Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission issued Proposed Amendments to the “internet adviser” basis for SEC registration found in Rule 203 A-2 (e). Currently, the rule provides that an adviser who provides investment advice nearly exclusively via an interactive website is eligible to register with the SEC, as long as the adviser maintains records demonstrating that it provides investment advice to its clients exclusively through an interactive website and does not control, is not controlled by, and is not under common control with another investment adviser registered with the SEC solely in reliance on the internet adviser registration basis. An adviser can still qualify to register on this basis if it provides investment advice outside the interactive website (e.g., by telephone, in person, or via email) to not more than 15 clients in a 12-month period.
In proposing the amendments, the SEC noted that the investment management industry has experienced considerable growth and change in the 20-plus years since the rule was adopted. The proposal purports to address some of the more significant changes in the industry, particularly as it relates to the use of technology.