Humankind Investments LLC was awarded the “Newcomer ESG/Impact ETF of the Year”  by Fund Intelligence at the 2021 Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards Ceremony. Humankind’s innovative ETF is the first registered investment company to be structured as a Maryland benefit corporation. As interest in ESG investing continues to grow, it is possible to utilize a governance model that commits an entity through state law organizational documents to pursue broader public benefits. Read our original blog post to learn more.

This post continues our assessment of whether the Limited Derivative User requirements of Rule 18f-4(c)(4) effectively and efficiently accomplish the SEC’s aim of providing “an objective standard to identify funds that use derivatives in a limited manner.” Here we question whether the “gross notional amount” of a derivatives transaction measures the means and consequences, rather than the extent, of its use. Continue Reading Assessing the Limited Derivatives User Requirements of Rule 18f-4—Notional Amounts

Our last series of posts on Rule 18f-4 have struggled to understand how its Limited Derivatives User requirements are supposed to work. We have done the best we could to explain the process for calculating a fund’s derivatives exposure, including determining the gross notional amount of derivatives transactions and adjustments thereto, excluding closed-out positions and currency and interest-rate derivatives entered into for hedging purposes, and applying the “10% buffer” for these hedges. In this series of posts, we shift our perspective to assessing whether these requirements effectively and efficiently accomplish the SEC’s objectives. Continue Reading Assessing the Limited Derivatives User Requirements of Rule 18f-4—Costs

Note: The following post originally appeared in Perkins Coie’s Public Chatter blog.

In the making for a long time, the SEC proposed rules yesterday that would change how mutual funds disclose their proxy voting – and would require institutional investors to disclose their say-on-pay voting records for the first time. Here’s the 174-page proposing release. Continue Reading SEC Proposes Changes to How Funds Disclose How They Voted

As has been our practice in this series on new Rule 18f-4, we end our survey of its Limited Derivatives User requirements with a compliance checklist. This checklist reiterates much of our earlier post on Derivatives Exposure: Why It Matters And How To Calculate It, but provides more details and includes required policies and procedures and steps required if a fund exceeds the 10% limit on its derivatives exposure. Given the length of the checklist and the difficulty in controlling the format of printed copies of this blog, we are providing the compliance checklist through a link to a PDF.

This post will address another ambiguity in the “10% buffer” Rule 18f-4 provides for excluding the notional amount of derivative transactions that hedge currency or interest rate risks (“Hedging Derivatives”) when calculating the Derivatives Exposure of a Limited Derivatives User. The ambiguity is whether, once the notional amount of a Hedging Derivative exceeds the 10% buffer, a fund should add back to its Derivatives Exposure (a) the entire notional amount of the Hedging Derivative or (b) only the notional amount in excess of the 10% buffer. We chose answer (b) in our post on The 10% Buffer and Changes in Hedged Investments. This post explains why. Continue Reading Hedging Derivatives under Rule 18f-4: Not an “All or None” Exclusion

This post continues our examination of the “10% buffer” for Hedging Derivatives, which refers to the amount by which the notional amounts of Hedging Derivatives can exceed the value, par or principal amount of the hedged equity and fixed-income investments. In this post we consider whether funds should apply the 10% buffer to Hedging Derivatives in the aggregate or on a “hedge-by-hedge” basis. Continue Reading Rule 18f-4: One 10% Buffer or Many?

This post continues our examination of the “10% buffer” for Hedging Derivatives, which refers to the amount by which the notional amounts of Hedging Derivatives can exceed the value of hedged equity investments, par amount of hedged fixed-income investments or principal amount of hedged borrowings. In this post we examine what it means for Hedging Derivatives to exceed the 10% buffer. Continue Reading Rule 18f-4: The 10% Buffer and Changes in Hedged Investments

We promised a few posts back to discuss how a Limited Derivatives User should apply what we termed the “10% buffer” to determine whether currency and interest-rate derivatives may be excluded from its derivatives exposure. This post begins to tackle the question What is the 10% Buffer? and explain how it might work.

Continue Reading Rule 18f-4: The 10% Buffer and Adjusting Notional Amounts of Hedges

Yesterday, the Investment Adviser Association published our article on “Dealing with the New Derivatives Rule: A Guide of Legal and Compliance Professionals” in the “Compliance Corner” of its September 2021 IAA Newsletter.

At a high level, the article:

  • Provides a background on the limitations on senior securities under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act“);
  • Affords readers with an overview of Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act;
  • Summarizes how a fund qualifies as a limited derivatives fund (including a six-step process for calculating derivatives exposure); and
  • Describes the key elements of a derivatives risk management program that is required to be implemented by a fund that does not qualify as a limited derivatives fund (i.e., a VaR Fund).

Regular readers of this blog have already read about all of this in more detail. But the article provides a handy summary, including many of the tables found in our posts.

We are grateful for the opportunity to have contributed the article to the IAA Newsletter.