SEC Proposes Amendments To Investment Adviser Custody Rules

On May 27, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed amendments to Rule 206(4)-2 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) which governs custody arrangements for registered investment advisers (“Rule 206(4)-2”).

The proposed rule, if adopted, would require registered investment advisers that have custody of client funds or securities to undergo an annual surprise examination by an independent public accountant to verify client funds and securities. In addition, unless client accounts are maintained by an independent qualified custodian (i.e., a custodian other than the adviser or a related person), the adviser or related person must obtain a written report from an independent public accountant that includes an opinion regarding the qualified custodian’s controls relating to custody of client assets.

Finally, if adopted, the proposed rule would provide the SEC with better information about the custodial practices of registered investment advisers. The proposed rule is designed to provide additional safeguards under the Advisers Act when an adviser has custody of client funds or securities. Comments on the SEC’s proposal are due to the SEC on or before July 28, 2009.

Excerpt from the Corporate and Securities Update published by Blank Rome LLP, click here to read the full alert.