Tips for Enduring an SEC Examination With the Lightest Possible Ramifications

With the SEC bolstering the staff and capabilities of its Division of Examinations, it is almost impossible for fund managers to avoid eventually facing unwanted scrutiny. A routine examination can quickly escalate to a referral to the SEC’s Division of Enforcement if fund managers are unprepared to move with the haste and thoughtfulness necessary to mitigate harm as much as possible. Accordingly, fund managers should heed the advice of the cadre of attorneys in the industry with extensive experience dealing with the SEC. To help fund managers prepare for potential SEC examinations, the Practising Law Institute gathered several expert attorneys to offer tips on communicating with staff, when to involve counsel, whether to self-report violations and other critical considerations. The panel that was moderated by Ken C. Joseph, managing director, financial services compliance and regulation for the Americas at Kroll; and featured Schulte Roth partner Marc E. Elovitz; Sidley Austin partner Ranah L. Esmaili; and Maurya C. Keating, Associate Regional Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. This article summarizes relevant takeaways for PE sponsors from the discussion. For coverage of other insights shared by Keating, see our two-part series: “Key Compliance Issues for Advisers and Funds Arising From the SEC’s 2022 Exam Priorities” (Sep. 27, 2022); and “Overview of the SEC’s Standards for Resilient and Effective Compliance Programs and Fiduciary Practices” (Oct. 4, 2022).

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