FCA Emphasizes Need for Fund Managers to Monitor and Clearly Communicate Financial Benchmarks and Investment Practices

Investors base high-stakes decisions on hedge fund marketing materials, disclosure documents and investment mandates, so it is imperative for hedge fund managers to ensure that those documents accurately and clearly describe the funds’ operations. In a recent thematic review, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) assessed whether U.K.-authorized investment funds and segregated mandates are operating in line with investor expectations set by marketing and disclosure materials. While managers generally ensure that their behavior lines up with disclosure, the FCA found room for them to improve and exercise vigilance in managing investor expectations. This article enumerates the FCA-recommended practices for asset managers to ensure that product descriptions are clear and correct, fund governance is effective for the life of the product and distribution channels are adequately monitored. For additional insight from the FCA, see “FCA 2016-2017 Regulatory and Supervisory Priorities Include Focus on AML, Cybersecurity and Governance” (Apr. 14, 2016); “FCA Expects Hedge Fund Managers to Focus on Liquidity Risk” (Mar. 3, 2016); and “FCA Report Enjoins Hedge Fund Managers to Improve Due Diligence” (Feb. 25, 2016).

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