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SEC’s Final Rule on Private Fund Advisers’ Compliance Reviews Documentation

In this blog United Atlantic Legal Services discusses the SEC’s recent final rule: Private Fund Advisers; Documentation of Registered Investment Adviser Compliance Reviews. It’s a big one, and this blog is only intended to give an introduction to the new rule. Seek competent legal advice to come into compliance.

You can read the full release here.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently implemented a significant regulatory change with its final rule on “Private Fund Advisers; Documentation of Registered Investment Adviser Compliance Reviews.” This rule, which went into effect on [Effective Date], aims to enhance transparency, accountability, and investor protection within the private fund industry. In this blog summary, we’ll delve into the key aspects and implications of this rule.


The SEC, as the primary regulatory body overseeing investment advisers, has always been committed to safeguarding the interests of investors. The private fund industry has grown significantly over the years, making it imperative for the SEC to ensure that fund advisers are operating with utmost compliance and integrity.

Key Provisions of the Rule

  1. Documentation of Compliance Reviews: Under the final rule, registered investment advisers (RIAs) managing private funds are now required to document their annual compliance reviews. This documentation should encompass various aspects of their compliance programs, including policies and procedures, testing results, and any actions taken to address identified deficiencies.
  2. Frequency and Scope of Reviews: RIAs must conduct an annual review of their compliance programs to evaluate their effectiveness. The rule provides flexibility in the frequency and scope of these reviews, allowing RIAs to tailor them to their specific circumstances. This flexibility acknowledges that not all compliance issues require the same level of scrutiny.
  3. Board Reporting: For private fund advisers with a board of directors, the rule mandates reporting the summary of the annual compliance review to the board. This helps in ensuring that the oversight and accountability of compliance matters are maintained at the highest level of the organization.
  4. Recordkeeping Requirements: RIAs must maintain records of their compliance reviews for at least five years. This recordkeeping requirement serves to create a historical record of the adviser’s compliance efforts and helps the SEC monitor compliance over time.
  5. SEC’s Access to Documentation: The rule clarifies that the SEC has the authority to request and review the documentation related to these compliance reviews. This provision reinforces the SEC’s ability to assess compliance and take appropriate enforcement action when necessary.

Implications and Benefits

The final rule has several significant implications for the private fund industry:

  1. Enhanced Investor Protection: By requiring RIAs to document and review their compliance procedures regularly, the rule bolsters investor protection. It ensures that fund advisers are taking proactive steps to identify and rectify compliance issues that could impact investors’ interests.
  2. Increased Transparency: The rule promotes transparency within the private fund industry by mandating that compliance reviews be documented and shared with boards of directors, where applicable. This transparency can help build investor trust.
  3. Customized Compliance Reviews: The flexibility in the frequency and scope of compliance reviews allows RIAs to tailor their reviews to their unique circumstances. This approach acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective for all advisers.
  4. Enforcement and Accountability: The SEC’s access to compliance review documentation strengthens its ability to enforce compliance standards. Advisers who fail to meet these standards could face regulatory action, thereby fostering accountability in the industry.


The SEC’s final rule on “Private Fund Advisers; Documentation of Registered Investment Adviser Compliance Reviews” represents a significant step towards ensuring that private fund advisers prioritize compliance, transparency, and investor protection. By requiring annual documentation and review of compliance procedures, the rule aims to create a safer and more accountable investment environment for all stakeholders involved in the private fund industry. Advisers should familiarize themselves with the rule’s provisions and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance to avoid potential regulatory consequences.

About the Author

Michael Rasmussen is the founder of United Atlantic Legal Services. He is a licensed attorney in Florida and registered solicitor in the United Kingdom. Michael has acted as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer to several investment advisers, including private fund managers, responsible for the management of billions of dollars in client assets.  

Michael is also the founder of FinProLaw, an online learning platform where Michael has created courses designed for investment adviser compliance professionals. These courses include: 

  • Investment Adviser Compliance Essential for Chief Compliance Officers 
  • Foundations of Investment Adviser Compliance 
  • What is a “Security”? 
  • Investment Adviser Marketing Rule 
  • Regulation A – Exemption from Registration 
  • Regulation Crowdfunding – Exemption from Registration 
  • Regulation D – Exemption from Registration 

Michael can also be found on LinkedIn.

Investment adviser firms who are also clients of United Atlantic Legal Services can receive many of these courses at a significantly reduced fee or, in some cases, at no expense. Contact us today or visit the FinProLaw to learn more.