The SEC has recently indicated that it may well delay, to the first quarter of 2012, the date by which certain exempt investment advisers will have to register with the SEC and certain SEC-registered advisers will have to switch to state registration.

The SEC continues to face a daunting task to propose, adopt and implement various rules to effect the changes in the status of investment advisers required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Those required changes include:

  • The deletion of the so-called “private adviser” exemption in Section 203(b)(3) of the Investment Advisers Act and the adoption of new exemptions for advisers to family offices, venture capital funds and private funds of less than $150 million, with the result that more advisers will be required to register; and
  • Switching “mid-sized” advisers, which generally have between $25 million and $100 million in assets under management, from registration with the SEC to registration with the states.  

The Dodd-Frank Act contemplates those changes to occur by July 21, 2011. The SEC indicated that it expects to complete and adopt final rules regarding those changes by that date, but that it is considering permitting investment advisers affected by those changes to wait until the first quarter of 2012 to register with the SEC or to switch from SEC-registration to state-registration, as the case may be.

OUR TAKE: The delay in the compliance date(s) appears likely, so that investment advisers affected by those changes will have more time to comply with the final rules, when adopted by the SEC. Nevertheless, investment advisers that are likely to be affected by the changes should be prepared to review the final rules promptly and then work diligently to prepare and make the necessary filings