Marc Wyatt, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), participated in a meeting of the ABA Hedge Fund Sub-Committee at the ABA Business Law Section Fall Meeting on November 20, 2015, during which he reportedly remarked that OCIE is now examining Exempt Reporting Advisers. If accurate, this would be a stark departure from OCIE’s former practice and a significant development for Exempt Reporting Advisers.
As a reminder, Exempt Reporting Advisers are investment advisers that report certain information to the SEC but are not required to register because they meet one of two exemptions: (i) the Private Fund Adviser Exemption (under $150 million assets) or (ii) the Venture Capital Fund Adviser Exemption. The SEC, however, has not commented on Director Wyatt’s remarks and has stated that the speech will not be made available to the public. The securities bar is left to wonder whether the standard disclaimer provided by SEC officials before each public appearance, “My remarks are my own and do not represent the Commission,” may actually be true this time. We hope and reasonably expect that the SEC will either confirm or debunk the statement made by Director Wyatt.