Securities and Exchange Board of India
September 30, 2021
All Investment Advisers
Sir / Madam
Subject: ‘Guidelines for Investment Advisers’ – Extension of timelines
1. “Guidelines for Investment Advisers” issued vide Circular No. SEBI/HO/IMD/DF1/CIR/P/2020/182 dtd., 23rd September, 2020 (hereinafter referred as “Circular”) inter alia prescribed timeline of six months from the end of each financial year for Investment Advisers (IA) to conduct annual audit in respect of compliance of SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013 (“IA Regulations”) and circulars issued thereunder. Further, a timeline of one month from the date of the audit report but not later than October 31st of each year was prescribed for submitting adverse findings of such audit, if any, for the previous financial year starting with the financial year ending March 31, 2021.
2. The Circular further specified a timeline of 6 months from the end of the financial year for the IAs to obtain an annual certificate from an auditor confirming compliance with the client level segregation requirements as specified in Regulation 22 of the IA Regulations.
3. SEBI is in receipt of representations from IAs requesting for extension of above mentioned timelines prescribed for annual compliance audit and annual certificate confirming client level segregation due to pandemic.
4. After due consideration, for financial year ending March 31, 2021, it has been decided to extend the timeline for compliance with the aforesaid requirements by three months.
5. Accordingly, the Circular stands partially modified as under:
i. In accordance with clause 2 (vii) of the Circular, for financial year ending March 31, 2021, the IAs shall conduct the annual compliance audit by December 31, 2021 and submit the adverse findings of the audit, if any, by January 31, 2022.
ii. Further, in accordance with clause 2 (i) of the Circular, for financial year ending March 31, 2021, IA shall obtain a certificate from an auditor by December 31, 2021.
6. All other requirements, terms and conditions specified in the Circular shall remain unchanged.
7. This circular is issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.
8. The circular is available on SEBI website at sebi.gov.in under the categories “Legal framework - Circulars” and “Info for - Investment Advisers.”