How Can Hedge Fund Managers Wishing to Rely on the JOBS Act’s Advertising Relief Enhance Their Accredited Investor Due Diligence Procedures?

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act provides relief from the ban on general solicitation and advertising contained in the Rule 506 securities registration safe harbor, as long as all purchasers of an issuer’s securities are accredited investors.  While the JOBS Act creates more opportunities for hedge fund managers to market their funds to the public, such opportunities are accompanied by an obligation on the part of managers to take “reasonable steps” to verify that all purchasers of fund securities are accredited investors.  However, the SEC has not yet adopted final rules to define when an adviser has taken such “reasonable steps.”  For a discussion of the SEC’s proposed rules, see “JOBS Act: Proposed SEC Rules Would Dramatically Change Marketing Landscape for Hedge Funds,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 34 (Sep. 6, 2012).  Despite the lack of definitive guidance from the SEC, hedge fund managers should nonetheless evaluate their investor due diligence procedures to ascertain whether they are sufficiently robust.  In a guest article, Philip Segal, founder of Charles Griffin Intelligence, provides recommendations to assist hedge fund managers in enhancing their investor due diligence practices.

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