Fund Managers Must Continue to Guard Against Pay to Play Violations

As the U.S. election cycle draws to a close, investment advisers’ compliance departments need to remain ever vigilant that their firms’ employees have not run afoul of the federal pay to play requirements of Rule 206(4)‑5 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or state and local rules. To explore best practices for ensuring that an adviser stays on top of pay to play matters, the Hedge Fund Law Report interviewed Beverly Duke, CCO of investment management firm Markston International. This article contains her insights on the difficulties faced by small and large investment advisers with managing pay to play; potential SEC enforcement in the area, as well as the possibility of waivers of enforcement activity; and best practices for a manager’s compliance staff to ensure that it is adequately well versed in the pay to play requirements and has adopted appropriate policies and procedures. For a practical tool for compliance to use in connection with pay to play reviews, see “Use a Preclearance Checklist to Avoid Violating the Pay to Play Rule” (Oct. 15, 2020).

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