The Different Meanings of the Word “Registration” for Private Funds

private fund registration

One of the first questions that new private fund advisers often ask me is whether they will need to “register” with the SEC. They are often thinking in terms of registration as an investment adviser. However, even if a fund adviser is exempt from registration as an investment adviser with the SEC, he or she also needs to understand the impact of other federal securities laws, such as the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, as well as the impact of state securities laws, including state investment adviser registration requirements. I often hear new fund advisers say that they intend to rely on a particular exemption from one law and assume this exemption applies across the board to all securities laws. This post will explore the different statutes and regulations that govern private fund advisers and the registration exemptions which are usually relied upon.

[Read more…]

The Venture Capital Adviser Exemption Explained

venture capital adviser exemptionSection 203(l) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”), also known as the venture capital adviser exemption, provides that an investment adviser that solely advises venture capital funds is exempt from registration with the SEC under the Advisers Act. The term “venture capital fund” is not defined in the text of the Advisers Act; instead, the term is defined in SEC Rule 203(l)-1(a) as a private fund that meets certain conditions. This article looks at each of these conditions and explains what is needed to meet them. [Read more…]

Is New York’s Form 99 Required When a Rule 506 Offering Has New York Investors?

The vast majority of private companies raising capital use Rule 506 of Regulation D, which, if complied with, ensures the securities being sold are exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because the offering of these securities does not involve “any public offering.” One of the primary advantages of a Rule 506 offering is that it is considered an offering of “covered securities,” which means that individual states cannot require issuers who meet the conditions of Rule 506 to register their offerings at the state level. By granting covered security status to Rule 506 offerings, Congress greatly reduced the compliance costs of companies raising private capital who would otherwise have to comply with the unique registration or exemption requirements of each state where one of their investors happened to live. [Read more…]

Intro to Private Equity Funds

private equity fundA private equity fund is an investment entity formed by an investment adviser (often also referred to as a fund manager or sponsor), that raises capital from investors to make investments in private companies under a specified investment strategy. Typically, the investors commit to investing a certain amount of capital over time, in one or more capital calls made over the course of the private equity fund’s life cycle. The investors are passive and do not participate in the management of the fund or the selection of its investments. The fund manager is responsible for investing the assets pursuant to the fund’s investment strategy. Additionally, private equity funds are often “blind” (in that the investor does not know in advance what their money will be invested in) and anonymous (in that no investor knows the identities of the other investors). [Read more…]

Using Side Letters in Private Funds

illustration of raising capital for a private fundAt some point while raising capital for a private fund, you will likely be asked by one or more potential investors to enter into a side letter. A side letter is an agreement between the fund and one particular investor to vary the terms of the limited partnership agreement with respect to that particular investor (almost always to the benefit of the investor).
[Read more…]