ACA goes transatlantic

US-based ACA Compliance Group (ACA) has acquired a controlling stake in Blueprint Compliance, a European compliance consultancy firm. The acquisition comes amid a flurry of new financial regulations affecting private equity firms on both sides of the Atlantic. 

In Europe, the proposed AIFM directive will introduce new rules for foreign funds looking to access EU markets. Likewise, in the US, the recently passed Dodd-Frank Act will require most US firms, and some foreign private equity firms, to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as reported in PEM. 

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Congressmen Dodd and Frank:Driving regulation

The Dodd-Frank Act will additionally eliminate the private adviser exemption under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, meaning many private fund managers who relied on the exemption will now be subject to new rules as registered investment advisors with the SEC.   

“Firms appreciate us identifying issues and concerns before the regulations come into place. It provides them an opportunity to reach full compliance and avoid any fines or sanctions,” said Blueprint’s founder and CEO, Ron Weekes, in an interview. 

Weekes, who will lead ACA Compliance Group’s European operations, added the firm expects more private equity clients in the coming months as regulatory bodies in Europe and the US implement further rules for the industry

ACA’s expansion will create a cross-border regulatory compliance consulting practice of former  SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulators. 

The acquisition is anticipated to close this summer, at which point Blueprint’s London and Jersey offices will be renamed ACA Compliance (Europe) and ACA Compliance (Jersey) respectively.