For at least the last three years, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has made reviews of alternative investment companies a top priority - and last year, conducted a sweep targeting about 20 fund complexes. Focus areas over this period have included policies and practices on leverage, liquidity and valuation; staffing, funding and empowerment of fund boards, compliance personnel and back offices; and the manner in which alternative funds are marketed to investors.

While there's no magic bullet for withstanding an SEC inspection, if you are a sponsor of an alternative investment fund - or have a fund that utilizes similar investment strategies - here are some areas to consider.

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