The placement agent industry has been under increasing scrutiny in the U.S. following scandals involving U.S. state governmental retirement plans and private equity firms or those raising money for such firms. State governmental retirement plans have proposed new policies requiring disclosure of placement agents used in funds in which they invest and in certain instances have banned the use of placement agents altogether in respect of their own investments. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a rule curtailing, among other activities, the use of placement agents who have made campaign contributions to persons such placement agents would subsequently solicit for investments on behalf of plan sponsors. The overall effect of these policies and proposed rules remain to be seen, both domestically in the U.S. and in Asia, however, careful monitoring of this developing issue from the legal and regulatory side may prove to be critical for Asian fund sponsors.
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