Yesterday the SEC released its final rule regarding the exclusion of the value of a person’s primary residence when determining whether the person qualifies as an “accredited investor” on the basis of having a net worth in excess of $1 million. The accredited investor standards are used to determine certain exemptions from Securities Act registration for private offerings. Prior to Dodd-Frank, investors could include their primary residence in calculating a minimum net worth of more than $1,000,000. Section 413(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act changed the requirement to exclude the value of the primary residence, for which the SEC has now finalized rules.
But, expect more changes to the accredited investor concept. Section 415 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a “Study and Report on Accredited Investors” examining “the appropriate criteria for determining the financial thresholds or other criteria needed to qualify for accredited investor status and eligibility to invest in private funds.” The study is due by July 2013, and the SEC will likely use the study for future rule making.