[author: Justin Park]
On November 10, 2011, CSA staff published CSA Staff Consultation Note 45-401 Review of Minimum Amount and Accredited Investor Exemptions (the consultation note). The consultation note provided information about the two exemptions under review and set out 31 consultation questions. The comment period closed on February 29, 2012.
On June 7, 2012 CSA staff published CSA Staff Notice 45-310 which updates market participants on the status of the consultation.
With respect to the Accredited Investor Exemption, some commenters supported retaining the accredited investor exemption and the definition of accredited investor in its current form while others suggested that the CSA could broaden the exemption to increase access to capital by businesses and opportunities to invest in the exempt market for more people.
With respect to the minimum amount exemption, many stated that the minimum amount is a flawed basis to measure investor sophistication or ability to withstand loss and operates to discourage diversification or appropriate investment strategies. Many recommended that the CSA repeal the exemption because of these concerns. Others recommended that the CSA keep the exemption at its current threshold despite these concerns. Their reasons for keeping the minimum amount exemption included: its usefulness as an alternative exemption when no other is available; its simplicity where investors are not willing to complete paperwork; and, the reasonable assumption that an investor would exercise care and caution before making such a large investment
Given the number of comments and the diversity of the feedback provided, the CSA indicated they would need further time to complete their review and consider the feedback. The CSA have indicated that they will finalize their review and publicly report on their conclusions later this year. A copy of the notice can be found here.