On August 5, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a rule proposal to modernize the disclosure framework specific to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (collectively referred to herein as “funds”). The general premise of the proposed rule is that different presentations are useful to different audiences relating to a fund’s reporting of operations and offerings. More specifically, while the traditional methods of providing full financial statements and a prospectus to shareholders may be useful to investment professionals and institutional investors, the average investor finds this information clumsy and confusing and would rather have more limited and graphical information focused on items such as the performance and expenses of the fund. In fact, it would not surprise most in the industry to find out that most retail investors are not engaging in a detailed review of the financial statements or offering documents.Read More
Many funds employ expense limitation agreements aimed at limiting the expense exposure for shareholders. Generally, an expense limitation agreement is based on the fund’s expense ratio (expenses / net assets) and computed each day so that on any single day a fund’s shareholders will not experience an expense ratio in excess of that specified in the expense limitation agreement with the fund’s advisor. These agreements effectively act as an enticement for potential shareholders to invest in a developing fund by offering a guaranteed maximum expense exposure. Absent this type of agreement, the developing shareholder base would likely be subjected to higher expenses as the fund attempts to build assets.Read More
The release of the GIPS 2020 Standards is the most significant overhaul of the GIPS Standards in almost a decade. Below are significant provisions of the 2020 standards that could impact how firms calculate and present performance to their current and prospective clients.Read More
Fulcrum fee arrangements have been used by certain actively traded registered funds for years but are of late garnering increased attention as active managers attempt to stave off passive investing and the lower fee structure often associated with it. The concept aligns the interest of the advisor with that of the investor by rewarding the advisor when it outperforms its benchmark and reducing the fees of the advisor (to that of an index fund-like fee or even zero) when it underperforms its benchmark.Read More
The Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”) is causing significant financial and operating hardships across all industries. Any companies that are currently preparing GAAP financial statements, including investment companies, should consider whether or not the impact of COVID-19 represents a significant event as defined in FASB Accounting Standards Codification (“FASB ASC”) 855, Subsequent Events.Read More
On December 30, 2019, the SEC proposed amendments to certain independence requirements with the goal of further aligning the auditor’s independence analysis with Rule 2-01’s “reasonable investor” concept. The concept asks us to consider whether a reasonable investor with knowledge of all the relevant facts and circumstances would conclude that the auditor is capable of exercising objective and impartial judgment?Read More
This post is the second in a three-part series that examines implications of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for the investment management industry. Part One introduced the Section 199A deduction and its impact on the investment management industry. Part Three will examine the deduction and C Corporation to S Corporation transitions. Feel free to be in touch with Matt Romano, tax partner, with questions about how these complex new tax developments affect you and your business.Read More
May 2020 Update: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020 the Auditing Standards Board issued new guidance providing for a one-year delay to the effective date of SAS No. 134, which will now be effective for audits of financial statements ending on or after December 15, 2021 and also allows for early implementation.
Non-public entities, including private funds and investment advisors, will likely see changes to Auditor’s Reports, or the Opinion, included beginning with December 2020 audited financial statements.
Investment advisers deemed to have custody of client funds or securities: Is your accounting firm both registered with, and subject to regular inspection by, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board? In certain situations, it's an important question. Jim Kaiser explores this and other questions about the SEC's Custody Rule in a recent issue of the Investment Adviser Association newsletter.Read More