August 20, 2020

Survey data show executives not educated on, prepared for, CFIUS

A survey conducted by Foreign Investment Watch showed that corporate executives feel neither educated nor adequately prepared to comply with new FIRRMA rules.

The first-ever survey, conducted between June 18 and August 18 by Foreign Investment Watch, was created to help executives understand how they compare to their peers when it comes to compliance with FIRRMA and preparedness for CFIUS. The survey was confidential and anonymous, and included specific questions for corporate executives as well as outside counsel.

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Executives were asked how educated they felt about CFIUS rules. On a scale of one to ten, with one being “not educated” and ten being “very educated,” the average response was four (4).

Executive Responses

The first part of our survey was aimed at executives inside corporations, venture capital firms, private-equity firms, and others whose companies (or portfolio companies) may be impacted by FIRRMA.

When we asked how “educated” these executives felt about CFIUS rules or filing processes — on a scale of one to ten, with ten being “very prepared” —the average response was only four.

Damara Chambers, a partner and co-leader of the National Security and International Trade practices at Vinson & Elkins, was not shocked by the low numbers. “The new rules on jurisdiction, mandatory filings, new filing methods and TID U.S. businesses are complex,” she says, “so it does not surprise me that industry executives do not feel fully educated on the CFIUS process.”

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