Former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins Discusses the Big Issues Raised by Form PF: Law, Operations, Confidentiality, Risk Management, Disclosure, Enforcement and Policy

Form PF has created legal and business challenges for hedge fund managers.  On the legal side, managers and their counsel have been scrambling to determine whether they have to file the form, for which entities, when, what data they must include, how frequently they must update the form, and so on.  On the business side, the questions have been even more challenging.  The form requires managers to compile and organize data that is disparate, voluminous and dynamic.  Some of the data is internal to the manager, and some is external, at service providers; much of the data is quantitative, but some is qualitative and discretionary; and substantially all of the data is dynamic – it changes over time, even over the relatively compressed time in which managers have to file their first Forms PF.  Operationally, managers have to coordinate the efforts of service providers that otherwise would operate independently.  Technology will have a large role to play in smart Form PF compliance, but will not substitute for competent human oversight and project management.  In short, Form PF is a challenge.  To help hedge fund managers think through the challenge, we at the Hedge Fund Law Report have published and will continue to publish best-of-breed thinking and analysis on the hardest questions raised by Form PF.  See, e.g., “Form PF: Operational Challenges and Strategic, Regulatory and Investor-Related Implications for Hedge Fund Managers,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Jan. 26, 2012).  In a similar vein, a session at the Regulatory Compliance Association’s Spring 2012 Regulation & Risk Thought Leadership Symposium will identify and address critical issues and pitfalls with respect to Form PF.  That Symposium will be held on April 16, 2012 at the Pierre Hotel in New York.  Subscribers to the Hedge Fund Law Report are eligible for discounted registration.  One of the anticipated speaking faculty members for the Form PF session at the upcoming RCA Symposium is Paul S. Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, LLC, and former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  We recently had the privilege of interviewing Atkins on some of the hardest questions raised by Form PF for hedge fund managers.  Generally, our interview covered topics including interpretation, operations, technology, confidentiality, risk management, disclosure, enforcement and policy.  Atkins was candid, knowledgeable and insightful, and his points are important reading for any hedge fund manager looking to get it right on Form PF.  The full text of our interview is included in this issue of the Hedge Fund Law Report.

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