On February 4, 2015, the SEC issued cease and desist orders against three investment advisers that fraudulently maintained registration with the SEC by listing Wyoming as their principal place of business on their Forms ADV. These three incidences highlight Wyoming’s unusual landscape for investment advisers.
In order to explain the uniqueness of these orders, some background on investment adviser regulation will be provided. Originally, investment advisers were prohibited from registering with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act if it managed under $25 million in assets or met a designated exemption. In July 2011, that threshold was increased to $100 million. If an investment adviser does not meet or exceed the $100 million threshold, it is still required to register with the states in which they maintain their principal place of business. Wyoming is unique in that it does not regulate investment advisers. Any investment adviser with its principal place of business in Wyoming must therefore, according to the amendments to Section 203A of the Investment Advisers Act, register with the SEC.