SEC Adopts Amendments To Accredited Investor Definition

The much anticipated amendments to the accredited investor definition and definition of qualified institutional buyer under Rule 144A were adopted by the SEC on August 26, 2020.  The amendments come almost five years after the SEC published a report on the definition of “accredited investors” ( see HERE)  and nine months after it published the proposed amendments (see HERE).  The rule changes also took into account the input and comment letters received in response to the SEC’s concept release and request for public comment on ways to simplify, harmonize and improve the exempt offering framework (see HERE).

As a whole industry insiders, including myself, are pleased with the rule changes and believe it will open up private investment opportunities to a wider class of sophisticated investors, while still maintaining investor protections.  As the SEC pointed out historically, individual investors who do not meet specific income or net worth tests, regardless of their financial sophistication, have been denied

SEC Proposes Amendments To The Accredited Investor Definition

Four years after issuing its report on the definition of “accredited investors” in December 2015, the SEC has published a proposed rule amendment to the definition.  See HERE for my blog on the SEC’s report.  The amendments were anticipated following an in-depth discussion on the definition contained in the SEC’s Concept Release on Private Offerings published in July 2019 (see HERE)

As a whole industry insiders, including myself, are pleased with the proposal and believe it will open up private investment opportunities to a wider class of sophisticated investors, while still maintaining investor protections.  In the rule amendment release the SEC cites numerous comment letters suggesting and supporting many of the proposed amendments including one from the Crowdfunding Professionals Association (CfPA), Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Division, a committee I sit on and for which I participated in the preparation of the comment letter.

The current test for individual accredited investors is a bright line income or net

SEC Advisory Committee On Small And Emerging Companies Issues Further Recommendations On Accredited Investor Definition

On July 19, 2016, the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) met and drafted its recommendations and response to the SEC report on the definition of accredited investor.  The subject of changes to the definition of accredited investor has been debated in a series of reports, recommendations, proposals and comment letters since early 2015.

On December 18, 2015, the SEC issued a 118-page report on the definition of “accredited investor” (the “report”).  The report follows the March 2015 SEC Advisory Committee recommendations related to the definition.  The SEC is reviewing the definition of “accredited investor” as directed by the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires that the SEC review the definition as relates to “natural persons” every four years to determine if it should be modified or adjusted.  See my blog HERE on the report and additional background on the subject.

At the July 19 meeting, the Advisory Committee finalized a draft of a letter