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9 Mar 2009

SEC To Contact Hedge Fund Investors

At the MFA Legal, Compliance and Operations Seminar in New York last week, SEC staff described its examination and enforcement priorities for the foreseeable future with respect to hedge funds and investment advisers.

According to a letter obtained by HedgeCo, the SEC staff said that as part of their examination of hedge funds and investment advisers, the SEC intends to contact investors, verifying that the hedge fund/investment manager is providing the same statement information to both the client and SEC staff.

The concern here is that the manager might be providing one set of statements to the SEC for exam purposes and another set of statements to the clients that contain materially different account balances or performance information.

This aspect of the exam program may have significant investor relationship implications for fund managers. When questioned, the SEC staff members indicated that they may issue a press release stating that this aspect will be part of examinations going forward.

The SEC staff indicated that fund managers may run the risk of obstructing the examination by getting ahead of the process and communicating directly with investors ahead of SEC staff.

The SEC also warned investors about con-artists who may use the names of SEC employees to mislead, trick and conduct "emergency" examinations.

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