As of the end of 2021, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will no longer compel the panel of banks that contribute the submissions from which the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is determined to make those submissions, and the already fragile benchmark will further degrade until it is no longer usable. There is also a possibility that even before the end of 2021, LIBOR could be deemed “non-representative” and thus unusable by many market participants. The transition away from LIBOR potentially affects hundreds of trillions of dollars in notional transactions that extend past the end of 2021. In its 2020 Examination Priorities, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) stated its intent to track the impact of the industry’s transition away from LIBOR, and in June 2020, OCIE published a risk alert (Risk Alert) announcing that “OCIE intends to engage with registrants through examinations to assess their preparations for the expected discontinuation of LIBOR and the transition to an alternative reference rate.” In a guest article, Anne E. Beaumont, partner at Friedman Kaplan Seller & Adelman, explores the significance of this Risk Alert for investment managers that expect or are preparing for SEC examinations in the months to come. For more from Beaumont on the LIBOR transition, see “The SEC Weighs In on LIBOR Transition
” (Aug. 8, 2019); and “How Hedge Fund Managers Can Prepare for the Anticipated ‘End’ of LIBOR
” (Aug. 24, 2017).