Former SEC Staff Expect Aggressive Private Funds Scrutiny to Be a Priority Under the Biden Administration (Part Two of Two)

As the country prepares for a shift in tone and policies in 2021 under President-elect Joe Biden, fund managers are also steeling themselves for how that trickles down to the SEC. Although the agency was far from toothless under the Trump administration, its focus on retail investors enabled fund managers to breathe a bit more easily than in years past. That is likely to change, however, as experts anticipate a heavier hand and harsher scrutiny of fund managers under the Biden administration. Debevoise recently hosted a webinar to preview how the Biden administration will likely affect SEC leadership appointments, priorities, areas of focus and enforcement efforts. The webinar featured Debevoise partners Julie M. Riewe, Arian M. June, Andrew J. Ceresney and Robert B. Kaplan, as well as counsel Charu Chandrasekhar. Many of the panelists served at the SEC during the Obama administration, and Chandrasekhar only recently left the SEC. This second article in a two-part series explains why private funds will be reprioritized by the SEC going forward, along with potential changes to the whistleblower program and penalties. The first article previewed how SEC leadership will likely change under the Biden administration, as well as why managers should expect more aggressive enforcement efforts going forward. For coverage of changes that were anticipated at the outset of the Trump administration, see “How the Trump Administration’s Core Principles for Financial Regulation May Benefit the U.S. Funds Industry (Part One of Two)” (Feb. 16, 2017).

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