17 CFR 275.206(4)-5 - Political contributions by certain investment advisers.

§ 275.206(4)-5 Political contributions by certain investment advisers.
(a) Prohibitions. As a means reasonably designed to prevent fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative acts, practices, or courses of business within the meaning of section 206(4) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-6(4)), it shall be unlawful:
(1) For any investment adviser registered (or required to be registered) with the Commission, or unregistered in reliance on the exemption available under section 203(b)(3) of the Advisers Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(b)(3)), or that is an exempt reporting adviser, as defined in section 275.204-4(a), to provide investment advisory services for compensation to a government entity within two years after a contribution to an official of the government entity is made by the investment adviser or any covered associate of the investment adviser (including a person who becomes a covered associate within two years after the contribution is made); and
(2) For any investment adviser registered (or required to be registered) with the Commission, or unregistered in reliance on the exemption available under section 203(b)(3) of the Advisers Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(b)(3)), or that is an exempt reporting adviser, or any of the investment adviser's covered associates:
(i) To provide or agree to provide, directly or indirectly, payment to any person to solicit a government entity for investment advisory services on behalf of such investment adviser unless such person is:
(A) A regulated person; or
(B) An executive officer, general partner, managing member (or, in each case, a person with a similar status or function), or employee of the investment adviser; and
(ii) To coordinate, or to solicit any person or political action committee to make, any:
(A) Contribution to an official of a government entity to which the investment adviser is providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services; or
(B) Payment to a political party of a State or locality where the investment adviser is providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services to a government entity.
(b) Exceptions—(1) De minimis exception. Paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not apply to contributions made by a covered associate, if a natural person, to officials for whom the covered associate was entitled to vote at the time of the contributions and which in the aggregate do not exceed $350 to any one official, per election, or to officials for whom the covered associate was not entitled to vote at the time of the contributions and which in the aggregate do not exceed $150 to any one official, per election.
(2) Exception for certain new covered associates. The prohibitions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall not apply to an investment adviser as a result of a contribution made by a natural person more than six months prior to becoming a covered associate of the investment adviser unless such person, after becoming a covered associate, solicits clients on behalf of the investment adviser.
(3) Exception for certain returned contributions. (i) An investment adviser that is prohibited from providing investment advisory services for compensation pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section as a result of a contribution made by a covered associate of the investment adviser is excepted from such prohibition, subject to paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) and (b)(3)(iii) of this section, upon satisfaction of the following requirements:
(A) The investment adviser must have discovered the contribution which resulted in the prohibition within four months of the date of such contribution;
(B) Such contribution must not have exceeded $350; and
(C) The contributor must obtain a return of the contribution within 60 calendar days of the date of discovery of such contribution by the investment adviser.
(ii) In any calendar year, an investment adviser that has reported on its annual updating amendment to Form ADV (17 CFR 279.1) that it has more than 50 employees is entitled to no more than three exceptions pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, and an investment adviser that has reported on its annual updating amendment to Form ADV that it has 50 or fewer employees is entitled to no more than two exceptions pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section.
(iii) An investment adviser may not rely on the exception provided in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section more than once with respect to contributions by the same covered associate of the investment adviser regardless of the time period.
(c) Prohibitions as applied to covered investment pools. For purposes of this section, an investment adviser to a covered investment pool in which a government entity invests or is solicited to invest shall be treated as though that investment adviser were providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services directly to the government entity.
(d) Further prohibition. As a means reasonably designed to prevent fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative acts, practices, or courses of business within the meaning of section 206(4) of Advisers Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-6(4)), it shall be unlawful for any investment adviser registered (or required to be registered) with the Commission, or unregistered in reliance on the exemption available under section 203(b)(3) of the Advisers Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(b)(3)), or that is an exempt reporting adviser, or any of the investment adviser's covered associates to do anything indirectly which, if done directly, would result in a violation of this section.
(e) Exemptions. The Commission, upon application, may conditionally or unconditionally exempt an investment adviser from the prohibition under paragraph (a)(1) of this section. In determining whether to grant an exemption, the Commission will consider, among other factors:
(1) Whether the exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Advisers Act (15 U.S.C. 80b);
(2) Whether the investment adviser:
(i) Before the contribution resulting in the prohibition was made, adopted and implemented policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations of this section; and
(ii) Prior to or at the time the contribution which resulted in such prohibition was made, had no actual knowledge of the contribution; and
(iii) After learning of the contribution:
(A) Has taken all available steps to cause the contributor involved in making the contribution which resulted in such prohibition to obtain a return of the contribution; and
(B) Has taken such other remedial or preventive measures as may be appropriate under the circumstances;
(3) Whether, at the time of the contribution, the contributor was a covered associate or otherwise an employee of the investment adviser, or was seeking such employment;
(4) The timing and amount of the contribution which resulted in the prohibition;
(5) The nature of the election (e.g, Federal, State or local); and
(6) The contributor's apparent intent or motive in making the contribution which resulted in the prohibition, as evidenced by the facts and circumstances surrounding such contribution.
(f) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) Contribution means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made for:
(i) The purpose of influencing any election for Federal, State or local office;
(ii) Payment of debt incurred in connection with any such election; or
(iii) Transition or inaugural expenses of the successful candidate for State or local office.
(2) Covered associate of an investment adviser means:
(i) Any general partner, managing member or executive officer, or other individual with a similar status or function;
(ii) Any employee who solicits a government entity for the investment adviser and any person who supervises, directly or indirectly, such employee; and
(iii) Any political action committee controlled by the investment adviser or by any person described in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) of this section.
(3) Covered investment pool means:
(i) An investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a) that is an investment option of a plan or program of a government entity; or
(ii) Any company that would be an investment company under section 3(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3(a)), but for the exclusion provided from that definition by either section 3(c)(1), section 3(c)(7) or section 3(c)(11) of that Act (15 U.S.C. 80a-3(c)(1), (c)(7) or (c)(11)).
(4) Executive officer of an investment adviser means:
(i) The president;
(ii) Any vice president in charge of a principal business unit, division or function (such as sales, administration or finance);
(iii) Any other officer of the investment adviser who performs a policy-making function; or
(iv) Any other person who performs similar policy-making functions for the investment adviser.
(5) Government entity means any State or political subdivision of a State, including:
(i) Any agency, authority, or instrumentality of the State or political subdivision;
(ii) A pool of assets sponsored or established by the State or political subdivision or any agency, authority or instrumentality thereof, including, but not limited to a “defined benefit plan” as defined in section 414(j) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 414(j)), or a State general fund;
(iii) A plan or program of a government entity; and
(iv) Officers, agents, or employees of the State or political subdivision or any agency, authority or instrumentality thereof, acting in their official capacity.
(6) Official means any person (including any election committee for the person) who was, at the time of the contribution, an incumbent, candidate or successful candidate for elective office of a government entity, if the office:
(i) Is directly or indirectly responsible for, or can influence the outcome of, the hiring of an investment adviser by a government entity; or
(ii) Has authority to appoint any person who is directly or indirectly responsible for, or can influence the outcome of, the hiring of an investment adviser by a government entity.
(7) Payment means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value.
(8) Plan or program of a government entity means any participant-directed investment program or plan sponsored or established by a State or political subdivision or any agency, authority or instrumentality thereof, including, but not limited to, a “qualified tuition plan” authorized by section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 529), a retirement plan authorized by section 403(b) or 457 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 403(b) or 457), or any similar program or plan.
(9) Regulated person means:
(i) An investment adviser registered with the Commission that has not, and whose covered associates have not, within two years of soliciting a government entity:
(A) Made a contribution to an official of that government entity, other than as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section; and
(B) Coordinated or solicited any person or political action committee to make any contribution or payment described in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section;
(ii) A “broker,” as defined in section 3(a)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(4)) or a “dealer,” as defined in section 3(a)(5) of that Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(5)), that is registered with the Commission, and is a member of a national securities association registered under 15A of that Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-3), provided that:
(A) The rules of the association prohibit members from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made; and
(B) The Commission, by order, finds that such rules impose substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on broker-dealers than this section imposes on investment advisers and that such rules are consistent with the objectives of this section; and
(iii) A “municipal advisor” registered with the Commission under section 15B of the Exchange Act and subject to rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, provided that:
(A) Such rules prohibit municipal advisors from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made; and
(B) The Commission, by order, finds that such rules impose substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on municipal advisors than this section imposes on investment advisers and that such rules are consistent with the objectives of this section.
(10) Solicit means:
(i) With respect to investment advisory services, to communicate, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of obtaining or retaining a client for, or referring a client to, an investment adviser; and
(ii) With respect to a contribution or payment, to communicate, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of obtaining or arranging a contribution or payment.
[75 FR 41069, July 14, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 43013, July 19, 2011; 77 FR 28477, May 15, 2012]

Title 17 published on 2014-04-01

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Title 17 published on 2014-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 17 CFR 275 after this date.

  • 2014-08-18; vol. 79 # 159 - Monday, August 18, 2014
    1. 79 FR 48709 - Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades With Certain Advisory Clients
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      SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received on or before September 17, 2014.
      17 CFR Part 275