In June of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled charges with 13 firms that serve as registered investment advisers to private funds for failing to file Form PF. The settling companies were: Bachrach Asset Management Inc., Bilgari Capital LLC, Brahma Management Ltd., Bristol Group Inc., CAI Managers & Co. L.P., Cherokee Investment Partners LLC, Ecosystem Investment Partners LLC, Elm Partners Management LLC, HEP Management Corp., Prescott General Partners LLC, RLJ Equity Partners LLC, Rose Park Advisors LLC, and Veteri Place Corp. According to the settlement orders, “the advisers failed to file annual reports on Form PF informing the agency about the funds they advise, including the amount of assets under management, fund strategy, performance, and use of borrowed money and derivatives.” Continue reading
On October 26, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced the adoption of Form PF, which stands for “Private Fund.” Required by the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the adoption of the form seeks to require reporting by larger hedge fund and venture capital private advisers in an effort to assess systemic risks.
The minimum amount of assets under management before the reporting requirement is triggered is $150 million, meaning that smaller private fund advisers are not required to file Form PF at all. Once this threshold is reached, however, there is a tiered reporting requirement base on the level of assets under management within different categories as established by the form. The exclusion for the smaller advisers is justified because their funds have a minimal impact on a broad based systemic risk analysis, according to a statement by SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro delivered in connection with the adoption of the form.
Hedge funds will be impacted by the Dodd-Frank Act in numerous ways, some more well-known than others. Some of the better known examples of such impact are the repeal of the private adviser exemption, thus requiring registration for hedge fund managers that do not qualify for other exemptions. Among the exemptions added, of course, is the much-publicized exemption for private funds with less than $150 million in annual assets under management.
Other areas of impact on the hedge fund industry are not as widely discussed. As the SEC Commissioner Troy A. Paredes highlighted in his June 8, 2011 address at The George Washington University Law School, other aspects of Dodd-Frank have less direct, but no less significant, impact on the hedge fund industry.
For example, Dodd-Frank directs the SEC to adopt regulations or guidelines that prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that might “encourage inappropriate risks” by financial institutions. This would prohibit investment advisers with $1 billion or more under management from paying excessive compensation that could lead to material financial loss.