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SEC Issues Order Raising Dollar Threshold for Performance Fee Rule

Written by Jay Gould, Ildiko Duckor and Michael Wu

Effective on September 19, 2011, investors that pay performance fees to an adviser must either have at least $1 million managed by the adviser or a net worth of at least $2 million.

As mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC today issued an order that raises two of the thresholds that determine whether an investment adviser can charge its clients performance fees.  As discussed in the article we posted here on May 11, under the current Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, an investment adviser may charge its investors a performance fee if (i) the investor has at least $750,000 under management with the investment adviser (“asset-under-management test”), or (ii) the investment adviser reasonably believes that the investor has a net worth of more than $1.5 million (“net worth test”).  Today’s SEC order adjusted the amounts for the asset-under-management test to $1 million and the net worth test to $2 million.  The SEC order is effective on September 19, 2011.

Accordingly, it is important for investment fund managers to amend their offering materials to comply with the new requirements of Rule 205-3 under the Advisers Act.