Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 Proposes Sweeping Reforms, but May Allow Regulators to Maintain Status Quo in Some Areas

The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (CHOICE Act) has emerged as one of the most sweeping and controversial pieces of economic legislation during the first months of the Trump administration. The bill could dramatically affect the private funds sector by eliminating registration requirements for private equity advisers; changing the private placement regime; promoting dialogue between the industry and regulators; and requiring the SEC to be more transparent and streamline its enforcement process. It is important to remember, however, that continuing negotiations leave the bill’s fate uncertain in the House and Senate, and the magnitude of any reform can be shaped by the SEC’s discretion over how final rules will work. To assist readers in understanding the legislation’s potential impact on the funds sector, this article analyzes the CHOICE Act and provides insights from practitioners at the forefront of interactions between the industry and the regulators. For analysis of other recent initiatives and rulemaking under the Trump administration, see “Fund Managers Must Address Investors’ Fee and Liquidity Concerns to Maintain Strong Performance in 2017, While Also Preparing for Trump Administration Regulations” (Mar. 30, 2017); and “Ways the Trump Administration’s Policies May Affect Private Fund Advisers” (Mar. 2, 2017).

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