Private Equity Funds to Comply with Sarbanes-Oxley?

Posted by Bill Bockwoldt on November 19, 2010

Great article from the Wall Street Journal.  Private Equity funds may need to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley at some point in the near future.  Here is a snippet of the article:

By Suzanne Barlyn


NEW YORK(Dow Jones)--Regulators still have a ways to go to map out plans for private equity fund registration, but the rush to comply with upcoming rules has already begun.

The Securities and Exchange Commission meets Friday to consider proposing rules that would force advisers to private equity and hedge funds with at least $150 million to register with the agency and undergo exams. Those rules are envisioned but not spelled out in the new Dodd-Frank financial law.

Compliance consultants and lawyers who specialize in the field say they've been deluged with questions about preparing for the upcoming requirements.

Registration is a "totally foreign concept" for private equity fund advisers, said Guy Talarico, chief executive of Alaric Compliance Services, a New York-based consultancy that advises private equity and hedge funds on compliance matters.

Advisers to many hedge funds, particularly larger ones, already voluntarily register with the SEC or operate as if they did. That's not the case for private equity fund advisers.

"Private equity funds have been pretty much under the radar screen," said Myles Edwards, a hedge fund and private equity lawyer in New York. Registration will mean following requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, including setting up a compliance program and designating a chief compliance officer to oversee the process. Private equity funds are often well-run organizations, said Edwards, but not used to running the types of compliance programs required in the United States. "It's quite burdensome, intensive, and must be done on a daily basis," he said.

Advisers to venture capital funds and certain foreign private fund advisers are exempt from registration under Dodd-Frank. The SEC must develop definitions of those categories, however, which it expects to propose at Friday's meeting.

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Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, compliance