Former Senior SEC Attorneys Offer Insight on the Current Regulatory Climate, Adviser Examinations and the Enforcement Referral Process (Part Two of Two)

President Trump’s executive order on “core principles” enumerated broad regulatory fundamentals pursuant to which the Department of the Treasury provided recommendations on regulation within the investment management industry. See “Reading the Regulatory Tea Leaves: Recent White House and Congressional Action and Insights From SIFMA and FINRA Conferences” (Jul. 20, 2017). While the SEC may follow these recommendations, it is likely that fund managers will continue to face increased examinations and the risk of enforcement action from the agency. These issues, along with practices fund managers can adopt to potentially avoid having routine SEC examinations turn into enforcement actions, were among those discussed at a recent program hosted by Brian T. Davis and Dimitri G. Mastrocola, partners at international recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA). Moderated by Simpson Thacher partner Olga Gutman, the program featured partners David W. Blass, former Chief Counsel and Associate Director in the SEC Division of Trading and Markets, and Michael J. Osnato, Jr., former Chief of the Complex Financial Instruments Unit of the SEC Division of Enforcement. This two-part series summarizes the panelists’ insights garnered from their experience at the SEC. This second article explores the SEC’s regulatory agenda, and the examination and enforcement referral process. The first article discussed the “zero-tolerance” approach under former Chair Mary Jo White, the direction Chair Jay Clayton intends to take the Commission and the SEC’s enforcement agenda. For more from Simpson Thacher, see “Regulators From the SEC, CFTC and New York Attorney General’s Office Reveal Top Hedge Fund Enforcement Priorities (Part Two of Four)” (Dec. 18, 2014). For coverage of a prior program hosted by MLA, see our two-part series on SEC examinations: “What Hedge Fund Managers Need to Know” (Jun. 16, 2016); and “Fees, Conflicts, Investment Allocations and Other Hot Topics” (Jun. 30, 2016).

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