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CFTC approves confidential private fund risk reporting

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved a final rule requiring certain advisors to private funds that are dually registered with the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report information to the SEC for use by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) in monitoring risks to the US financial system.

The SEC approved the joint rule on 26 October, 2011.

The Commissions’ final rules, which implement Sections 404 and 406 of the Dodd-Frank Act, require SEC-registered investment advisers and dually registered CFTC registrants with at least USD150 million in private fund assets under management to periodically file a new reporting form (Form PF).  The information reported on Form PF will remain confidential.

Private fund advisers are divided by size into two broad groups – large advisers and smaller advisers.  The amount of information reported and the frequency of reporting depends on the group to which the adviser belongs.  Both the CFTC and the SEC anticipate the relatively limited number of large advisers providing more detailed information will represent a substantial portion of industry assets under management.  As a result, these thresholds will allow FSOC to monitor a significant portion of private fund asset while reducing the reporting burden for private fund advisers.
“With this final rule, regulators will gain transparency into an important sector of the financial marketplace to better assess risk to the overall system,” said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.
“The data collection form that we have adopted will address the dramatic lack of private fund information available to regulators today while easing the burden on private fund managers producing the data,” says SEC Chairman Mary L Schapiro.

The rules call for a two-stage phase-in period for compliance with Form PF filing requirements.  Most private fund advisers will be required to begin filing Form PF following the end of their first fiscal year or fiscal quarter, as applicable, to end on or after 15 December, 2012.  Others must begin filing Form PF following the end of their first fiscal year or fiscal quarter, as applicable, to end on or after 15 June, 2012.

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