When private equity (PE) firms first came under the purview of the SEC, sponsors scrambled to create basic compliance programs and policies around items such as fees, expenses and insider trading. With the passage of time, PE firms have largely become proficient at those basic compliance functions and are now turning to new, interesting areas that are prevalent in the industry and, in turn, garnering the SEC’s attention during examinations. In a recent interview with the Private Equity Law Report, Latham & Watkins partner Nabil Sabki described some of the compliance issues he has seen the SEC target during recent examinations of PE firms. In this article, the first in a two-part series, Sabki examines the SEC’s attempts to root out conflicts of interest from outside business activities of PE firm personnel; trends in the types of cyber preparedness issues being targeted; and the agency’s new focus on how sponsors are using subscription credit facilities and reporting returns. In the second article, Sabki will describe SEC inquiries into acquisitions of minority stakes in PE management companies and general partners; recent trends in secondary transactions; and other unique sponsor practices drawing the agency’s attention in examinations. See “Former SEC Examiners Provide Perspective on 2018 OCIE Examination Priorities
” (Apr. 5, 2018); and “How Studying SEC Enforcement Trends Can Help Fund Managers Prepare for SEC Examinations and Investigations
” (Sep. 8, 2016).