Gensler Outlines Private Fund Regulatory Agenda and Aggressive Areas of SEC Focus in Recent Speech

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has asked SEC staff to consider a slate of issues affecting private funds, including fee arrangements, side letters, performance, conflicts of interest, reporting and disclosure. That was outlined in a recent speech, which indicated a continuing move toward rules-based rather than principles-based regulation. The speech was the first clear statement of Gensler’s agenda for private funds and indicated an aggressive stance on some points, with him going so far as to suggest potentially prohibiting certain unspecified conflicts and side letter provisions. This article summarizes the key takeaways from the speech, with insights from industry experts. For coverage of recent speeches by SEC staff, see “Recent Speeches Outline the Ethos, Direction and Priorities of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Under Gurbir Grewal” (Nov. 16, 2021); as well as our two-part series: “Peirce and Roisman Argue Against Prescriptive ESG Disclosures” (Aug. 24, 2021); and “Gensler and Lee Advocate Further SEC Oversight of ESG Efforts” (Aug. 31, 2021).

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