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SEC to Raise Dollar Threshold for Performance Fee Rule

Written by Michael Wu

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently published a notice of its intent to raise the dollar thresholds that would need to be satisfied in order for an investment adviser to charge its investors a performance fee.  Currently, under Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, 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, or (ii) the investment adviser reasonably believes that the investor has a net worth of more than $1.5 million.  To comply with the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC must adjust these dollar amounts for inflation by July 21, 2011 and every five years thereafter.

Thus, the SEC intends to issue an order that would revise the dollar amount tests to $1 million for assets under management and $2 million for net worth.  The SEC is also proposing to amend Rule 205-3 to: (i) provide the method for calculating future inflation adjustments of the dollar amount tests, (ii) exclude the value of a person’s primary residence from the net worth test, and (iii) modify the transition provisions of the rule.  The SEC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule.