The Impact of the New SEC-CFTC Memorandum of Understanding on Fund Managers

Regulators in the U.S. and Europe have been gravitating toward greater harmonization. The European Securities and Markets Authority, for example, aims to achieve harmony across the myriad regulatory regimes of E.U. Member States. See “ESMA Requires Enhanced Supervisory Role and Tools for Harmonizing E.U. and Third-Country Regulations” (Jun. 22, 2017). In addition, in the U.S., the SEC and the CFTC recently approved a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding coordination between the two agencies in areas of common regulatory interest and information sharing. The new MOU is intended to facilitate the discussion and coordination of regulatory action, as well as information exchange and data sharing. CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has claimed that increased harmonization will reduce complexity and lower costs for regulators and market participants, including fund managers. This article summarizes the MOU and discusses the validity of that claim, as well as other effects the agreement may have on fund managers. For more on regulatory convergence in Europe, see “ESMA Chair Calls for Stronger Supervisory Tools to Achieve Capital Markets Union” (Apr. 20, 2017); “FCA Director Lays Out Expectations for Cybersecurity of Financial Services Firms: Identification of Cyber Risks, Detection, Firm Preparedness and Information Sharing” (Sep. 29, 2016); and “ESMA Chair Calls for Increased Transparency and Regulatory Convergence As Interest Rates Rise” (Jan. 28, 2016).

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