“Gatekeeper” Actions by the SEC and Investors Against Administrators Challenge Private Fund Industry

Fund administrators have been the target of several recent SEC enforcement actions and civil lawsuits by investors that seek to make administrators liable for the misconduct of fund managers and their principals. These aggressive enforcement actions and civil lawsuits are the first of their kind to argue that administrators serve in a gatekeeper role. For more on the SEC’s focus on another category of gatekeepers, see “How Can Hedge Fund Managers Update Their Insider Trading Compliance Programs to Reflect the SEC’s Focus on Systemic Violators, Gatekeepers, Trading Patterns, Profitable Trades and Expert Networks?” (Aug. 19, 2011). In a guest article, Marc Powers and Jonathan Forman, partner and senior associate, respectively, at BakerHostetler, review recent SEC enforcement actions and civil lawsuits against administrators as gatekeepers and outline implications of these actions for hedge fund administrators, managers and investors. For additional insight from Powers, see “A New Look at an Old Standard: The Power of Minority Bondholders Under the Trust Indenture Act” (Mar. 5, 2015); and “Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code Presents Litigation Risks and Liability for Creditors, Counterparties, Service Providers and Others Doing Business With Bankrupt Offshore Hedge Funds” (Oct. 3, 2013). For coverage of fund managers shadowing administrators, see “Certain Hedge Fund Managers Are Moving from Full to Partial Shadowing of Administrator Functions” (Sep. 12, 2013); and “When and How Should Hedge Fund Managers Shadow Functions Performed by Their Fund Administrators?” (Mar. 8, 2012).

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