The Accredited Investor Definition: Key Takeaways for Private Fund Managers (Part Two of Two)

Accredited investors are assumed to be financially sophisticated enough to understand the risks inherent in investing in private offerings, such as hedge funds, and thus, to not need the same protections under the securities laws as “retail” or less sophisticated investors. The problem is that the definition of “accredited investor” is outdated and tied to income and wealth thresholds that arguably do not actually reflect financial acumen. To address some of those issues, the SEC recently published proposed changes to the definition of accredited investor (Proposal) and is accepting comments on those changes through mid‑March. This two-part series examines the proposed amendments to the accredited investor definition and their implications in the private-funds context. This second article discusses the key takeaways from the Proposal for private fund managers. The first article reviewed the key proposed amendments to this important definition and examined the views of the SEC commissioners on the Proposal. For more on the SEC’s efforts to update securities regulation, see our two-part series: “SEC Chair Reviews Efforts to Modernize Regulatory Framework”: Part One (Jan. 30, 2020); and Part Two (Feb. 6, 2020).

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