In FundFire, Ropes & Gray Partners Discuss The Expansion of Access to Alternative Investments

In The News
August 8, 2019

In June, the SEC requested public comments on the potential expansion of access to alternative investment products for individual investors. With comments due by September 24, a FundFire article published on Aug. 7 titled “SEC Push to Boost Alts Access May Spark 401(k) Reforms” discusses how its Concept Release and the potential for the retailization of private equity has captured the attention of the private fund market. Insights from asset management partners Mike Doherty and Peter Laybourn, and ERISA partner Josh Lichtenstein are featured in the piece.

“It’s significant in that the SEC has now opened the door in a formal way to thinking about these issues,” Mr. Doherty says in the article. “Expanded or reworked exemptions for private fund marketing under Regulation D of the 1933 Securities Act likely may be [a] prime focus of investor comments,” Mr. Doherty says. Mr. Laybourn adds that “Some fund managers have … found work to verify investor eligibility under 506(c) to be costly and laborious.”

“A main focus of discussion is laying the groundwork for greater adoption of alts products by DC plan sponsors, which have far lower allocations to hedge funds or private equity than defined benefit pensions,” notes Mr. Lichtenstein in the piece.