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August 18, 2020

Against a backdrop of unprecedented disruption, RFG’s 2020 survey of 28 investment offices shows that most have adapted to work from home arrangements with a “show must go on spirit.” 

While many expect to incorporate a permanent WFH hybrid model, remote working challenges remain: including compliance issues and more practical ones, such as hiring, training, and team collaboration. Nearly three-quarters of respondents expect both front office and trading/investment staff to work from home for the remainder of the year, while a few report working in office on a limited or conditional basis. 

RFG’s survey also delved into ways investment offices are (or are not) incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities into their processes and streamlining workflows through the use of template...

April 28, 2020

A survey conducted in 2019 by RFG in conjunction with the Financial Executives Alliance reveals the answer. LPs were asked “How can GPs make your life simpler?” and GPs were asked “What can LPs do better?" 

The results are in; and just in time, as LPs and GPs are looking for new ways to navigate the challenges of our pandemic-fraught market.  Not surprisingly, better communication was the sought by each group—but the areas of focus differed.  LPs cited the need for more standardized reporting and greater transparency in fees, expenses, and GP interactions with regulators. LPs also found the contracting process to be relatively one-sided; they argued that LP agreements should be standardized with respect to representations, warranties, and notifications, regardless of an LP’s size. GPs aske...

April 7, 2020

On April 6, RFG hosted a webinar on the COVID-19 pandemic which discussed the scientific and logistical challenges it poses and suggested a possible way forward. The speaker was Dr. James Sorace, a board-certified pathologist who has a knowledge of federal government health information technology policies as well as information systems across many departments and agencies—including expertise in clinical care, big-data analytics, health information technology, interoperability (or information sharing) and policy environments. 

                               

Because of the urgency and importance of the topic to all U.S. citizens, RFG is making his presentation and the recording of his remarks...

April 7, 2020

Recently, the once-stellar reputation of charitable organizations was getting a bit tarnished. As the press reported various scandals and investigations of endowed organizations, endowments were sometimes characterized as money hoards that provided little social benefit. Only a few years ago, the heightened scrutiny of educational institutions culminated with Congress imposing a 1.4% endowment excise tax. 

Now the COVID-19 crisis has vividly shown the important roles hospitals, research centers and other charitable institutions play as a means of social protection. Also, the benefits arising from an ability to fall back on an endowment are clear. This led Congress to provide some support for nonprofits in the CARES Act, which relaxes some restrictions on deductions. This relief—and more—is sorely ne...

January 28, 2020

Relationships between a general partner and the limited partners of a private fund often involve a tension between trust and vigilance, as the various parties consider their own needs against the optimal course of the investment for all involved. With this in mind, and in the hopes of furthering an increasingly productive working relationship, RFG is surveying market participants on the following questions:

               

For LPs: How can GPs make your life simpler?
 

For GPs: What can LPs do better?

All LPs and GPs are invited to participate in the survey by clicking on the appropriate link above. The surveys should take less than 2 minutes to complete.

Please feel free to extend an invitation to take the surveys to friends and contacts who would be interested in par...

January 21, 2020

Following the SEC’s statement on LIBOR transition, some investment advisers are offering up disclosures on the topic. But are mere disclosures sufficient? To find out, RFG invited Adam Schneider and Serge Gwynne, partners at Oliver Wyman, to advise members of the RFG consortium on issues faced by GPs. Schneider and Gwynne commented on three major risks that should be addressed, plus a significant opportunity. 


By way of background, LIBOR is almost ubiquitous, with notional amounts of LIBOR-based loans totaling about $240 trillion, and has been called “The World’s Most Important Number.” But this will soon end: in 2017 Andrew Bailey, CEO of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, announced it would stop supporting LIBOR after 2021, and LIBOR is likely to end at that time. Asset managers will have t...

January 13, 2020

In last week's RFG Weekly Roundup™, consortium members were alerted to a new EU tax anti-avoidance disclosure regime which is broad enough to potentially apply to U.S. nonprofit organizations. The article's analysis provides three steps for navigating the new rules. For more information about RFG's services, write to Information@RegFG.com.

December 16, 2019

At RFG’s Fall 2019 Meeting in Boston, several members expressed a desire to know more about CFIUS. Some investment offices are concerned that CFIUS may change the rules of the road and chill potential acquisitions (whether in technology, life sciences or other areas), especially for those who have investment capital from China. RFG is beginning to dig in on these issues. Doing so is particularly timely, as recent regulations have expanded CFIUS jurisdiction. 

CFIUS Basics. The U.S. tempers its “open policy” towards foreign investment with regulatory oversight through CFIUS, the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. CFIUS’ authority derives from the U.S. president, who has statutory authority under 50 U.S.C. 4565, and broad discretion, to block or unwind any transaction that “t...

November 18, 2019

Over the past year, investment activities at endowments have faced increasing public scrutiny in what can only be described as a highly politicized environment. At the same time, federal enforcement personnel have repeatedly warned that criminal charges will be harsher, and more likely to be brought, in cases where an organization lacks a comprehensive, continuously improving compliance program that is audited to assure its effectiveness. In the face of these requirements, The Regulatory Fundamentals Group LLC (RFG) surveyed internal audit teams at charitable organizations with endowments larger than $1 billion to understand how they tackled endowment audits. The white paper is available on our website here. For information about RFG's services for nonprofit investment offices, email Information@Re...

June 25, 2019

Pundits are pointing to near-term challenges to the global economy’s productive run since the 2008- 2009 financial crisis. RFG recently asked experts for their suggestions about what endowments and foundations should consider before the next downturn. An abstract of the suggestions, previously provided to RFG endowment and foundation consortium clients in RFG’s weekly newsletter, follows.

Consider the holistic needs of your organization – This includes access to other sources of revenue beyond the investment fund you manage and uncertainties concerning the organization’s costs and expenses.

Consider investment risks that did not exist in 2008 – Investment portfolios have changed over the past 10 years and those changes might impact performance and liquidity expectations. Significant changes might include:

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