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
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). After many revisions, the final Dodd-Frank Act has only minor effects on securities Issuers and their investors. The primary change, which takes effect immediately, is a modification to the definition of “accredited investor” contained in the Securities Act of 1933. In particular: (i) as it relates to natural persons, the $1,000,000 net worth standard must now be calculated excluding the value of the primary residence of such natural person; and (2) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been mandated to review the entire accredited investor definition within four (4) years and make appropriate changes within that time, without additional act of Congress.
Increased Net Worth Requirements
This change effectively increases the net worth requirements for investors, whose largest asset is often their primary residence. Although the SEC has not yet issued any guidance or other information on the change,