Are real estate fund managers required to be registered as investment advisers?

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After my recent post regarding exemption from investment adviser registration of venture capital funds and small hedge funds, I had a number of people ask me about the status of real estate funds under the new regime. Do the managers of real estate investment funds and partnerships need to register as investment advisers either under the pre or post-Dodd-Frank regime? The answer has always been somewhat ambiguous, but in my view, if the fund is a true real estate fund (i.e. it buys only real estate rather than interests in companies that own real estate), then its manager does not have to register. The Dodd-Frank Act did not change this analysis.

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