Compliance Training: SEC Expectations and Substantive Traps to Avoid (Part One of Two)

Under Rule 206(4)‑7 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 – the so-called “compliance rule” – private fund managers are required to adopt policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with the Advisers Act. That is, managers must have compliance programs. Interestingly, neither the compliance rule nor its adopting release states that managers must provide training on their compliance programs. Without proper training, however, employees will not know what the manager’s policies and procedures are or how to comply with them. Moreover, the SEC clearly expects managers to provide compliance training. This first article in a two-part series explains the SEC’s expectations as to compliance training and provides three traps to avoid in terms of the substance of a fund manager’s training. The second article will discuss who conducts the compliance training and identify five traps to avoid when providing training. See “High- and Low-Tech Innovations for Fund Managers to Overcome Compliance Training’s Drawbacks” (Feb. 1, 2018); and “Early and Often: Compliance Training Pays Big Dividends for Private Fund Advisers” (Jul. 8, 2009).

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