On June 15th, the SEC announced that it has issued a request for comment concerning the actions of some “information providers”. The SEC is requesting information and feedback from the public and anticipates that the details gathered will help determine whether these information providers are acting as “investment advisers” under the Advisers Act. The SEC is specifically focusing the request on index providers, model portfolio providers, and pricing services.
The use of information providers has increased in recent decades, greatly impacting the asset management industry and calling into question (under the securities laws) whether they are offering investors investment advice or simply sharing information. The status of the investment adviser has regulatory implications, in particular prompting questions regarding registration under both the Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act of 1940. The request will facilitate consideration of whether regulatory action is required and appropriate to further the SEC’s mission to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities markets.
The public may submit feedback during the comment period, which will remain open for 60 days following publication of the request on sec.gov or 30 days following its publication in the Federal Register, whichever period is longer. For additional information and details on how to submit comments, see the Request for Comment on the SEC’s website.