The Securities and Exchange Commission eliminated the regulatory queue for certain types of ’40 Act funds of funds seeking to tap derivatives and other vehicles beyond traditional stocks and bonds.
In a no-action letter issued last week, the SEC assured the $96 million Grant Park Multi-Alternative Strategies mutual fund that it could invest in affiliated funds that offered exposure to investments through derivatives, property and commodities without facing enforcement.
Prior to the June 29 letter, affiliated funds of funds that sought to broaden their investment parameters beyond traditional instruments by investing in another product within their fund family needed exemptive relief.
And while the SEC had already granted such relief to dozens of managers, the process of seeking such permission added time and cost to the product development process. The new letter allows other managers to skip that step, and instead refer to it, says JoAnn Strasser, a partner at Thompson Hine who represented the manager along with counsel Andrew Davalla.
“This really cleans up a hole in the regulation and makes it easier for liquid alts to implement their strategies,” says Strasser.
In fact, the Grant Park fund, which is managed by Chicago-based Dearborn Capital Management and part of the Northern Lights series trust operated by Gemini Fund Services, initially sought exemptive relief. According to the prospectus, the fund seeks to reach its investment objective by investing primarily in derivatives, including options, futures, forwards, spot contracts and swaps. Other primary investments include U.S. equities and closed-end and exchange-traded funds.
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