SEC seeks rule change that could cause fund managers to take less risk

by | Jul 7, 2023 | Financial

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, July 6, 2023.Brendan McDermid | ReutersA sweeping change sought by the Securities and Exchange Commission would take fund managers’ culpability a step further than current standards if they don’t effectuate a greater standard of care.  The rule change involves lowering the bar for indemnification of fund managers to “ordinary negligence” from “gross negligence.” The latter, current standard, allows limited partners to sue general partners only for recklessness or disregard to obvious risk. But if that were changed to “ordinary negligence,” then LPs may be able to sue for simpler mistakes, making it easier for them to bring claims against GPs. “It would monumentally change the relationship between fund managers and investors,” said Marc Elovitz, partner and chair of the regulatory practice at Schulte Roth & Zabel, in an interview for the Delivering Alpha Newsletter. “The ability for fund managers to take risks and to be protected for their simple day to day conduct is fundamental to having an investment strategy that has potentially higher rewards, ” said Schulte’s Elovitz, whose law firm represents investment funds. “If you’re going to have funds that offer potentially higher returns, there are going to be risks associated with that. And investment managers are going to have a hard time protecting themselves from being on the hook for those risks.”  Even the Institutional Limited Partners Association, which has been a broad proponent of the rule changes, has …

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