As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the private funds industry, regulators are keeping a close eye on advisers’ ability to weather the crisis. As part of that effort, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has sent targeted document requests to multiple fund managers centered on their business continuity plans (BCPs). OCIE’s document requests have, among other things, sought copies of advisers’ BCPs and information about how they are being used during the pandemic, including preliminary assessments of weaknesses revealed to date. OCIE has also included questions about BCPs in ongoing routine examinations and phone interviews with advisers as the agency attempts to assess the effect of the pandemic on the industry. To help fund managers prepare for the SEC sweep of BCPs, the Private Equity Law Report interviewed several attorneys and compliance consultants for their insights. In addition to examining the scope and nature of the SEC’s efforts to date, this article includes a redacted OCIE document request list (OCIE Request List) received by a fund manager at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Fund managers should review the OCIE Request List to prepare for future potential SEC scrutiny of their BCPs. See our three-part series on withstanding the coronavirus pandemic: “Form ADV Filing Relief, Investor Communications and Liquidity Risks
” (Mar. 24, 2020); “Key Person Clauses, Fundraising Disruptions and Deal Flow Issues
” (Mar. 31, 2020); and “Business Continuity and Other Operational Risks
” (Apr. 7, 2020).