17 CFR § 270.3a-4 - Status of investment advisory programs.
This section is a nonexclusive safe harbor from the definition of investment company for programs that provide discretionary investment advisory services to clients. There is no registration requirement under section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 [15 U.S.C. 77e] with respect to programs that are organized and operated in the manner described in § 270.3a-4. The section is not intended, however, to create any presumption about a program that is not organized and operated in the manner contemplated by the section.
(a) Any program under which discretionary investment advisory services are provided to clients that has the following characteristics will not be deemed to be an investment company within the meaning of the Act [15 U.S.C. 80a, et seq.]:
(1) Each client's account in the program is managed on the basis of the client's financial situation and investment objectives and in accordance with any reasonable restrictions imposed by the client on the management of the account.
(i) At the opening of the account, the sponsor or another person designated by the sponsor obtains information from the client regarding the client's financial situation and investment objectives, and gives the client the opportunity to impose reasonable restrictions on the management of the account;
(ii) At least annually, the sponsor or another person designated by the sponsor contacts the client to determine whether there have been any changes in the client's financial situation or investment objectives, and whether the client wishes to impose any reasonable restrictions on the management of the account or reasonably modify existing restrictions;
(iii) At least quarterly, the sponsor or another person designated by the sponsor notifies the client in writing to contact the sponsor or such other person if there have been any changes in the client's financial situation or investment objectives, or if the client wishes to impose any reasonable restrictions on the management of the client's account or reasonably modify existing restrictions, and provides the client with a means through which such contact may be made; and
(iv) The sponsor and personnel of the manager of the client's account who are knowledgeable about the account and its management are reasonably available to the client for consultation.
(3) Each client has the ability to impose reasonable restrictions on the management of the client's account, including the designation of particular securities or types of securities that should not be purchased for the account, or that should be sold if held in the account; Provided, however, that nothing in this section requires that a client have the ability to require that particular securities or types of securities be purchased for the account.
(4) The sponsor or person designated by the sponsor provides each client with a statement, at least quarterly, containing a description of all activity in the client's account during the preceding period, including all transactions made on behalf of the account, all contributions and withdrawals made by the client, all fees and expenses charged to the account, and the value of the account at the beginning and end of the period.
(5) Each client retains, with respect to all securities and funds in the account, to the same extent as if the client held the securities and funds outside the program, the right to:
(i) Withdraw securities or cash;
(ii) Vote securities, or delegate the authority to vote securities to another person;
(iii) Be provided in a timely manner with a written confirmation or other notification of each securities transaction, and all other documents required by law to be provided to security holders; and
(iv) Proceed directly as a security holder against the issuer of any security in the client's account and not be obligated to join any person involved in the operation of the program, or any other client of the program, as a condition precedent to initiating such proceeding.
(b) As used in this section, the term sponsor refers to any person who receives compensation for sponsoring, organizing or administering the program, or for selecting, or providing advice to clients regarding the selection of, persons responsible for managing the client's account in the program. If a program has more than one sponsor, one person shall be designated the principal sponsor, and such person shall be considered the sponsor of the program under this section.