Pay to Play and Cash Solicitations

The Securities and Exchange Commission extended the date by which registered investment advisers must comply with the ban on third-party solicitation in Rule 206(4)-5 under the Investment Advisers Act. The SEC is extending the compliance date in order to ensure an orderly transition. Since solicitors will need to registered as an investment adviser or a broker/dealer or a municipal advisor.

Part of the rule was reliant on FINRA coming up with a rule to meet the requirements under the definition of “registered person” in 206(4)-5(f)(9)(ii)(B) for broker-dealers. FINRA has not done that yet. (Isn’t FINRA supposed to be more effective than the SEC?)

It’s not just FINRA, the the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has not finished its rules for municipal advisers under 206(4)-5(f)(9)(iii).

My IACCP symposium also raised the limitations in Rule 206(4)-3. That rule prohibits the use of solicitors in fundraising unless certain requirements are met. The rule specifically refers to “clients” with no further elaboration. For a private fund, that raises the distinction between the fund as a client and the fund investors as limited partners in the fund.

Fortunately, there is an interpretative letter ruling on the topic

We believe that Rule 206(4)-3 generally does not apply to a registered investment adviser’s cash payment to a person solely to compensate that person for soliciting investors or prospective investors for, or referring investors or prospective investors to, an investment pool managed by the adviser.