January 22, 2018

Letter to ICI and SIFMA Lays out Concerns of Staff of SEC’s Division of Investment Management about Funds Investing Primarily in Cryptocurrencies

On January 18, 2018, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Division of Investment Management (the "IM staff") issued a letter to the Investment Company Institute ("ICI") and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ("SIFMA"). In this letter, the IM staff highlights significant investor protection issues presented by certain features of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related products that the IM staff believes must be addressed before funds investing in cryptoassets are offered to retail investors.1 In particular, the IM staff raised questions related to (1) valuation, (2) liquidity, (3) custody, (4) arbitrage and (5) market manipulation.  The IM staff also formally announced its position that until the questions raised by the IM staff can be addressed satisfactorily, it does not believe that it is appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products. In addition, the IM staff announced that it does not believe existing funds should file post-effective amendments under Rule 485(a) to register a fund that invests substantially in cryptocurrency or related products.

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January 18, 2018

SEC Division of Investment Management Issues FAQs on Investment Company Liquidity Risk Management Programs

The staff of the Division of Investment Management (Staff) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs or guidance) related to the SEC's investment company liquidity risk management rule adopted in October 2016.  As discussed in our October 2016 memorandum, the SEC adopted new Rule 22e-4 (Rule) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended,1 which requires each registered open-end management investment company, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) but excluding money market funds, to adopt and implement a written liquidity risk management (LRM) program reasonably designed to assess and manage the fund's liquidity risk.

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