, gave a keynote address to the National Society of Compliance Professionals titled: Inside the National Exam Program in 2016.  In addition to discussing his general perspective concerning the program, he provided some key statistics that help put OCIE’s … Continue Reading

SEC Announces Record Number of Investment Adviser Cases for FY 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced its enforcement results for fiscal year 2016, reaching new highs in the number of actions filed and money ordered forfeited through disgorgement and penalties.  The SEC noted that it brought the most ever cases involving investment advisers or investment companies, including 8 enforcement actions related to private equity advisers, an area … Continue Reading

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise concerns under existing pay-to-play regulations. While seemingly straightforward in application, the SEC’s pay-to-play regulations have the potential to present a number of complex … Continue Reading

SEC Whistleblower Settlement Reminds Fund Sponsors to Review Organizational Policies and Procedures

A recent SEC settlement of whistleblower charges should serve as a useful reminder for private fund sponsors to conduct a comprehensive review of their policies and procedures. On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc., an Atlanta-based building products distributor, had settled charges that it violated securities laws by using severance agreements … Continue Reading

SEC Adopts Higher Net Worth Threshold for Qualified Clients under the Advisers Act

In an order dated June 14, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted its prior proposal to increase the net worth threshold for “qualified clients” under Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act) from $2 million to $2.1 million. This adjustment is being made pursuant to a five-year indexing … Continue Reading

SEC Announces Settlement with Adviser Found to Have Acted as an Unregistered Broker

The SEC is continuing its pattern of establishing “standards of conduct” for the private equity industry through speeches, enforcement actions, and public settlements. After foreshadowing its concerns in various speeches over the last three years, the SEC recently returned its attention to the “unregistered broker” issue.  In a settlement announced last week, the SEC asserted … Continue Reading

Application of the Joint Proposed Incentive Compensation Rule to Investment Advisers

On May 16, 2016, six federal agencies issued a joint release inviting public comment on a proposed rule to prohibit or condition certain incentive-based compensation arrangements. This proposed rule was mandated by section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) and is a revision of the proposed rule the agencies … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes Higher Net Worth Threshold for Qualified Clients under the Advisers Act

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to increase the net worth threshold for qualified clients from $2 million to $2.1 million.  This proposed adjustment is being made pursuant to a five-year indexing adjustment required by §205(e) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act), as amended … Continue Reading

SEC Enforcement’s Increased Focus on Private Equity

On May 12, 2016, SEC Director of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney gave a keynote address on Private Equity Enforcement.  Ceresney reiterated the SEC’s view that private equity is a key area for enforcement, and that recent actions show that it is particularly focused on undisclosed fees and expenses and increasing transparency in the industry.  Ceresney also … Continue Reading

Unicorns Under Scrutiny: The SEC Previews Its “Long Arm” Of The Law

As we previously discussed, SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently delivered the keynote address at the Silicon Valley Initiative hosted by the SEC-Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.   While the speech and its focus on unicorns attracted some initial media attention, the subsequent response has been surprisingly muted given that Chair White provided … Continue Reading

SEC Chair Shines a Spotlight on “Unicorns” in Silicon Valley Remarks

On March 31, 2016, SEC Chair Mary Jo White delivered the keynote address at the Silicon Valley Initiative hosted by the SEC-Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.  A substantial portion of Chair White’s remarks focused on “unicorns,” or private start-up companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion.  Chair White’s comments reflect the SEC’s apparent … Continue Reading

SEC Action Highlights Importance of Proper Expense Apportionment

In November 2015, the SEC announced that it had reached a settlement with Cherokee Investment Partners, LLC and Cherokee Advisers, LLC, in connection with improperly allocating managers’ regulatory expenses to three funds they managed. Through this and similar actions, the SEC has clearly indicated the managers may assign to the funds they manage only those … Continue Reading

SEC Charges Private Equity Firm and Four Executives with Failing to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

On November 3, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had reached a settlement with Fenway Partners, LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, and several of the firm’s executives (the Respondents) in connection with a failure to disclose conflicts of interests to investors with respect to payments made by portfolio companies of … Continue Reading
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