Following testimony from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, State Treasurers and Comptrollers provided the following statement in response to the SEC’s proposed rules regarding private markets:
“The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the process of finalizing a critically important new private markets rule that will provide greater transparency in both fees and financial performance. We support this effort to enhance investor protections and better disclose the full cost and performance of private funds.
“The new private markets rule will greatly reduce costs associated with the selection and monitoring of private funds and will promote greater competition between private fund advisors to reduce fees and other expenses. Increasing efficiency and transparency in this $25 trillion market could mean tens of billions of dollars in savings for retirement funds.
“More sunlight in the private markets will also promote pay for performance. We strongly support a more granular set of quarterly disclosures (which advisers are typically already collecting) to standardize the information provided to investors.
“We believe that private markets provide value for long-term asset owners and are a key part of a diversified portfolio. This rulemaking increases the value delivered by balancing the relationship between private fund advisors and their limited partner clients.
“However, increased transparency shouldn’t unduly burden smaller private equity firms providing competition to more established players. We encourage the SEC to ensure that smaller firms face less of an administrative burden so that they are able to provide the transparency that LPs need without limiting their ability to attract capital and to compete with larger firms.
“We commend the SEC for standing up for investor protection, efficiency, competition and transparency in our nation’s private markets.”
• Colorado State Treasurer David L. Young
• Delaware State Treasurer Colleen C. Davis
• Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs
• Maine State Treasurer Henry E. M. Beck
• Maryland State Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman
• Massachusetts State Treasurer and Receiver-General Deborah B. Goldberg
• Nevada State Treasurer Zachary B. Conine
• Vermont State Treasurer Mike S. Pieciak
• Washington State Treasurer Michael J. Pellicciotti*
*Washington State Treasurer Pellicciotti has signed on solely in his official capacity as a state treasurer.
Background: The SEC is considering key new rule changes for private markets that will have significant impacts on the private equity sector. Included in their proposed rules from last year are provisions to increase private fund transparency, standardize investment fee and performance disclosures, restore fiduciary duties, and ban specific unfair trade practices.