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 Small Business Advocate Releases First Annual Report
The SEC’s Office of Small Business Advocate launched in January 2019 after being created by Congress pursuant to the Small Business Advocate Act of 2016 (see HERE). One of the core tenants of the Office is recognizing that small businesses are job creators, generators of economic opportunity and fundamental to the growth of the country, a drum I often beat. The Office recently issued its first annual report (“Annual Report”).
The Office has the following functions: (i) assist small businesses (privately held or public with a market cap of less than $250 million) and their investors in resolving problems with the SEC or self-regulatory organizations; (ii) identify and propose regulatory changes that would benefit small businesses and their investors; (iii) identify problems small businesses have in securing capital; (iv) analyzing the potential impact of regulatory changes on small businesses and their investors; (v) conducting outreach programs; (vi) identify unique challenges for minority-owned businesses; and (vii) consult with the Investor
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
SEC Issues Final Rules Implementing The JOBS Act And Rules On The FAST Act
On May 3, 2016, the SEC issued final amendments to revise the rules related to the thresholds for registrations, termination of registration, and suspension of reporting under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The amendments mark the final rule making and implementation of all provisions under the JOBS Act, and implement further provisions under the FAST Act.
The amendments revise the Section 12(g) and 15(d) rules to reflect the new, higher shareholder thresholds for triggering registration requirements and for allowing the voluntary termination of registration or suspension of reporting obligations. The new rules also make similar changes related to banks, bank holding companies, and savings and loan companies.
Specifically, the SEC has amended Exchange Act Rules 12g-1 through 12g-4 and 12h-3 related to the procedures for termination of registration under Section 12(g) through the filing of a Form 15 and for suspension of reporting obligations under Section 15(d), to reflect the higher thresholds set by the