Gathering Information on Your Private Fund Investors

One item that I picked up from PEI’s recent Private Fund Compliance Conference is the new way you need gather information about investors in your private fund for Form PF. I put Form PF to the side because my filing is not required until next year. However, there is a key March 31, 2012 date in the Adopting Release for Form PF (.pdf).

In Section 1b, Item B. Question 16 (.pdf)Form PF  asks the manager to “specify the approximate percentage of the reporting fund’s equity that is beneficially owned” by the listed category of investors. You need to file Form PF if you listed private funds in your Form ADV.

The catch in the instruction is:

With respect to beneficial interests outstanding prior to March 31, 2012, that have not been transferred on or after that date, you may respond to this question using good faith estimates based on data currently available to you.
(my emphasis)

If you are fundraising now, it looks like you need to make sure your subscription documents require the investor to self-select their designation. I suppose you also need to do some diligence to make sure the selection is correct.

Even if you’re not fundraising, you need to address this change for any transfers in a private fund after March 31, 2012.

The analysis for which sections of Form PF you need to fill out is a bit complicated. But every private fund needs to fill out Section 16 and answer the question about the beneficial ownership of the fund. Every private fund needs to start gathering information about their investors using this data scheme:

(a) Individuals that are United States persons (including their trusts);
(b) Individuals that are not United States persons (including their trusts);
(c) Broker-dealers;
(d) Insurance companies;
(e) Investment companies registered with the SEC;
(f) Private funds;
(g) Non-profits;
(h) Pension plans (excluding governmental pension plans);
(i) Banking or thrift institutions (proprietary);
(j) State or municipal government entities (excluding governmental pension plans);
(k) State or municipal government pension plans;
(l) Sovereign wealth funds and foreign official institutions; or
(m) Investors that are not United States persons and about which the foregoing beneficial ownership information is not known and cannot reasonably be obtained because the beneficial interest is held through a chain involving one or more third-party intermediaries.
(n) Other