A Decade of Dodd‑Frank: Why and How the Regulations Brought Private Funds Into Compliance (Part One of Two)

On July 21, 2020, the Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, turned ten years old during another financial crisis – the global pandemic. Among other changes, Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act removed the exemption under which most private fund managers had operated, requiring them to become registered investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In addition, Title VI introduced the Volcker Rule to ban banks from proprietary trading and private fund ownership, forcing fund sponsors to adapt their products. In connection with the tenth anniversary of the seminal law, the Private Equity Law Report spoke with Arnold & Porter partners Stephen Culhane and David F. Freeman, Jr., about how the Dodd-Frank Act has changed the private funds industry. This first article in a two-part series discusses what drove the adoption of the Dodd-Frank Act; what new requirements it imposed; and how U.S. and non‑U.S. funds have responded to the changes. The second article will focus on enforcement efforts and areas of interest; the Volcker Rule’s effect on private funds; and the Dodd-Frank Act’s achievements in the private funds industry. See our two-part series “Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the Financial Crisis”: The Collapse and Aftermath (Oct. 11, 2018); and Changes to Compliance Programs, Regulation and Fund Strategies (Nov. 8, 2018).

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