White & Case Hosts Program on “Financial Regulatory Reform: Current Status and Developments,” Highlighting Key Legislative Proposals Impacting Hedge Fund Managers, Broker-Dealers and Derivatives Industry Participants

As previously reported in the Hedge Fund Law Report, on March 26, 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury outlined a new framework for financial regulatory reform, including a proposal to require advisers to hedge funds (and other private pools of capital) with assets under management above a certain threshold to register with the SEC, along with certain other regulatory reforms.  See “Treasury Calls for Registration of Hedge Fund Managers with Assets Under Management Above a Certain Threshold and Outlines Framework for Other Regulatory Reforms Aimed at Limiting Systemic Risk,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 2, No. 13 (Apr. 2, 2009).  Some of these reforms have been incorporated into current and pending legislation, including, most notably, the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009, which was incorporated into Title V of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 and was passed by the House of Representatives on December 11, 2009 (House bill), and the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009, which was introduced by Banking Committee Chairman Senator Christopher Dodd on November 10, 2009 (Dodd bill).  For more on the Dodd bill, see “Does the IOSCO Hedge Fund Disclosure Template Foreshadow the Content of Hedge Fund and Hedge Fund Adviser Disclosures to be Required by the SEC?,” above, in this issue of the Hedge Fund Law Report.  Also on March 26, 2009, the Obama Administration issued details on proposed legislation for a “resolution authority” that would give the President sweeping powers to dismantle or reorganize failing companies that pose a threat to the country’s financial system.  On April 8, 2010, White & Case LLP held a seminar entitled “Financial Regulatory Reform: Current Status and Developments,” with the goal of outlining and analyzing some of the more significant pieces of the pending financial regulatory reform legislation referenced above, and the ways in which various market participants may be impacted by such reforms.  This article outlines the most relevant topics discussed at the seminar, including: legislation relating to creation of a “resolution authority” to deal with pending failures of large, interconnected financial companies; ipso facto clauses in derivatives contracts; proposed central clearing requirements for derivatives; comparisons of the relevant provisions of the House and Dodd bills with respect to hedge fund manager registration; the issue of self-custody by hedge fund managers in light of the recent amendments to the custody rule; the proposed fiduciary standard for broker-dealers providing investment advice incidental to their brokerage activities; and the treatment of proprietary trading activities of broker-dealers under the Volcker Rule.

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