Bill Backs SRO for RIAs

Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a member of the Committee, introduced legislation that would create a Self Regulatory Organization for retail investment advisers. The legislation would amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide for the creation of National Investment Adviser Associations (NIAAs), registered with and overseen by the SEC. Investment advisers that conduct business with retail customers would have to become members of a registered NIAA.

The bill exempt private fund managers from having to belong to a NIAA. It looks like it uses the current definition of “private fund” as a company exempt under Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act. For real estate fund managers still wondering if the SEC cares about you, the bill also include those funds relying on the exemption under Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act for real estate funds to be exempt from the NIAA requirement.

For investment advisers that have a combination of retail and fund management, the bill sets the the threshold at 90% fund management for the exemption.

The question for investment advisers is what organization will try to be a (the?) NIAA. FINRA is an obvious candidate and one that will upset many.

As for fund managers, presumably they would remain subject to SEC oversight and examination instead of NIAA oversight.