On August 25, 2016, the SEC adopted amendments to Form ADV that have a compliance date of October 1, 2017. As of that date, any adviser filing an initial Form ADV or an amendment to an existing Form ADV will be required to provide responses to the form revisions adopted in the rulemaking, such as increased disclosure on separately managed account portfolios.
In an August 2017 Information Update, the SEC staff provides guidance easing the compliance burden associated with other-than-annual amendments to Form ADV made on or after October 1, 2017, but before the next annual amendment would be due.
Here’s the potential issue interim filers face: If an adviser is required to make an unanticipated amendment before its next annual amendment is due, it may not have the information necessary to complete all required fields. As an example, the SEC points out that new Section 5.K.(2) of Schedule D asks for the amount of regulatory assets under management and borrowings in a filer’s separately managed accounts that correspond to ranges of gross notional exposure as of the end of the filer’s fiscal year. The SEC acknowledges this would be difficult to complete because Form ADV did not previously require this information (and such information therefore may not have been captured by the adviser). The SEC also acknowledges that the IARD system will not allow the submission of filings with incomplete responses.
To help solve this problem, the SEC states that if a filer has insufficient data to provide a complete response to a new or amended question in Item 5 or the Schedule D sections related to Item 5 during the period from October 1, 2017 to the filer’s next annual amendment to the form, the SEC would not recommend enforcement action if the filer responds “0” as a placeholder in order to submit its Form ADV. The SEC adds that the filer should include a corresponding note in the Miscellaneous section of Schedule D to identify that a placeholder value of “0” was entered.