Compliance Challenges in the Current Environment: Dealing With Ongoing Changes at the SEC (Part Two of Two)

The SEC has a complicated relationship with private fund CCOs. On the one hand, CCOs are the first line of defense to implement SEC rules and guard against improper practices, aligning their interests and purposes. On the other hand, gatekeeper liability is often directed at CCOs when things go wrong, which is even more likely in the current rapidly evolving regulatory environment in which new SEC rules are being released with alarming frequency. Those issues were covered at the Investment Company Institute (ICI) 2022 Investment Management Conference in a panel moderated by Tamara Salmon, ICI’s associate GC, that featured several CCOs, including Christina E. Sears from American Beacon Funds, Michael F. Hogan from Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. and Brian Harris from State Street Global Advisers. The program also featured Peter Driscoll, PwC partner and former Director of the SEC’s Division of Examinations. This second article in a two-part series sets forth the CCOs’ thoughts on the evolving approach of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement; what they expect from the SEC going forward; viewpoints as to CCO liability; and the treatment of environmental, social and governance issues. The first article contained anecdotes from the CCOs as to how they are using their resources to manage challenges arising from the recent proliferation of new SEC rules and amendments. For more from ICI, see our two-part series: “Broad Range of Terminology and Products in the ESG Business Landscape Hampers Investors and Regulators” (Oct. 19, 2021); and “Specific ESG Areas of Focus for the SEC and the Role of Third-Party Rating Agencies in Allowing ESG Comparisons” (Oct. 26, 2021).

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