SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Statement of CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo on Proposed Amendments to Registration and Compliance Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors

October 9, 2018

In response to the Request for Information issued as part of Project KISS, the Commission received a number of letters from members of the asset management industry suggesting areas of potential rulemaking that, in their view, would make the Commission’s regulations more efficient and less burdensome.  I believe that today’s notice of proposed rulemaking furthers both of those interests. 

This proposal would incorporate relief from registration and compliance obligations for commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) consistent with relief currently provided by staff letters and advisories.  By integrating this relief now into the Commission’s regulations, the Commission is eliminating the need to search for a staff advisory that is over 20 years old and is providing legal certainty to entities currently relying upon the staff relief.  This will make regulatory obligations clearer and thereby facilitate compliance.  

Specifically, today’s notice of proposed rulemaking would reduce burdens for CPOs that operate pools in multiple jurisdictions by permitting them to register with respect to the pools that solicit or accept U.S. domiciled participants.  It would maintain an exemption with respect to those offshore activities whose only nexus to the U.S. is that the CPO also manages some U.S. derived assets.  It would also shore up our consumer protection provisions by prohibiting statutorily disqualified persons from operating exempt pools and soliciting and accepting funds, thereby giving such pool participants more confidence in their pool’s operator.  It would ensure that the Commission’s regulations treat similarly situated entities in a commensurate manner by excluding the investment advisers of business development companies under terms identical to those under which the investment advisers of registered investment companies are already excluded.  It would also eliminate the burden of filing data collection forms for persons with no meaningful, reportable information.  Finally, it would provide appropriate relief to the operators and advisors of asset management vehicles whose clients are limited to a single family, consistent with the terms of a comparable regulation adopted by the SEC, furthering our efforts at harmonizing with our fellow regulators in how we treat market participants in this space.

In short, this proposal appropriately tailors regulation and codifies decades-old no action relief in line with the goals of the CFTC’s Project KISS. I expect this proposal to be the first in a series of staff recommendations to streamline and simplify regulation of commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors.