SEC Adopts "Pay to Play" Rule for Investment Advisers

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On July 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 206(4)-5 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to protect public pension plans and other government investors by deterring advisers from participating in “pay to play” practices. The new rule applies to investment advisers that are registered (or required to be registered) with the SEC or are exempt from registration under Section 203(b)(3) of the Advisers Act, including investment advisers to any “covered investment pool” in which a “government entity” (including public pension plans and other government investors) invests or is solicited to invest. Most, if not all, advisers that provide discretionary management with respect to public pension fund assets would fall under the scope of the new rule. “Covered investment pools” include entities that would be investment companies but for the exceptions provided by Sections 3(c)(1), 3(c)(7) or 3(c)(11) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, and any registered investment company that is an investment option under a government plan or program.

The new SEC rule has three key elements...

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