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SEC adopts rule under Dodd-Frank Act defining “family offices”

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a new rule to define “family offices” that are to be excluded from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The rulemaking stems from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

“Family offices” are entities established by wealthy families to manage their wealth and provide other services to family members, such as tax and estate planning services. Historically, family offices have not been required to register with the SEC under the Advisers Act because of an exemption provided to investment advisers with fewer than 15 clients.

The Dodd-Frank Act removed that exemption so the SEC can regulate hedge fund and other private fund advisers. However, Dodd-Frank also included a new provision requiring the SEC to define family offices in order to exempt them from regulation under the Advisers Act.

The new rule adopted by the SEC enables those managing their own family’s financial portfolios to determine whether their “family offices” can continue to be excluded from the Investment Advisers Act.

The rule is effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

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