SEC Staff Says that Pay-to-Play Rule Does not Extend to Affiliates
The staff of the Division of Investment Management, it its update to the Pay-to-Play rule (206(4)-5) FAQs, indicates that personnel of an adviser’s affiliate are not covered by the prohibition on certain political contributions. The staff makes clear that the term “covered associates” only includes the adviser’s general partner, managing member, executive officer, any person soliciting government entities, and supervisors thereof. The staff notes that a supervisor residing at an affiliate could be considered a “covered associate.” Also, the staff warned that the rule prohibits doing anything indirectly that could not be done directly.
OUR TAKE: Firms should not try to get too clever by moving personnel to affiliates to avoid the rule. The examination staff will see through a jury-rigged structure.