Private investment company

On October 7th, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the rescheduled date of its 2020 national compliance outreach seminar for investment companies and investment advisers.  This program is intended to help Chief Compliance Officers and other senior personnel at investment companies and investment advisory firms enhance their compliance programs.  The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), Division of Investment Management (IM), and the Asset Management Unit (AMU) of the Division of Enforcement jointly sponsor the compliance outreach program.  The national seminar will be held virtually on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19th, 2020 via a live webcast from the SEC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters from noon until 4:50 p.m. EST.

Recently, a group of Congress members introduced into Congress Senate Bill 2155 named the Stop Wall Street Looting Act of 2019. Although unlikely to be enacted into law as drafted, this proposed legislation would directly and substantially affect a number of fundamental operational aspects of private equity funds and their affiliates.

Last week the SEC announced a settlement of fraud claims against the founder of Jumio, Inc, a private mobile payments company, for misstating the company’s financial results and using those financials to sell his company shares on the secondary market.  This case is a reminder that privately negotiated securities

Proskauer’s Private Investment Funds Group today released its 2018 Annual Review and Outlook for Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds and Other Private Funds.  This yearly publication provides a summary of some of the significant changes and developments that occurred in the past year in the private equity and hedge

As a sign that the SEC is continuing to actively pursue private equity fund advisers, on April 24, 2018, the SEC announced a settlement with private equity fund adviser WCAS Management Corporation (WCAS) related to allegations of undisclosed conflicts of interest. The specific conflicts resulted from an allegedly undisclosed contractual arrangement whereby a portion of fees received by a group purchasing organization (GPO) for services it provided to WCAS funds’ portfolio companies would be paid to WCAS. In settlement of the allegations, WCAS agreed to disgorgement of $688,819.78 and a civil monetary penalty of $90,000, as well as a cease and desist and censure.

On Tuesday, February 13th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the opening of registration for its 2018 national compliance outreach seminar for investment companies and investment advisers. The event is intended to help Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and other senior personnel at investment companies and investment advisory firms to enhance their compliance programs. 

Proskauer’s Private Investment Funds Group recently released its 2017 Annual Review and Outlook for Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds and Other Private Funds.  This yearly publication provides a summary of some of the significant changes and developments that occurred in the past year in the private equity and hedge

On Thursday, March 23rd, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the opening of registration for its compliance outreach program seminars for investment companies and investment advisers.  The seminars will be offered in four U.S. cities and are intended to help Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and other senior personnel enhance compliance programs at investment companies and investment advisory firms.

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 exam program in context:

  • OCIE has examination responsibility for over 28,000 registrants, including more than 12,000 investment advisers, approximately 11,000 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, and over 4,000 broker-dealers.
  • OCIE has a total staff of approximately 1000 individuals.
  • OCIE completed 2,400 total exams in FY 2016.
  • Typically, about 10% of OCIE exams are referred to Enforcement.
  • FINRA and the SEC have historically examined 50% of BDs each year.
  • OCIE has historically examined approximately 10% of registered investment advisers per year.
  • Over the past two years, over 2,000 new investment advisers have registered with the SEC.
  • OCIE has about 450 staff members focused on Investment Adviser/Investment Company (IA/IC) exams.
  • The Private Funds Unit within OCIE currently has four exam managers, and primarily targets the New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco areas, each region having a high concentration of registered investment advisers to private funds.
  • There are approximately 4500 private fund advisers registered with the SEC.
  • Jennifer Duggins, co-head of the Private Funds Unit, recently noted that this unit’s goal was to double the number of examiners assigned to the unit from its current staff of 12-14 to a target of 25-30 examiners.

SECA 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 that contravened Dodd-Frank provisions prohibiting employers from impeding whistleblower reporting.