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Kinetic Partners’ U.S. Office Expands Regulatory and Compliance Practice to Meet Increased Hedge Fund Demand for SEC Registration

Kinetic Partners, a global professional services firm to the asset management, investment banking and brokerage community, today said it has expanded the regulatory and compliance team at its New York office to meet increasing demand from hedge funds undergoing SEC registration required under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Donald Babbitt and Kevin Duffy Jr. have joined the firm’s regulatory and compliance practice, which is experiencing significant growth due to fund managers taking steps to be fully compliant with the SEC registration process. The SEC is expected today to announce final rules and extended registration deadline.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Donald and Kevin join our growing regulatory and compliance practice,” said Julian Korek, Founding Member at Kinetic Partners. “Both have proven track records in the regulatory and compliance areas and will play vital roles in helping our hedge fund clients prepare for the new requirements resulting from SEC registration.”

Mr. Babbitt joins Kinetic Partners from Prometheus Capital Partners where he was Managing Director. Earlier, Donald worked as an adviser in financial operations and compliance in the private equity and investment and merchant banking sectors. He also was a senior attorney at the SEC in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Duffy joins the firm from NYPPEX Holdings, LLC, a Connecticut investment firm, where he served as general counsel. Prior to that, he served at New York-based law firm Duffy & Staab, where he specialized in compliance and regulatory matters. Kevin also served as a senior attorney at the SEC’s New York office.

Kinetic Partner’s Regulation and Compliance team has actively been working with hedge funds to prepare for registration with the SEC. The deadline extension will provide more time for a large portion of the industry that have just begun the lengthy registration process.

“The additional time to complete the process comes as a much needed reprieve for a large segment of the hedge fund industry,” said Jonathan Saxton, Director of Global Risk and Compliance at Kinetic Partners. “However, we would warn those managers who are not prepared to resist viewing this deadline extension as an opportunity to delay any further.”

For managers who have begun the registration process, common weaknesses in compliance policies include the implementation of “off-the-shelf” compliance policies and procedures that are ill-suited to their business, a general lack of documentation supporting compliance controls or policies, and less than robust controls and conflict management.

A significant number of fund managers with $3 billion in AUM or under—which is a group that comprises small and mid-tier funds—are trailing their larger counterparts in preparing for their SEC registration. According to the firm’s estimates, only about 40 percent of small fund managers ($300 million AUM or less) have begun the process, compared with roughly 85 percent of the mid-tier fund managers ($300 million to $3 billion AUM).

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