Rule 204A-1 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 provides minimum standards for SEC-registered investment advisers in crafting personal trading policies. The rule is sparse with respect to detail, however, giving advisers relatively wide latitude in designing those policies and procedures. Moreover, once personal trading policies and procedures are in place, the adviser must, in the language of Rule 204A-1, “maintain” and “enforce” them, yet the rule offers little in the way of guidance with respect to that maintenance and enforcement. Accordingly, market practice looms large in the design and implementation of personal trading policies and procedures. This three-part series discusses common elements of personal trading policies and procedures of hedge fund managers. The first article
presents the overarching considerations in establishing a personal trading program; the scope of persons who should be covered by the personal trading program; and the reporting obligations that apply to covered persons. The second article
provides examples of personal trading restrictions commonly included in these policies, including discussions on restricting the number of brokerage firms where covered persons can hold covered securities, the requirement to pre-clear certain transactions, holding periods for investments and blackout periods during which trades cannot be executed. The third article
surveys technology a manager can use to monitor compliance with its personal trading policies and procedures. For current trends in personal trading policies and procedures, see “ACA 2016 Compliance Survey Addresses Custody; Fee Policies and Arrangements; Safeguarding of Assets; and Personal Trading (Part Two of Two)
” (Feb. 2, 2017).