High-End Securities Regulation

The SEC has long taken a hands-off approach to private markets. Instead of direct regulation, the commission has used investor access restrictions to create high-end contracting environments where investors (in theory) have the resources necessary to fend for themselves. But in early 2022, this hands-off philosophy was turned on its head. In response to booming growth and concerns about harms to public pension plans and other institutional investors, the SEC proposed a sweeping set of regulatory interventions in the $18 trillion private fund industry (the “Private Fund Proposal”), a vast and important part of the private market ecosystem.

In a … Read more

Private Equity, State Pension Plans, and the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission under Chair Gary Gensler has been exploring transparency issues and other problems in the private equity industry and considering whether additional policy interventions are needed. One motivating factor is that public pension plans are the largest investors in this $5 trillion industry.

Context is important here. This is not the first time that more aggressive policy interventions have been considered to address perceived problems in private equity. As discussed in my 2020 paper, Public Investors, Private Funds, and State Law, a wave of state legislatures passed, or seriously considered passing, laws to mandate better … Read more