How Hedge Fund Managers Can Establish an AML Program Under FinCEN’s Proposed Rule (Part One of Two)

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently proposed a rule that would broaden the application of the Bank Secrecy Act’s suspicious activity reporting and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements to include investment advisers that are registered or required to be registered with the SEC.  The proposal would also include investment advisers in the general definition of “financial institution,” which, among other things, would require them to file currency transaction reports and keep records relating to the transmittal of funds.  See “Do Hedge Funds Really Pose a Money Laundering Threat?  A Decade of Regulatory False Starts Raises Questions,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 7 (Feb. 16, 2012).  During Pepper Hamilton’s seminar, “Investment Management and Hedge Funds: What’s Happening Now?,” partners Gregory Nowak and Timothy McTaggart, as well as Walter Donaldson, managing director of Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC, outlined the basics of the proposed rule and its impact on the hedge fund industry.  This article, the first in a two-part series, summarizes the panelists’ discussion of the proposed rule and elements of an AML program that it would require.  The second article will discuss requirements with respect to reporting suspicious activity, information sharing and recordkeeping, as well as adoption and implementation of the rule.  For more from Nowak, see “Tax Proposals and Tax Reforms May Affect Rates and Impose Liabilities on Hedge Fund Managers,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 15 (Apr. 16, 2015).

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