The SEC will allow advisers that would otherwise have to file their annual Form ADV amendments by March 30 to delay filing until no later than May 14 if they are unable to file due to the coronavirus. If an adviser chooses to delay filing and delivery of the revised Part 2 to clients, the adviser must notify the SEC by email (and add website disclosure), which must include a description of the reasons for delay. The SEC indicates such relief may be necessary if the pandemic has limited “access to facilities, personnel, and third party service providers”, thereby causing challenges to meet the deadline. The SEC has also provided relief for Form PF filings as well as mutual fund in-person board meetings and certain required fund filings.
The pandemic crisis does not give advisers a free pass to miss the filing deadline. Our recommendation is to file if you can. At this point, most 12/31 fiscal year filers should have had the process well underway. A firm can always file an amendment to make corrections. If an adviser legitimately cannot file because it cannot obtain the necessary information, we recommend that the SEC and website disclosure include a well-presented rationale for delaying the filing.