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IM Division Chief Plans Outreach to Smaller Fund Sponsors, Fund Boards

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management staff recently highlighted the Division’s board outreach initiative and its achievements, including staff no-action letters on affiliated transactions and in-person meeting requirements for directors. Dalia Blass, Director of the Division, in a recent speech outlined an initiative aimed at small and mid-sized fund sponsors and said the staff would like to focus its 2019 board outreach on smaller fund groups.  Blass noted the challenges smaller fund sponsors face such as fee compression, technology and regulatory compliance costs. She raised several possible lines of inquiry for outreach, such as: Are there barriers making it harder for small and mid-sized fund sponsors to compete?  Can the Division do anything to help address that without sacrificing investor protection?  Could new technologies, like blockchain, increase access to distribution, and if so, how can the staff help? Blass added that she is considering formation of an asset management advisory committee with input from experts with diverse viewpoints to tackle some of the Division’s priorities. Paul Cellupica, Deputy Director of the Division, reiterated in a separate speech that the SEC’s accounting and disclosure divisions are working together to consider possible recommendations for updates to Commission guidance on the valuation of portfolio securities and other assets held by funds, including efforts to “modernize guidance to fund boards on performing their responsibilities concerning valuation in a way that recognizes changes in our regulatory framework over the past five decades.”

 
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