SEC Revises "Qualified Client" Definition

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On February 15, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) released its final rule regarding Investment Adviser Performance Compensation (the “Rule”) pursuant to Section 418 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). The Rule increases the assets-under-management (“AUM”) and the net worth thresholds for the “qualified client” definition. According to Section 205(a)(1) of the Investment Advisers Act (the “Act”), registered investment advisers (“RIAs”) are prohibited from charging performance fees; however, the SEC provided an exemption under Rule 205-3(a) of the Act, allowing RIAs to charge qualified clients a performance fee, which is also known as the “Qualified Client Rule.”

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