Roundtable Weekly
SEC Plans Increased Scrutiny of Private Funds With CRE Investments
February 11, 2023

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The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) this week announced its 2023 Examination Priorities, which includes a focus on registered investment advisers (RIAs) who manage “private funds that hold certain hard-to-value investments…with an emphasis on commercial real estate.” (PoliticoPro, Feb. 7)  

Private Fund Adviser Disclosures

  • The SEC reports that more than 5,500 RIAs manage approximately 50,000 private funds with gross assets exceeding $21 trillion. In the past five years, the gross assets of private funds have increased, with retirement funds playing a significant role. The funds are invested through a variety of strategies used by hedge funds, private equity funds, and real estate-related funds, among others. (SEC 2023 Examination Priorities, Feb. 7)

  • The agency recently proposed an expanded set of disclosures by SEC-registered, private fund advisers, which could affect those that manage real estate investments. (SEC Feb. 9, 2022 News Release | Proposed Rule | Fact Sheet)

  • The Real Estate Roundtable submitted comments last April on how the proposed SEC rules would increase compliance costs, decrease returns for all private fund investors and drive smaller fund sponsors away from the market. (Roundtable comments to the SEC, April 25, 2022)

  • The Roundtable letter raises concerns that the SEC proposal, if finalized, could hinder real estate capital formation; harm development and improvement of real properties; and curtail essential economic activity that encourages job creation. (Roundtable Weekly, April 29, 2022)

Credit Rating Risk

SEC screens

  • Last week, the SEC issued a separate report that identified commercial real estate credit ratings as a potential risk for consideration in assessments by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs). (SEC Staff Report, Feb. 2023)

  • According to the agency’s NSRO report, “After being adversely affected by COVID-19, the single borrower CMBS sector experienced an uneven recovery during the first half of 2021 as compared to the first half of 2020, with properties such as lodging and retail lagging. The (SEC) Staff identified potential risks relating to commercial real estate ratings with significant exposure to sectors negatively impacted by COVID-19, and potential non-adherence to methodologies and rating processes.”

The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) will continue to respond to the SEC’s various proposed regulatory initiatives and proposals affecting CRE with its industry and coalition partners. 

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