Articles Tagged with Performance Fees

Nebraska has proposed multiple changes to its securities laws, including changes to investment adviser registration requirements, changes related to broker dealers and agents, and changes relating to securities registration procedures.

As the proposed changes relate to investment advisers, Nebraska proposes to eliminate the Form IAR and to substitute registration through the CRD/IARD system.  An original application for registration would be required to contain Form ADV, Part 2 for the firm and a brochure supplement for each investment adviser representative.  An original application would also be required to contain copies of all other promotional or disclosure literature expected to be provided to clients and perspective clients in Nebraska.  The proposed rule would eliminate from the registration renewal requirements, the current requirements of submission of Form IAR and the promotional and disclosure literature.  The rules would align Nebraska with the annual updating amendment requirements of other states, by requiring submission of annual updating amendments to Form ADV within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year.  Additionally, the rule would require firms to submit other-than-annual amendments to Form ADV as required by the Form ADV instructions.

The proposed rule would also require brochure delivery to clients in a manner consistent with the requirements of most other states.  For example, delivery of Part 2 and a brochure supplement for each individual that provides investment advice and has direct contact with the client, or exercises discretion over the client’s assets in Nebraska either at the time of entering into an advisory contract or within 48 hours before entering into the contract.  If the delivery is made at the time the contract is entered into, the client must be given the right to terminate the contract without penalty within 5 days of entering into the contract.  Either an annual update or summary of material changes must be delivered to each client within 120 days after the end of the firm’s fiscal year.

Pursuant to an order entered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on June 14, 2016, the exemption contained under Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act (“Advisers Act”), which allows registered investment advisers to charge performance-based compensation to clients notwithstanding the general prohibition against same contained in Section 205(a)(1) of the Advisers Act, will be slightly modified.  This modification is the result of a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act (“Dodd Frank”) implementing a provision of that act under Rule 205-3, which requires the SEC to adjust the dollar amounts contained in the exemption for inflation and to round the adjustment to the nearest $100,000.00.  This adjustment must occur every five years.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released Final Rule No. IA – 3372 which changes the qualifications for advisers who charge performance fees. We discussed the proposed amendment to the rule in a previous blog post, Performance Based Fee Threshold Increase Sought by SEC in Proposed Order. These amendments are required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and will take effect 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is anticipated shortly. Until then advisers can rely on the grandfather provisions.

While advisers are generally unable to accept performance fees, there are exceptions. For example under certain circumstances, a client may become a “qualified client,” under Rule 205-3, meaning he or she is deemed to be capable of bearing the risks associated with performance fee arrangements. Under the new rule, an adviser may charge performance fees to “qualified clients” who have at least $1 million of assets under management for that definition to apply. Under the previous rule, $750,000 in assets were required to be under management. Also, the net worth of an investor may also be a qualification for an exception. The amended rule raises the minimum net worth standard for qualified clients from $1 million to $2 million. (The other “qualified client” basis includes clients who immediately before entering the advisory contract are either executive officers, directors, trustees, general partners of the adviser or employees of the adviser and who have participated in the adviser’s investment activities for at least twelve months. This definition has not changed with the amendment.)
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Yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission published a notice of intent to issue an order that would increase the performance fee threshold, i.e., the definition of “qualified client” under Adviser’s Act Rule 205-3, to $2.0 Million from $1.5 Million (under the client net worth test), and to $1.5 Million from $750,000 (under the client asset under management test). The SEC also notified that it intended to adopt a rule requiring inflation adjustment reevaluation of these thresholds every five years.

The order proposal is a result of a study required by Section 418 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposed inflation-adjustment amendment would require the use of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Chain-Type Price Index (“PCE Index”), published by the Department of Commerce. The PCE Index is often used as an indicator of inflation in the personal sector of the U.S. economy.

The proposed amendment to Rule 205-3 would also specify that the value of a prospective client’s personal residence and any debt associated therewith should be excluded in determining net worth for purposes of determining whether he or she is a “qualified client” to whom performance fees may be charged.
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