SEC Examining Whether Investment Advisers of Alternative Investment Funds Have Sufficient Due Diligence Processes in Place

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations is checking the due diligence processes at investment advisers of private pools of capital. In a letter sent this month to the chief compliance officers of registered investment advisers that have alternative investment options in their portfolios, OCIE asked the CCOs to provide copies of the investment firm’s trade blotter, due diligence policies and procedures, compliance policies and procedures, the names of the staff that take part in the due diligence process, and the names of third parties that provide due diligence services.

OCIE also requested all marketing materials that are offered to existing and potential clients, as well as current financial records. The SEC wants to know how fund managers are managing any conflicts of interest while performing due diligence.

The probe comes nearly two years after Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scam was discovered. Many of his investors became indirectly involved with the scheme through advisors that had invested in his funds.

In securities fraud lawsuits filed by some of the investors against their advisers, the plaintiffs contend that proper due diligence would have allowed the scam to be uncovered sooner. The SEC has also come under fire for failing to detect the scheme despite examining and investigating Bernard Madoff’s company on several occasions.

During this review, OCIE staff will visit the investment firms. They also want to meet with personnel knowledgeable about the due diligence process and with the firm’s investment committee head.

Related Web Resources:
SEC Scrutinizing Due Diligence Processes at Advisers of Alternative Investment Funds, US Law Watch, September 15, 2010
Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, SEC
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