On December 18, 2013, the SEC published proposed rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act, commonly referred to as Regulation A+. Since that time there has been very little activity towards the advancement of a final rule. The comment period closed March 24, 2014, and presumably the SEC is analyzing the information and deciding on the next reiteration.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group whose members are comprised of state securities regulators, while supportive of the Regulation A+ concept as a whole, has been vocal of its opposition of the proposed state law pre-emption provisions.
Notably, on April 8, 2014, Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, the NASAA liaison, gave a speech at the North American Securities Administrators Association commenting on the NASAA’s position. In the speech Mr. Aguilar praised the concept of the rule itself, including the two-tier structure, offering amount limits and importantly ongoing reporting requirements. He expressed agreement with many of the same
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On July 3, 2014, the SEC updated its Division of Corporation Finance Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations ) to provide guidance as to the determination and verification of accredited investor status for purposes of Rule 506 offering. The SEC published six new C&DI’s on the topic.
Effective September 23, 2013, the SEC adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act. For a complete discussion of the final rules, please see my blog Here.
On January 31, 2014, the SEC Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter in favor of entities effecting securities transactions in connection with the sale of equity control of private operating businesses (“M&A Broker”). The SEC stated that it would not require broker-dealer registration for M&A Brokers arranging for the sale of private businesses, in accordance with the facts and circumstances set forth in the no action letter, as described below.
For many years the SEC has maintained a staunch view that any and all activities that could fall within the broker-dealer registration requirements set forth in Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), require registration. See also the SEC Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration (2008) on the SEC website.
In accordance with the SEC Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration, providing any of the following services may require the individual or entity to be registered as a broker-dealer:
- “finders,” “business brokers,” and
On December 4, 2013, the SEC updated its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DI’s”) including new guidance on the rules disqualifying bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings.
The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the Issuer and related parties. On July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted such rules by amending portions of Rules 501 and 506 of Regulation D, promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933. The new rules went into effect on September 23, 2013. The new rule disqualifies the use of Rule 506 as a result of certain convictions, cease and desist orders, suspensions and bars (“disqualifying events”) that occur on or after September 23, 2013, and adds disclosure obligation in Rule 506(e) for disqualifying events that occurred prior to September 23, 2013.
Rule 506 provides that disqualifying events committed by a list of specified “covered persons” affiliated with the Issuer or
OTC Markets Comments on Proposed SEC Rules Regarding Amendments to Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156
On July 10, 2013, the SEC issued proposed rules further amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156. On September 23, 2013 the OTC Markets Group published a letter responding to the SEC’s request for comments on the proposed rules. The entire OTC Markets comment letter is available on both the OTC Markets website and the SEC website. The OTC Markets Group, through OTC Link, owns and operates OTC Markets and its quotation platforms including OTCQX, OTCQB and pink sheets.
Summary of Proposed Rule Changes
The proposed amendments will (i) require the filing of a Form D to be made before the Issuer engages in any general solicitation or advertising in a Rule 506(c) offering and require the filing of a closing
Will FINRA Rule Changes Related to Private Placement Further Deter Broker Dealers From Placing the Securities of Small Businesses?
On August 19, 2013, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 13-26 about the updated Private Placement Form that firms must file with FINRA when acting as a placement agent for the private placement of securities. A copy of the form is included with the regulatory notice at www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@reg/@notice/documents/notices/p325359.pdf. The Form went effective on July 1, 2013. FINRA has also updated the FAQs relating to the Private Placement Form. The updated Private Placement Form has six new questions:
- Is this a contingency offering?
- Does the issuer have
On July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, and adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC issued proposed rules further amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156.
Summary of Proposed Rule Changes
The proposed amendments will (i) require
On July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, the SEC adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the
New SEC Rules Have Eliminated the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Rules 506 and 144A Offerings
In a historic 4-1 vote on July 10, 2013, the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act. On the same day, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 506 to disqualify “felons and bad actors” from participating in Rule 506 offerings. This blog discusses the rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising. A separate blog will discuss the felon and bad actor disqualifications.
The SEC has also adopted modifications to Form D to require Issuers to specify if they are conducting an offering that permits general solicitation and advertising and to change the required time of filing the Form D for
An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisers: Exemptions for Advisers to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisers with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisers – Part I
As I have blogged about in the past, the JOBS Act will have a significant impact on hedge funds, and in particular smaller hedge funds. As the delayed rule changes become imminent, our firm has noticed a spike in inquiries related to small hedge funds and feeder funds. The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made a significant impact as well.
In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft-relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisers for those advisers with fewer than 15 clients. While eliminating the private adviser exemption, the Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund adviser exemptions today. These exemptions are for:
(1) Advisers solely to venture capital funds;
(2) Advisers solely to private funds with less than $150 million in assets under management in the U.S.; and