How Managers May Address Increasing Demands of Limited Partners for Standardized Reporting of Fund Fees and Expenses

In an attempt to regulate the private funds industry, the SEC has set various disclosure requirements for general partners. Unless properly communicated to limited partners through disclosure meeting these requirements, even perfectly legal activities and management fees may result in penalties for general partners. Furthermore, limited partners often seek disclosure exceeding SEC requirements to properly ascertain the actual cost – beyond the stated management fees – of investing in a fund. In addition to requiring more fulsome disclosure, limited partners, whose informational needs can be widely disparate even in the context of a single fund, are increasingly seeking standardization of the format of fee and expense disclosures from general partners. To facilitate this objective, a new template for reporting and disclosing information was recently introduced and has been positively – yet tentatively – received by the industry. These developments were addressed in a recent installment of the monthly webinar series provided by the Investment Management Due Diligence Association. The presenters were David B. Parrish, a partner at Jackson Walker, and Lorelei Graye, a consultant for Conifer Financial Services. This article outlines the key takeaways from the discussion. For more on expense allocations and disclosure, see “Battle-Tested Best Practices for Private Fund Expense Allocations” (Oct. 10, 2014); and our two-part series entitled “How Should Hedge Fund Managers Approach the Allocation of Expenses Among Their Firms and Their Funds?”: Part One (May 2, 2013); and Part Two (May 9, 2013). 

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