Possible Extension to Registration for Private Fund Managers

Dodd-Frank put enormous pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission to create dozens of new rules. Tile IV of the law, the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2010, shifts thousands of mid-sized investment advisers from federal to state registration. It also repeals the private adviser exemption, causing most private fund managers to register with the SEC.

Section 419 of Dodd-Frank pegs the transition period at one year. That means there is July 21, 2011 registration deadline. The SEC may be bending on that deadline for the registration of private fund advisers.

In an April 8, 2011 letter to the president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, the SEC indicated it may try to push back that July 21 deadline to the first quarter of 2012.

The letter states that the SEC intends to have the necessary rulemaking done by July 21. Of course, that means the subjects of the rules need to get in line. Since there is only three months until that deadline, the clock is ticking very loudly.

The SEC also needs to get the computer systems in place. Once the rules and forms are finished, they need to update the Investment Adviser Registration Depository System. Back in November, the SEC proposed big changes to the Part 1 of Form ADV to address these new registration and reporting requirements. The final form has not been released. I thought the release may have been because they were re-programming IARD to deal with the new form, allowing them to release the final Form ADV and the registration at the same time. According to this letter, that is not the case. The SEC does not expect IARD to be re-programmed until the end of 2011.

Obviously, this letter merely indicates that at least one person inside the SEC thinks the deadline could be extended. That is a long way from actually extending the deadline. I still have a question about whether the SEC can extend the deadline without some sort of legislative action.