Mock Audits Are Essential Preparatory Tools for Fund Principals in the Current Regulatory Environment

It can be difficult for an investment adviser, fund manager, compliance officer or other private fund executive who has never undergone an SEC examination to know what to expect or how best to prepare. Technical requirements and best-practice standards and expectations are often in flux, even under the current, supposedly pro-business administration and regulatory regime. See “Pro-Business Environment of New Administration Continues to Have Challenges and Pitfalls for Private Funds” (Sep. 14, 2017). Examiners remain exacting in their demands, not only with respect to the variety and format of documents they wish to review. When furnishing materials and answers to examiners, it is critically important for advisers to provide correct information while remaining concise and avoiding contradicting other responses or unnecessarily opening up further avenues of inquiry. To fully prepare for an examination, the importance and utility of conducting a mock audit are difficult to overstate. In a recent interview with the Hedge Fund Law Report, David Tang, counsel at Seward & Kissel with a concentration on regulatory-compliance consulting, provided his thoughts on mock audits, their prevalence in the industry and best practices for advisers to use mock audits to prepare for an SEC examination, and discussed other developments in the examination and enforcement arena. This article highlights Tang’s key insights. For additional commentary from Seward & Kissel partners, 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 “Lock-Ups and Investor-Level Gates Prevalent in New Hedge Funds” (Mar. 23, 2017).

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