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SEC Proposes Rule Changes for Fund of Funds Arrangements

(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission has voted to propose a new rule and related amendments designed to streamline and enhance the regulatory framework for fund of funds arrangements. Funds of funds are created when a mutual fund or other type of fund invests in shares of another fund.

“Mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other types of funds have become increasingly important for Main Street investors to save for retirement and meet their other financial goals,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “These funds invest in other funds for a variety of reasons, including to achieve asset allocation or diversification in an efficient manner, as well as to hedge and otherwise manage risk. However, depending on the size of the investments, funds may be required to seek an exemptive order, causing costs and delays, and resulting in a regulative regime where substantially similar fund of funds arrangements may be subject to different conditions. This proposal would create a consistent, rules-based framework for fund of funds arrangements while providing robust protections for investors.”

The Commission’s proposal would allow a fund to acquire the shares of another fund in excess of the limits of the Investment Company Act without obtaining an individual exemptive order from the Commission. In order to rely on the rule, funds must comply with conditions designed to enhance investor protection, including conditions restricting funds’ ability to improperly influence other funds, charge excessive fees, or create overly complex fund of funds structures.

Because the proposed rule would create a new, comprehensive exemptive rule for funds of funds to operate, the Commission is proposing to rescind rule 12d1-2 as well as most exemptive orders permitting fund of funds arrangements.

The SEC will seek public comment on the proposal for 90 days.

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