Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Pay to Play" Rule Proposals on SEC Agenda

The SEC has announced that at tomorrow's open meeting, it will consider re-proposing rules designed to address "pay to play" practices in the investment adviser industry. The Commission proposed similar rules in 1999 that sought to prohibit an investment adviser from providing advisory services for compensation to a government client for two years after the adviser or any of its partners, executive officers or solicitors make a contribution to certain elected officials or candidates; however the 1999 rule proposal was never adopted.

Although it is not clear if the proposed rules being considered on Wednesday will differ materially, or at all, from the 1999 version, according to the Commission's Sunshine Act notice:
The Commission will consider whether to propose a rule to address "pay to play" practices by investment advisers. The proposal is designed, among other things, to prohibit advisers from seeking to influence the award of advisory contracts by public entities through political contributions to or for those officials who are in a position to influence the awards.
Wednesday's open meeting is scheduled to be held at the SEC's headquarters at 100 F Street NE, in the Auditorium (Room L-002), and start at 2:00PM. The meeting is open to the public, and will be webcast via a link on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov.

The full text of the 1999 "Pay for Play" rule proposal, "Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers," is available at: http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=091286285148+0+3+0&WAISaction=retrieve

The Sunshine Act Notice for the July 22, 2009 open meeting is available at: http://sec.gov/news/openmeetings/2009/ssamtg072209.htm