Are You Prepared for OCIE’s Sweep of Business Continuity Plans and Coronavirus Actions?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the private funds industry, regulators are keeping a close eye on advisers’ abilities to weather the crisis. As part of that effort, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has sent targeted document requests to multiple fund managers centered on their business continuity plans (BCPs). OCIE’s document requests have, among other things, sought copies of advisers’ BCPs and information about how they are being used during the pandemic, including preliminary assessments of weaknesses revealed to date. OCIE has also included questions about BCPs in ongoing routine examinations and phone interviews with advisers as the agency attempts to assess the pandemic’s effect on the industry. To help fund managers prepare for the SEC sweep of BCPs, the Hedge Fund Law Report interviewed several attorneys and compliance consultants for their insights. In addition to examining the scope and nature of the SEC’s efforts to date, this article includes a redacted OCIE document request list (OCIE Request List) received by a fund manager at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Fund managers should review the OCIE Request List to prepare for potential future SEC scrutiny of their BCPs. See our three-part series on withstanding the coronavirus pandemic: “Form ADV Filing Relief, Investor Communications and Fund Valuation Issues” (Apr. 2, 2020); “Marketing Disruptions, Key Person Clauses and Cybersecurity Concerns” (Apr. 9, 2020); and “Business Continuity and Other Operational Risks” (Apr. 16, 2020).

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