Hedge Clause

Protects accountants from errors shown in the account sheets.

A hedge clause protects the person writing a particular document from misinformation or misinterpretations of the data.

The hedge clause protects accountants from errors shown in the account sheets like:

  • Financial reports 
  • Press releases 
  • Internal forecasting, etc.

All of which could potentially lead to capital risks or liabilities taken internally by a business or externally by an investor.

The clause states that if any inaccuracy is found, the author is not responsible or liable for the risks taken.

This causes potential danger for misuse of the clause for malpractices, as the writer is not held accountable. And for the same reasons, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released an interpretation of the Advisers Act explaining the limitations of the underlying clause.

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What are the examples of hedge clauses?

Examples include any disclaimer shown before accessing a financial document. One discrete example of a hedge clause is a safe harbor, primarily contained in a company's press releases.

How is a hedge clause written?

A hedge clause is used by investment advisories and is followed by a non-waiver disclosure explaining the client's legal rights. These exempt advisors from any misinformation suits unless the act comes under fraudulent activities.

Any errors in accounting whose measurements were taken by other authorities are exempt from responsibility. 

The rules set by the SEC limit the misconduct and misuse of the clauses as specified in the Advisers act. It also changed its interpretation after 2007, making errors limited and liabilities circumstantial and situational.

Who does the hedge clause protect?

Hedge clauses protect writers or authors that had no participation in recording the datasets provided to them via the organization.

Any decisions made on the reports are usually advised to be carefully interpreted, and the publisher of that information is not overlooked.

Regulations on a Hedge Clause

As the authors and writers are not held responsible for the errors and misinformation in the reports, they can enact unethical behaviors and indulge in misconduct.

To prevent misconduct, the Investment Advisers Act was established in 1940. This act states the standardized code, with limitations to misinformation and errors in a report. However, the authors of the financial statement, information, or document are still liable for those exceptions.

An interpretation of the Advisors Act of 1940 was released by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 11th, 2022, to prevent malpractice.

The SEC started taking action and restricting the flexibility of the hedge clause. Situations were made more discrete with rules relating to anti-fraud policies. Whether the clause is legitimate or fraudulent will be decided per the clause and the particular misinformation in the corresponding article or report.

Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act restrict any advisory from launching any scheme or engaging in any activity that defrauds clients, primarily when the action acts in favor of advisors or advisors' investments.

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Researched and Authored by Abhijeet Avhale | LinkedIn

Reviewed and edited by James Fazeli-Sinaki | LinkedIn

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