Advisors wondering about the impact that global regulation may have on their businesses, and whether they will need to register as private fund advisors, were the focus of a webinarheld on Friday by consulting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Presenting the hour-long session, titled “Private Fund Investment Advisers: The Impact of Global Regulation,” were Michael Chung, director; Karl Ehrsam, principal; Uner Nabi, director, and Michael Booth, assistant manager. Each presenter tackled a different aspect of the issue, from U.S. oversight legislation (the Dodd-Frank Act) and its requirements to which issues would be of primary concern in the European Union.
Key questions to consider, according to their presentation, are total assets under management, how many U.S. clients a firm has and their total AUM, whether the firm is a hedge fund or private equity fund, and whether firms are prepared to register on July 21, 2011.
While there are exemptions from the new U.S. registration requirements, and there is a low threshold for foreign advisors, the exemptions were “written very, very narrow,” according to Booth. “If you have U.S. investors, there’s not a whole lot of room before you trigger a limit where you have to register.”
He also said that unregistered advisors will need to switch their point of view to be prepared to prove and document everything. He sees the biggest challenge as the record retention requirement: producing and maintaining evidence that everything was done properly.
The biggest surprise for advisors, the presenters felt, was the “roping in of private equity funds” which now have to register. And Nabi stressed that the attitude of regulators in the EU is a key concern, and any firm seeking to establish itself in the EU must be prepared to demonstrate good governance and risk management.