Private Fund Managers Should Continue Aggressive Compliance Efforts Despite New Administration

As President Trump’s administration disseminates its economic and fiscal agendas and policies, many see the arrival of an era of lighter regulation after years of record-breaking enforcement activity by the SEC. See “What the SEC’s Enforcement Statistics Reveal About the Regulator’s Focus on Hedge Funds and Investment Advisers” (Oct. 20, 2016). This is reinforced by the pro-business policies endorsed by President Trump, which were largely codified by the February executive order outlining a set of “core principles” for the economy. See “How the Trump Administration’s Core Principles for Financial Regulation May Benefit the U.S. Funds Industry (Part One of Two)” (Feb. 16, 2017). Despite this sentiment, however, advisers and funds are ill-advised to let their guards down. Amid the general optimism, many questions persist. How will the SEC and other regulatory agencies function in the Trump era? Will budget cuts make a significant difference in an era of technologically enhanced enforcement? Is the SEC’s review of registered investment advisers likely to drop below the current estimated 10 percent? Will the SEC attempt to allocate some of its enforcement functions among other regulators? Are advisers and funds sufficiently preparing for examinations under the new SEC regime? To cast light on these and other urgent questions, the Hedge Fund Law Report has conducted an in-depth interview with Benjamin Kozinn, who recently joined the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler as a partner, and this article sets forth his insights. For commentary from Kozinn’s colleague Matthew A. Magidson, see “A Practical Guide to the Implications of Derivatives Reforms for Hedge Fund Managers” (Jul. 25, 2013).

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