More than 20 industry professionals gathered in Washington DC last week to speak with lawmakers and regulators about private equity regulatory issues like broker-dealer registration and co-investment allocations.
The team of industry CFOs, CCOs and legal officers is part of the Association for Corporate Growth’s Private Equity Regulatory Taskforce (PERT), which was assembled last year to “build and strengthen relationships between middle-market private equity practitioners and lawmakers,” said April Evans, partner, chief financial and compliance officer of Monitor Clipper Partners and PERT co-chair.
Evans said the group enjoyed “very productive conversations” with House lawmakers including David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), both members of the House financial services committee, as well as senior unnamed officials from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Since Dodd-Frank, the industry has criticized blanket rulemaking over the financial services industry, arguing that sweeping regulations can create unintended consequences for closed-ended private fund practitioners.
“Private equity is very different from any business model the SEC has been required to regulate in the past,” said Evans.
At the Washington, DC meeting, PERT focused on six regulatory areas: disclosure of fees/expenses, co-investments, valuations, broker-dealer registration, marketing/advertising and code of ethics, according to Evans.
“We talked about how co-investments mean something different in private equity than they do in other industries like mutual funds,” she said. “Same for marketing and advertising. Our websites are about reaching portfolio company CEOs and deal-flow, which is very different from funds looking to attract retail investors.”
PERT is also in the process of surveying industry professionals about their compliance, legal and valuation processes to create a set of best practices called the “PERT Principles”, which could arrive as early as year-end.
To join the initiative, visit www.acg.org or contact Amber Landis, senior director of public policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.