The 2020 edition of the Global Investment Performance Standards (“GIPS®”) was released to the public at the end of June 2019 and with it comes a number of changes that firms will need to address. To maintain compliance with the GIPS standards, firms must make the required changes necessary to follow all requirements of the 2020 GIPS standards prior to presenting information through 31 December 2020 in their firm’s GIPS Reports.
All firms and asset owners complying with the GIPS standards will be required to at least make some changes to disclosures and the terminology used in their GIPS policies and procedures. Some firms will require more work. The following questionnaire is designed to help firms determine if converting to the 2020 GIPS standards will require more than a few minor tweaks for their firm. This list does not include all changes, but includes the top ten material changes that may require a project plan to be put in place to be able to implement the required changes by the effective date of the 2020 GIPS standards.
If your firm answers “Yes” to any of the following questions, a project plan should be established to address how the 2020 changes will be implemented at your firm prior to presenting 2020 performance in your firm’s GIPS Reports:
Key Questions to Consider
- Does your firm have limited distribution pooled funds (i.e., private funds that are not regulated under a framework that would permit the general public to purchase shares in the fund without a one-on-one presentation)?
- Has your firm created single account composites for pooled funds solely for the purpose of meeting the GIPS requirement of having every discretionary, fee-paying portfolio in at least one composite?
- Does your firm have multi-strategy portfolios (e.g., balanced portfolios where the equity and fixed income segments each could be represented as standalone strategies) where you would like to carve-out the individual strategies into their own composites?
- Does your firm have portfolios where actual transaction costs are unavailable (e.g., wrap accounts or other bundled fee arrangements)?
- Does your firm have portfolios where your firm controls the amount and timing of external cash flows (other than for private equity or real estate)?
- Does your firm have real estate or private equity composites?
- Does your firm include theoretical performance (e.g., model performance) as part of a GIPS report?
- Does your firm follow the Advertising Guidelines to claim compliance with the GIPS standards outside of your GIPS reports?
- Does your firm currently update your GIPS compliant presentations more than 12 months after the year ends?
- Does your firm have advisory-only assets or uncalled committed capital you wish to present in your GIPS Report?
Need Help Navigating or Implementing the 2020 GIPS Standards?
As a consulting firm specialized in investment performance and the GIPS standards, Longs Peak Advisory Services (“Longs Peak”) is available to help implement the 2020 GIPS standards for your firm. Verification firms are required to remain independent, which means they can provide your firm with advice, but they cannot actually “get their hands dirty” making the changes for you.
Whether you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above or if you just need help with the minor tweaks all firms need to make, Longs Peak is available to help. Please reach out to us and we can create a project plan to help your firm prepare to comply with all requirements of the 2020 GIPS standards.
Sean P. Gilligan, CFA, CPA, CIPM is the Managing Partner of Longs Peak Advisory Services, LLC. He has 18 years of experience in the investment industry and he specializes in GIPS compliance and investment performance consulting. Visit our website or contact us for more information on our firm and services.