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 (e.g., PE funds) and thus to not need the same protections 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 The problem is that the definition of accredited investor is outdated and tied to income and wealth thresholds that arguably do not reflect financial acumen.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 for the private funds industry. This second article discusses the key takeaways from the Proposal for fund managers. The first article reviewed the key proposed amendments to the definition and examined the views of the SEC commissioners on the Proposal. For more on the SEC’s efforts to update securities regulation, see “Putting the SEC’s 2019 Annual Report in Context: Commissioner Peirce Proposes Enforcement and Reforms (Part Two of Two)” (Jan. 28, 2020).

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