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Inadvertently Obtaining Custody

The concept behind the custody rule is simple. The adviser needs to hold client assets safely and needs a third -party to verify that the adviser is actually holding the assets. But as it’s been put in place, the Custody Rule is complicated. At times the SEC has needed to provide guidance, and then provide […]

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So Many Wrongs…

I tripped across an enforcement case that was so full of wrong things that I had to re-read it. In one sense, I saw a clever way to exploit an investment feature. On the other hand, the whole investment felt morally wrong, was deceptive and violated at least one important rule under the Investment Advisers […]

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Broker-Dealer Customer Protection Rule versus Investment Adviser Custody

A recent enforcement case highlighted the stark difference between the custody requirements of a broker-dealer and an investment adviser. Merrill Lynch was smacked with over $400 million in disgorgement and penalties for putting customer assets at risk. Private fund managers and investment advisers are well aware of the limits on the custody. The purpose is […]

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Custody Rule Gotcha on PCAOB “Registered and Subject to Regular Inspection”

A friend in the private fund compliance community just came up with another “gotcha” under the Custody Rule. His client used an auditor that was registered with PCAOB, but had not yet been inspected. He thought it was enough to be registered, while waiting for an inspection. An SEC examiner argued that the auditor needed […]

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SEC Brings Charges Against CCO for Custody Failure

Last week at the Coping With Regulatory Failure conference, representatives from Securities and Exchange Commission repeated the SEC’s line that the SEC is not after compliance officers. But yet another case of CCO liability came out and this one kicks the CCO out of the industry and levels a $60,000 fine. The SEC panelists repeated […]

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A New Exception to the Custody Rule

The Custody Rule can be difficult for private equity and real estate fund managers to navigate. When I see some regulatory relief or clarification I hope for the best. 16th Amendment Advisors received relief for one of its funds based its particular circumstance Could that relief may be useful for other fund managers? That’s not […]

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More on the SEC and Funds’ REIT Subsidiaries

I discovered some additional information about the SEC’s position on the application of the Custody Rule to the REIT subsidiaries of private real estate funds. A few months ago, a real estate fund was undergoing an SEC exam and the examiners focused on custody. The examiners used the June 2014 Guidance on SPVs to take […]

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SEC Demanding Audited Financial Statements for Funds’ REIT Subsidiaries

The Custody Rule is a well intentioned beast of regulation designed to prevent investment advisers from stealing money from their clients. The Rule works well for retail investment advisers and most hedge funds. It starts falling apart for private equity funds and real estate funds. The Securities and Exchange Commission tried providing some additional guidance […]

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Custody Rule Enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been pointing out custody issues for investment advisers, made it an exam priority for 2014, highlighted in its presence exam initiative, and highlighted it in its never before examined initiative. So it should come as no surprise that the SEC brought an enforcement case solely for custody rule violations. […]

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New Guidance on the Custody Rule for SPVs and Escrows

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management recently released updated guidance on the Custody Rule. Private funds, especially private equity funds, have been wrestling with the SEC’s Custody Rule. The rule clearly comes from the perspective of regulating retail investment advisers and hedge funds. It fails to deali n a useful manner with […]

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