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SEC’s Walter suggests agency may move forward on hedge fund ad rule

A commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said she supports allowing hedge funds to publicly advertise, but she also raised concerns about how a proposal under consideration by the agency doesn’t seem to consider a number of investor protections.

Elisse Walter, a Democratic commissioner on the agency, said that the decades-old ban should be lifted but that the agency should also consider a series of recommendations made by an investor advisory committee, many of which were not considered in the proposal.

Speaking to reporters after participating in the event, Walter suggested that the agency could try to address some of the investor protection concerns in a separate effort. The SEC is under pressure to adopt the rules by lawmakers and the five-member agency’s two Republican commissioners. New SEC Chairman Mary Jo White has said that finishing the rule is among her top priorities.

The lifting of the restriction is mandated by the JOBS Act, the legislation approved by Congress in April 2012 seeking to ease access to capital for small and mid-sized companies.

“We have a proposal out there, and it’s a very shockingly stark proposal how streamlined it was and how few questions it asked,” Walter told reporters after speaking to the FINRA conference.

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