The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), signed into law on July 21, 2010, contains sweeping changes that will impact the U.S. regulatory landscape for years to come.  It is comprised of a number of separate titles – Title IV, the “Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2010,” amends the U.S. Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”).  The Dodd-Frank Act requires, inter alia, that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issue rules relating to family offices.  Historically, family offices and their investment officers (and investment affiliates) have been granted exemptions from investment adviser registration under the Advisers Act on the basis that such persons (or entities) were not within the intent of Section 202(a)(11) of the Advisers Act, which contains the definition of “investment adviser.”  The relief came in the form of exemptive orders issued by the SEC.  The Dodd-Frank Act has codified this rationale by specifically excluding “family offices” from the definition of “investment adviser” under the Advisers Act and requiring the SEC to define the term “family office.”  Until the SEC issues its proposed rules, the exemptive orders and other relevant guidance reflect the current family office framework.  In a guest article, Michael G. Tannenbaum and Christina Zervoudakis, Founding Partner and Associate, respectively, at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, address those exemptive orders and other relevant guidance.  In a follow-up article in the HFLR, the authors will address the proposed rules shortly after they are issued by the SEC.

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