Mary Jo White, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, spoke this morning at MFA’s Outlook 2013 conference. Chair White’s remarks focused on the global hedge fund industry and the regulatory steps that the SEC has made to foster increased transparency and openness in the industry.
“There is little doubt that hedge funds have entered a new era of transparency and public openness – a transformation that I believe will benefit investors, the public and regulators,” she said.
Chair White noted that recent rules related to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act will “allow communication and engagement with investors in a way not permitted by the old rule.” Taken with additional changes from the Dodd-Frank Act, Chair White said, “these are significant changes – creating an opportunity for a new era of openness, public engagement, and the availability of information about your industry.”
Hedge fund registration was also an important topic that Chair White covered during her remarks. She noted the significance of registration, saying, “It was significant both because of the historically private nature of your industry and because a requirement to register means much more to you than just checking a box on a form and letting us know that you exist. Registration, as you know very well,” she added, “requires, as an initial matter, making information about your operations and your funds public.”
Chair White said she looks forward to working with hedge funds and other private funds on other rules related to transparency, reporting, and the JOBS Act. “We all want this new marketplace to thrive – efficiently, but honestly – for the benefit of entrepreneurs and investors alike.”