Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients, 82236-82241 [2010-33077]

Download as PDF 82236 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations Airway Segment Changeover Points From To Distance From § 95.8005 Jet Routes Changeover Points J537 Is Amended To Delete Changeover Point Mullan Pass, ID VOR/DME .............................................. [FR Doc. 2010–32233 Filed 12–29–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 275 [Release No. IA–3128; File No. S7–23–07] RIN 3235–AJ96 Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients Securities and Exchange Commission. ACTION: Temporary final rule. AGENCY: The Securities and Exchange Commission is amending rule 206(3)–3T under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, a temporary rule that establishes an alternative means for investment advisers who are registered with the Commission as broker-dealers to meet the requirements of section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act when they act in a principal capacity in transactions with certain of their advisory clients. The amendment extends the date on which rule 206(3)–3T will sunset from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012. SUMMARY: The amendments in this document are effective December 30, 2010, and the expiration date for 17 CFR 275.206(3)–3T is extended to December 31, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian M. Johnson, Attorney-Adviser, Devin F. Sullivan, Senior Counsel, Matthew N. Goldin, Branch Chief, or Sarah A. Bessin, Assistant Director, at (202) 551–6787 or IArules@sec.gov, Office of Investment Adviser Regulation, Division of Investment Management, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549–5041. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting an amendment to temporary rule 206(3)–3T [17 CFR 275.206(3)–3T] under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 [15 U.S.C. 80b] that extends the date on which the rule will sunset from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 Calgary, CA VORTAC ...................................................... I. Background On September 24, 2007, we adopted, on an interim final basis, rule 206(3)– 3T, a temporary rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the ‘‘Advisers Act’’) that provides an alternative means for investment advisers who are also registered as broker-dealers to meet the requirements of section 206(3) of the Advisers Act when they act in a principal capacity in transactions with certain of their advisory clients.1 In December 2009, we extended the rule’s sunset period by one year to December 31, 2010.2 On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the ‘‘Dodd-Frank Act’’).3 Under section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act, we are required to conduct a study, and provide a report to Congress, concerning the obligations of broker-dealers and investment advisers, including the standards of care applicable to those intermediaries and their associated persons.4 We intend to deliver the report concerning this study, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, no later than January 21, 2011.5 Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act also authorizes us to promulgate rules concerning, among other things, the legal or regulatory standards of care for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and 1 Rule 206(3)–3T [17 CFR 275.206(3)–3T]. All references to rule 206(3)–3T and the various sections thereof in this release are to 17 CFR 275.206(3)–3T and its corresponding sections. See also Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2653 (Sep. 24, 2007) [72 FR 55022 (Sep. 28, 2007)] (‘‘2007 Principal Trade Rule Release’’). 2 See Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2965 (Dec. 23, 2009) [74 FR 69009 (Dec. 30, 2009)] (‘‘2009 Extension Release’’) and Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2965A (Dec. 31, 2009) [75 FR 742 (Jan. 6, 2010)] (making a technical correction to the 2009 Extension Release). 3 Pub. L. 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). 4 See generally section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and Study Regarding Obligations of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3058 (July 27, 2010) [75 FR 44996 (July 30, 2010)]. 5 See section 913(d)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Act (requiring us to submit the study to Congress no later than six months after the date of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act). PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 95 Mullan Pass persons associated with these intermediaries for providing personalized investment advice about securities to retail customers. In enacting any rules pursuant to this authority, we are required to consider the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the mandated study. The study and our consideration of the need for further rulemaking pursuant to this authority are part of our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers in connection with the Dodd-Frank Act.6 In light of these legislative developments, we proposed on December 1, 2010 to extend the date on which rule 206(3)–3T will sunset for a limited amount of time, from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012.7 We received 10 comment letters addressing our proposal prior to the expiration of the comment period.8 Six of these commenters generally supported 6 The study mandated by section 913 of the DoddFrank Act is one of several studies and other actions relevant to the regulation of broker-dealers and investment advisers mandated by that Act. See, e.g., section 914 of the Dodd-Frank Act (requiring the Commission to review and analyze the need for enhanced examination and enforcement resources for investment advisers); section 919 of the DoddFrank Act (authorizing the Commission to issue rules designating documents or information that shall be provided by a broker or dealer to a retail investor before the purchase of an investment product or service by the retail investor). 7 See Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3118 (Dec. 1, 2010), [75 FR 75650 (Dec. 6, 2010)] (‘‘Proposing Release’’). 8 See Comment Letter of the Consumer Federation of America (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘CFA Letter’’); Comment Letter of Bank of America Corporation (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘Bank of America Letter’’); Comment Letter of Fiduciary360 (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘Fiduciary360 Letter’’); Comment Letter of Tamar Frankel, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law (Dec. 14, 2010) (‘‘Frankel Letter’’); Comment Letter of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘NAPFA Letter’’); Comment Letter of Pickard and Djinis LLP (Dec. 10, 2010) (‘‘Pickard and Djinis Letter’’); Comment Letter of Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘PIABA Letter’’); Comment Letter of Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘Rhoades Letter’’); Comment Letter of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Dec. 20, 2010) (‘‘SIFMA Letter’’); Comment Letter of Winslow, Evans & Crocker (Dec. 8, 2009) (‘‘Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter’’). The comment letters are available at http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-23-07/ s72307.shtml. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES extending rule 206(3)–3T,9 and two commenters opposed an extension.10 Two other commenters did not address the extension directly.11 The comments we received on our proposal are discussed below. After considering each of the comments, we are extending the rule’s sunset period by two years to December 31, 2012, as proposed. II. Discussion We are amending rule 206(3)–3T only to extend the rule’s expiration date by two years. Absent further action by the Commission, the rule will expire on December 31, 2012. We are adopting this extension because, as we discussed in the Proposing Release, we believe that firms’ compliance with the substantive provisions of rule 206(3)–3T provides sufficient protection to advisory clients to warrant the rule’s continued operation for the additional two years while we conduct the study mandated by section 913 of the DoddFrank Act and consider more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.12 As part of our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers, we intend to carefully consider principal trading by advisers, including whether rule 206(3)–3T should be substantively modified, supplanted, or permitted to expire. If we permit rule 206(3)–3T to expire on December 31, 2010, after that date investment advisers also registered as broker-dealers who currently rely on rule 206(3)–3T would be required to comply with section 206(3)’s transaction-by-transaction written disclosure and consent requirements without the benefit of the alternative means of complying with these requirements currently provided by rule 206(3)–3T. This could limit the access of non-discretionary advisory clients of advisory firms that are also registered as broker-dealers to certain securities. In addition, certain of these firms have informed us that, if rule 206(3)–3T were to expire on December 31, 2010, it would be disruptive to their clients, and the firms would be required to make substantial changes to their disclosure documents, client agreements, procedures, and systems. We expect to revisit the relief provided in rule 206(3)–3T soon after 9 See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; PIABA Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. We note that PIABA supported a one-year extension. 10 See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter. 11 See Frankel Letter; Rhoades Letter. 12 See Proposing Release, Section II. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 the completion of our study in January 2011. Although we anticipate that will occur prior to the amended expiration date for the temporary rule, we want to ensure that we have sufficient time to engage in any potential rulemaking or other process that may emerge from either the study or any broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers prior to the rule’s expiration. As discussed above, six commenters generally supported our proposal to amend rule 206(3)–3T to extend it,13 and two commenters opposed it.14 Commenters who supported the extension cited the disruption to investors that would occur if the rule expired at this time, asserting that investors would be forced to change their accounts and would lose access to a wider range of securities.15 Commenters who supported the extension of the rule also asserted that allowing the rule to sunset would prove disruptive to advisory firms that are registered as broker dealers: they explained that expiration of the rule would act as an operational barrier to their ability to engage in principal trades with their customers.16 These and other commenters further explained that, if the rule were allowed to expire, firms relying on the rule would be required to make considerable changes to their disclosure documents, client agreements, procedures, and technical systems at substantial expense.17 These commenters agreed that extending the rule while the Commission conducted its review of the obligations of brokerdealers and investment advisers, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, would be the least disruptive option. Conversely, two commenters questioned whether the rule benefits clients and asserted that the Commission should not further extend the rule in light of what they view as risks posed by the compliance issues that the staff identified.18 One commenter, while opposing the extension, encouraged the Commission to take additional measures to protect clients from the conflicts of interest raised by principal trading if we chose 13 See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; PIABA Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. 14 See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter. 15 See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; SIFMA Letter. 16 See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter. 17 See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. 18 See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter. We also note that one commenter who supported the extension, CFA, also expressed concern about these compliance issues. See CFA Letter. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 82237 to extend the rule.19 Another commenter challenged the proposition that firms and investors would face disruptions if the rule sunsets, asserting that few firms and investors rely on the rule.20 On balance, and after careful consideration of these comments, we conclude that the benefits from extending this rule outweigh the potential costs of an extension. First, we believe that permitting the rule to sunset just before we commence a comprehensive review of the obligations of broker-dealers and investment advisers could produce substantial disruption for investors with accounts serviced by firms relying on the rule. These investors might lose access to securities available through principal transactions and be forced to convert their accounts in the interim, only to face the possibility of future change — and the costs and uncertainty such additional change may entail.21 This disruption will be avoided if we maintain the status quo while we engage in our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.22 We continue to believe that the rule benefits investors because it provides investors with access to a wider range of securities and protects investors who hold billions of dollars in advisory accounts. In reaching this conclusion, we have paid particular attention to our staff’s observations about firms’ compliance with the rule. We emphasize that we share the commenters’ concerns about the compliance issues that the staff identified, the critical aspects of which we summarized in the Proposing Release.23 Having carefully considered 19 See NAPFA Letter. We also note that CFA, while supporting the extension, stated that the Commission should address ‘‘weaknesses identified in the current approach and [back] that rule with tough enforcement focused on the larger issue of the appropriateness of recommendations.’’ CFA Letter. 20 See Fiduciary360 Letter. 21 As discussed in the 2007 Principal Trading Release and again in the 2009 Extension Release, firms have explained that they may refrain from engaging in principal trading with their advisory clients in the absence of the rule given the practical difficulties of complying with Section 206(3), and thus may not offer principal trading through advisory accounts. See 2007 Principal Trading Release, Section I.B; 2009 Release, Section I. 22 See CFA Letter (‘‘Although CFA has been critical of the temporary rule and has in the past urged the Commission to act expeditiously to replace it, we believe that, at this point, revision of the rule is best achieved in conjunction with the Commission’s broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers.’’). 23 Although some of the commenters suggested that the discussion of the staff’s observations in the Proposing Release was not robust enough, we E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM Continued 30DER1 82238 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES the staff’s observations, we conclude that the requirements of rule 206(3)–3T, coupled with regulatory oversight informed by those observations, will adequately protect advisory clients during the extension. Throughout the period of the extension, the staff will examine firms with higher risk characteristics, including firms that engage in principal transactions in reliance on rule 206(3)–3T,24 and continue to take appropriate action to help ensure that firms are complying with the rule’s conditions, including referring firms to the Division of Enforcement for possible enforcement action if warranted. One commenter asserted that the burdens placed on firms by rule 206(3)–3T are too stringent.25 As this commenter noted, the staff did not identify instances of ‘‘dumping,’’ a harm that section 206(3) is designed to redress, and we believe that the conditions and limitations in the rule serve as appropriate safeguards during the pendency of the extension. We note that one commenter asserted that even if principal trading relief may have been appropriate when we originally adopted rule 206(3)–3T in 2007, it no longer is.26 In particular, the commenter contended that the valuation of certain securities—such as municipal bonds—has become much more difficult, such that ‘‘a much greater amount of due diligence is required of the investment adviser who engages in advising clients on purchases of individual municipal bonds.’’ But extension of the rule does not have any bearing on an adviser’s due diligence obligations. The standard of care to which advisers are subject and the duties they owe clients are in no way diminished by their reliance on rule 206(3)–3T.27 Second, we further conclude that the extension of the rule’s sunset date is warranted to avoid the disruption to believe the summary contained in the release outlined the critical aspects of the issues observed by the staff with respect to compliance with the rule. See NAPFA Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter; CFA Letter. 24 One commenter suggested that the Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations should conduct additional examinations to determine if firms are complying with rule 206(3)–3T, among other requirements. See NAPFA Letter. 25 See Pickard and Djinis Letter. 26 See NAPFA Letter. 27 See rule 206(3)–3T(b) (‘‘This section shall not be construed as relieving in any way an investment adviser from acting in the best interests of an advisory client, including fulfilling the duty with respect to the best price and execution for the particular transaction for the advisory client; nor shall it relieve such person or persons from any obligation that may be imposed by section 206(1) or (2) of the Advisers Act or by other applicable provisions of the federal securities laws.’’). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 firms relying on the rule that will occur if the rule expires. The letters submitted by three commenters demonstrated that some firms in fact do rely on the rule, and that those firms will be faced with uncertainty and disruption of operations should the rule expire just as the Commission is about to begin a comprehensive review process that may ultimately produce a different regulatory standard.28 One commenter that represents securities firms described that large and small firms have relied upon the rule, and provided data showing that a substantial number of accounts and volume of trades would be affected by a change in the rule.29 We received four comment letters specifically addressing the duration of our proposed extension of rule 206(3)– 3T.30 Three expressed support for extending the rule for an additional two years, but argued that the rule should be made permanent.31 One of these commenters cited uncertainty and its attendant costs as a reason to make the rule permanent.32 Other commenters supported a shorter extension of the rule. For example, one commenter supported a one-year extension.33 This commenter stated that a one-year extension of the rule strikes the proper balance between the concerns of investor protection and the burden of potential revised regulations applying to investment advisers and brokerdealers.34 Two commenters generally opposed the extension and supported allowing the rule to expire: One commenter stated alternatively that the Commission should adopt a one-year extension with the imposition of other measures to ensure firms’ compliance with the rule and with their fiduciary obligations generally, and the other indicated that it would support an extension of six months if the Commission provided ‘‘further explanation and supporting evidence.’’ 35 As we noted in the Proposing Release, we believe that the rule should be extended only for a limited amount of time.36 That period of time, however, 28 See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. 29 See SIFMA Letter. 30 See Bank of America Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter; PIABA Letter. 31 See Bank of America Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter. 32 See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. 33 See PIABA Letter. 34 See id. 35 See NAPFA Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter. 36 See Proposing Release, Section II. The statements in the Proposing Release should not be read as limiting the scope of the alternatives we will consider in conducting the study mandated by PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 must be long enough to permit the Commission to engage in any rulemaking prompted by our study under section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and our broader review of regulatory requirements applicable to investment advisers and broker-dealers. Having considered the comments regarding the duration of the extension, and taking into account the importance of the issues that this process will address, the Commission believes on balance that a two-year extension is necessary to give the Commission adequate time to complete any such rulemaking. Because that process cannot begin until the completion of the study required by the Dodd-Frank Act, adopting a six-month or one-year extension, as certain commenters recommended, most likely would not provide sufficient time for such rulemaking, and thus could result in greater uncertainty (along with its attendant costs) for investors and firms that rely on the rule. We believe that certainty in this area is important, and we will complete any relevant rulemaking as soon as is feasible consistent with administrative procedure. A number of commenters also raised issues that were beyond the scope of our proposal to extend rule 206(3)–3T, including the broader legal and policy questions related to the meaning, scope, and application of a fiduciary standard and the appropriate considerations related to principal trading.37 These comments pertain to our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers, and we will consider these comments in conducting this broader review. III. Certain Administrative Law Matters The amendment to rule 206(3)–3T is effective on December 30, 2010. The Administrative Procedure Act generally requires that an agency publish a final rule in the Federal Register not less than 30 days before its effective date.38 However, this requirement does not apply if the rule is a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction, or if the rule is interpretive.39 Rule 206(3)– 3T is a rule that recognizes an section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and considering more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers. 37 See CFA Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter; Frankel Letter; NAPFA Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter; Rhoades Letter; SIFMA Letter. 38 5 U.S.C. 553(d). 39 Id. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations exemption and relieves a restriction and in part has interpretive aspects. IV. Paperwork Reduction Act Rule 206(3)–3T contains ‘‘collection of information’’ requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.40 The Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) approved the burden estimates presented in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release,41 first on an emergency basis and subsequently on a regular basis. OMB approved the collection of information with an expiration date of March 31, 2011. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The title for the collection of information is: ‘‘Temporary rule for principal trades with certain advisory clients, rule 206(3)–3T’’ and the OMB control number for the collection of information is 3235–0630. The 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release and the Proposing Release solicited comments on our PRA estimates, but we did not receive comment on them.42 The amendment to the rule we are adopting today—to extend rule 206(3)– 3T for two years—does not affect the burden estimates contained in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release. Therefore, as was the case when we extended rule 206(3)–3T in December 2009, we are not revising our Paperwork Reduction Act burden and cost estimates submitted to OMB as a result of this amendment. We will submit burden and cost estimates as part of our routine renewal of OMB’s approval of the rule’s collection of information. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES V. Cost-Benefit Analysis Other than extending rule 206(3)–3T’s sunset period for two years, we are not otherwise modifying the rule from the form in which we initially adopted it on an interim final basis in September 2007 or as final in December 2009. We discussed the benefits provided by rule 206(3)–3T in both the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release and the 2009 Extension Release. In summary, as explained in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, the 2009 Extension Release, and the Proposing Release,43 we believe the principal benefit of rule 206(3)–3T is that it 40 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section 41 See V.B&C. 42 See 2009 Extension Release, Section IV; Proposing Release, Section IV. 43 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.C; 2009 Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 maintains investor choice and protects the interests of investors who formerly held an estimated $300 billion in feebased brokerage accounts. A resulting second benefit of the rule is that nondiscretionary advisory clients of advisory firms that are also registered as broker-dealers have easier access to a wider range of securities which, in turn, should continue to lead to increased liquidity in the markets for these securities and promote capital formation in these areas. A third benefit of the rule is that it provides the protections of the sales practice rules of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Exchange Act’’) 44 and the relevant self-regulatory organizations because an adviser relying on the rule must also be a registered broker-dealer. Another benefit of rule 206(3)–3T is that it provides a lower cost alternative for an adviser to engage in principal transactions. One commenter disputed a number of the benefits of rule 206(3)–3T we have described above. The commenter did not provide any specific data, analysis, or other information in support of its comment.45 No commenter provided any substantive or specific evidence to contradict the Commission’s previous conclusion that the rule benefits investors, and the Commission continues to believe that the rule provides those benefits.46 In addition to the general benefits described above, there also are benefits to extending the rule for an additional two years. By extending the rule for two years, non-discretionary advisory clients who have had access to certain securities because of their advisers’ reliance on the rule to trade on a principal basis will continue to have access to those securities without disruption. If we chose not to extend the rule in its current form, firms currently relying on the rule would be required to restructure their operations and client relationships on or before the rule’s current expiration date—potentially only to have to do so again shortly thereafter (first when the rule expires or is modified, and again if we adopt a new approach after the study mandated by U.S.C. 78 et seq. NAPFA Letter (questioning the benefits of the rule in: (1) Providing protections of the sales practice rules of the Exchange Act and the relevant self-regulatory organizations; (2) allowing nondiscretionary advisory clients of advisory firms that are also registered as broker-dealers to have easier access to a wider range of securities which, in turn, should continue to lead to increased liquidity in the markets for these securities and promote capital formation in these areas; and (3) maintaining investor choice). 46 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.C; 2009 Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V. 82239 the Dodd-Frank Act, discussed above, is complete). Firms relying on the rule will continue to be able to offer clients and prospective clients access to certain securities on a principal basis as well and will not need during this two-year period to incur the cost of adjusting to a new set of rules or abandoning the systems established to comply with the current rule. In other words, extension will avoid disruption to clients and firms during the period while we complete the study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers. We also discussed the costs associated with rule 206(3)–3T in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, the 2009 Extension Release, and the Proposing Release.47 In the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we presented estimates of the costs of each of the rule’s disclosure elements, including: Prospective disclosure and consent; transaction-bytransaction disclosure and consent; transaction-by-transaction confirmations; and the annual report of principal transactions. We also provided estimates for the following related costs of compliance with rule 206(3)–3T: (i) The initial distribution of prospective disclosure and collection of consents; (ii) systems programming costs to ensure that trade confirmations contain all of the information required by the rule; and (iii) systems programming costs to aggregate already-collected information to generate compliant principal transactions reports. We did not receive comments directly addressing with supporting data the cost-benefit analysis we presented in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release.48 We do not believe that a two-year extension of rule 206(3)–3T would materially affect those costs.49 We recognize that, as a result of our amendment, firms relying on the rule will incur the costs associated with complying with the rule for two additional years. We also recognize that a temporary rule, by nature, creates uncertainty, which in turn, may generate costs and inefficiency.50 44 15 45 See PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 47 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.D; 2009 Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V. 48 In the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we estimated the total overall costs, including estimated costs for all eligible advisers and eligible accounts, relating to compliance with rule 206(3)– 3T to be $37,205,569. See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.D. 49 See Proposing Release, Section V. 50 See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter (‘‘We do, however, feel that extending the temporary rule is in the best interest of investors but think that doing E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM Continued 30DER1 82240 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations However, we believe that a temporary extension of the rule is the most appropriate action that we can take at this time while we conduct the study mandated by section 913 of the DoddFrank Act and consider more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.51 VI. Promotion of Efficiency, Competition, and Capital Formation srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES Section 202(c) of the Advisers Act mandates that the Commission, when engaging in rulemaking that requires it to consider or determine whether an action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, consider, in addition to the protection of investors, whether the action will promote efficiency, competition, and capital formation.52 We explained in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, the 2009 Extension Release, and the Proposing Release, the manner in which rule 206(3)–3T, in general, would promote these aims.53 We continue to believe that this analysis generally applies today. As noted in the 2009 Extension Release and Proposing Release, we received comments on the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release from commenters who opposed the limitation of the temporary rule to investment advisers that are also registered as broker-dealers, as well as to accounts that are subject to both the Advisers Act and Exchange Act as providing a competitive advantage to investment advisers that are also registered brokerdealers.54 Based on our experience with the rule to date, just as we noted in the 2009 Extension Release and Proposing Release, we have no reason to believe that broker-dealers (or affiliated but separate investment advisers and broker-dealers) are put at a competitive disadvantage to advisers that are themselves also registered as brokerso on a temporary basis is short sighted and leads to certain inefficiencies, particularly to smaller firms * * * We believe the Commission should adopt the rule on a permanent basis thus eliminating uncertainty with respect to compliance in this area.’’). See also Bank of America Letter (urging the Commission to consider a permanent rule that would allow firms to continue acting in a principal capacity in transactions with certain of their clients). 51 See CFA Letter (‘‘If, as we hope, more extensive revisions to the principal trading requirements are just around the corner, it would be unduly disruptive to abandon the existing system now absent evidence of significant harm to investors.’’). 52 15 U.S.C. 80b–2(c). 53 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VII; 2009 Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, Section VI. 54 See 2009 Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, Section VI; Comment Letter of the Financial Planning Association (Nov. 30, 2007). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 dealers; 55 however we intend to continue to evaluate these effects in connection with our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to brokerdealers and investment advisers. We received one comment letter arguing that rule 206(3)–3T would impede capital formation because it would lead to ‘‘more numerous and more severe violations * * * of the trust placed by individual investors in their trusted investment adviser.’’ 56 While we share the view that numerous and severe violations of trust could theoretically impede capital formation, we have not seen any evidence that rule 206(3)–3T has caused this result. We also reiterate that, in addition to conducting a broader review, we will continue to consider any potential violations of the rule and take appropriate action as necessary. VII. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis The Commission has prepared the following Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (‘‘FRFA’’) regarding the amendment to rule 206(3)–3T in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604. We prepared and included an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (‘‘IRFA’’) in the Proposing Release.57 A. Need for the Rule Amendment We are adopting an amendment to rule 206(3)–3T to extend the rule for two years in its current form because we believe that it would be premature to require firms relying on the rule to restructure their operations and client relationships before we complete our study and our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers. The objective of the amendment to rule 206(3)–3T, as discussed above, is to permit firms currently relying on rule 206(3)–3T to limit the need to modify their operations and relationships on multiple occasions, both before and potentially after we complete our study and any related rulemaking. We are amending rule 206(3)–3T pursuant to sections 206A and 211(a) of the Advisers Act [15 U.S.C. 80b–6a and 15 U.S.C. 80b–11(a)]. B. Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments We received one comment letter related to our IRFA.58 The commenter 55 See 2009 Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, Section VI. 56 See NAPFA Letter. 57 See Proposing Release, Section VII. 58 See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 stated that extending the rule temporarily, rather than permanently, would create uncertainty, thereby causing certain inefficiencies, particularly with regard to smaller firms.59 We recognize that a temporary rule, by nature, creates uncertainty, which in turn may generate costs and inefficiency, especially for smaller firms. However, as discussed above, we believe that a temporary extension of the rule is the most appropriate approach at this time while we conduct the study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and consider more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.60 C. Small Entities Subject to the Rule Rule 206(3)–3T is an alternative method of complying with Advisers Act section 206(3) and is available to all investment advisers that: (i) Are registered as broker-dealers under the Exchange Act; and (ii) effect trades with clients directly or indirectly through a broker-dealer controlling, controlled by or under common control with the investment adviser, including small entities. Under Advisers Act rule 0–7, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act an investment adviser generally is a small entity if it: (i) Has assets under management having a total value of less than $25 million; (ii) did not have total assets of $5 million or more on the last day of its most recent fiscal year; and (iii) does not control, is not controlled by, and is not under common control with another investment adviser that has assets under management of $25 million or more, or any person (other than a natural person) that had $5 million or more on the last day of its most recent fiscal year.61 As noted in the Proposing Release, we estimate that as of November 1, 2010, 680 SEC-registered investment advisers were small entities.62 As discussed in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we opted not to make the relief provided by rule 206(3)–3T available to all investment advisers, and instead have restricted it to investment advisers that also are registered as broker-dealers under the Exchange Act.63 We therefore estimate for purposes of this FRFA that 38 of these small entities (those that are 59 See id. CFA Letter (‘‘If, as we hope, more extensive revisions to the principal trading requirements are just around the corner, it would be unduly disruptive to abandon the existing system now absent evidence of significant harm to investors.’’). 61 See 17 CFR 275.0–7. 62 IARD data as of November 1, 2010. 63 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VIII.B. 60 See E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 2010 / Rules and Regulations both investment advisers and brokerdealers) could rely on rule 206(3)–3T.64 We did not receive any comments on these estimates. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES D. Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements The provisions of rule 206(3)–3T impose certain reporting or recordkeeping requirements, and our amendment will extend the imposition of these requirements for an additional two years. The two-year extension will not alter these requirements. Rule 206(3)–3T is designed to provide an alternative means of compliance with the requirements of section 206(3) of the Advisers Act. Investment advisers taking advantage of the rule with respect to non-discretionary advisory accounts are required to make certain disclosures to clients on a prospective, transactionby-transaction and annual basis. Specifically, rule 206(3)–3T permits an adviser, with respect to a nondiscretionary advisory account, to comply with section 206(3) of the Advisers Act by, among other things: (i) Making certain written disclosures; (ii) obtaining written, revocable consent from the client prospectively authorizing the adviser to enter into principal trades; (iii) making oral or written disclosure and obtaining the client’s consent orally or in writing prior to the execution of each principal transaction; (iv) sending to the client confirmation statements for each principal trade that disclose the capacity in which the adviser has acted and indicating that the client consented to the transaction; and (v) delivering to the client an annual report itemizing the principal transactions. Advisers are already required to communicate the content of many of the disclosures pursuant to their fiduciary obligations to clients. Other disclosures are already required by rules applicable to brokerdealers. Our amendment will only extend the rule for two years in its current form. Advisers currently relying on the rule already should be making the disclosures described above. E. Agency Action To Minimize Effect on Small Entities The Regulatory Flexibility Act directs us to consider significant alternatives that would accomplish our stated objective, while minimizing any significant adverse impact on small entities.65 Alternatives in this category would include: (i) Establishing different compliance or reporting standards or 64 IARD 65 See data as of November 1, 2010. 5 U.S.C. 603(c). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (ii) clarifying, consolidating, or simplifying compliance requirements under the rule for small entities; (iii) using performance rather than design standards; and (iv) exempting small entities from coverage of the rule, or any part of the rule. We believe that special compliance or reporting requirements or timetables for small entities, or an exemption from coverage for small entities, may create the risk that the investors who are advised by and effect securities transactions through such small entities would not receive adequate disclosure. Moreover, different disclosure requirements could create investor confusion if it creates the impression that small investment advisers have different conflicts of interest with their advisory clients in connection with principal trading than larger investment advisers. We believe, therefore, that it is important for the disclosure protections required by the rule to be provided to advisory clients by all advisers, not just those that are not considered small entities. Further consolidation or simplification of the rule for investment advisers that are small entities would be inconsistent with the Commission’s goals of fostering investor protection. We have endeavored through rule 206(3)–3T to minimize the regulatory burden on all investment advisers eligible to rely on the rule, including small entities, while meeting our regulatory objectives. It was our goal to ensure that eligible small entities may benefit from the Commission’s approach to the new rule to the same degree as other eligible advisers. The condition that advisers seeking to rely on the rule must also be registered as broker-dealers and that each account with respect to which an adviser seeks to rely on the rule must be a brokerage account subject to the Exchange Act, and the rules thereunder, and the rules of the selfregulatory organization(s) of which it is a member, reflect what we believe is an important element of our balancing between easing regulatory burdens (by affording advisers an alternative means of compliance with section 206(3) of the Act) and meeting our investor protection objectives.66 Finally, we do not consider using performance rather than design standards to be consistent with our statutory mandate of investor protection in the present context. 66 See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section II.B.7 (noting commenters that objected to this condition as disadvantaging small broker-dealers (or affiliated but separate investment advisers and broker-dealers)). PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 82241 VIII. Statutory Authority The Commission is amending rule 206(3)–3T pursuant to sections 206A and 211(a) of the Advisers Act. List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 275 Investment advisers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Text of Rule Amendment For the reasons set out in the preamble, Title 17, Chapter II of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows. ■ PART 275—RULES AND REGULATIONS, INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940 1. The authority citation for part 275 continues to read in part as follows: ■ Authority: 15 U.S.C. 80b–2(a)(11)(G), 80b– 2(a)(17), 80b–3, 80b–4, 80b–4a, 80b–6(4), 80b–6a, and 80b–11, unless otherwise noted. * * * § 275.206(3)–3T * * [Amended] 2. In § 275.206(3)–3T, amend paragraph (d) by removing the words ‘‘December 31, 2010’’ and adding in their place ‘‘December 31, 2012’’. ■ Dated: December 28, 2010. By the Commission. Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2010–33077 Filed 12–28–10; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Part 141 [USCBP–2008–0062; CBP Dec. 10–33] RIN 1515–AD61 (Formerly 1505–AB96) Technical Correction: Completion of Entry and Entry Summary— Declaration of Value Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) periodically reviews its regulations to ensure that they are current, correct, and consistent. As a result of this review process, CBP has determined that a correction to part 141 of title 19 of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR part 141) is necessary to reflect that the underlying statutory authority for § 141.61(g) has expired and that this regulation is no longer necessary. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 250 (Thursday, December 30, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 82236-82241]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-33077]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

17 CFR Part 275

[Release No. IA-3128; File No. S7-23-07]
RIN 3235-AJ96


Principal Trades with Certain Advisory Clients

AGENCY: Securities and Exchange Commission.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Securities and Exchange Commission is amending rule 
206(3)-3T under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, a temporary rule 
that establishes an alternative means for investment advisers who are 
registered with the Commission as broker-dealers to meet the 
requirements of section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act when they 
act in a principal capacity in transactions with certain of their 
advisory clients. The amendment extends the date on which rule 206(3)-
3T will sunset from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012.

DATES: The amendments in this document are effective December 30, 2010, 
and the expiration date for 17 CFR 275.206(3)-3T is extended to 
December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian M. Johnson, Attorney-Adviser, 
Devin F. Sullivan, Senior Counsel, Matthew N. Goldin, Branch Chief, or 
Sarah A. Bessin, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-6787 or 
IArules@sec.gov, Office of Investment Adviser Regulation, Division of 
Investment Management, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F 
Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-5041.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Securities and Exchange Commission is 
adopting an amendment to temporary rule 206(3)-3T [17 CFR 275.206(3)-
3T] under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 [15 U.S.C. 80b] that 
extends the date on which the rule will sunset from December 31, 2010 
to December 31, 2012.

I. Background

    On September 24, 2007, we adopted, on an interim final basis, rule 
206(3)-3T, a temporary rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 
(the ``Advisers Act'') that provides an alternative means for 
investment advisers who are also registered as broker-dealers to meet 
the requirements of section 206(3) of the Advisers Act when they act in 
a principal capacity in transactions with certain of their advisory 
clients.\1\ In December 2009, we extended the rule's sunset period by 
one year to December 31, 2010.\2\
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    \1\ Rule 206(3)-3T [17 CFR 275.206(3)-3T]. All references to 
rule 206(3)-3T and the various sections thereof in this release are 
to 17 CFR 275.206(3)-3T and its corresponding sections. See also 
Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory 
Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2653 (Sep. 24, 2007) 
[72 FR 55022 (Sep. 28, 2007)] (``2007 Principal Trade Rule 
Release'').
    \2\ See Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain 
Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2965 (Dec. 23, 
2009) [74 FR 69009 (Dec. 30, 2009)] (``2009 Extension Release'') and 
Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain Advisory 
Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 2965A (Dec. 31, 2009) 
[75 FR 742 (Jan. 6, 2010)] (making a technical correction to the 
2009 Extension Release).
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    On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank 
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the ``Dodd-Frank 
Act'').\3\ Under section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act, we are required to 
conduct a study, and provide a report to Congress, concerning the 
obligations of broker-dealers and investment advisers, including the 
standards of care applicable to those intermediaries and their 
associated persons.\4\ We intend to deliver the report concerning this 
study, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, no later than January 21, 
2011.\5\
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    \3\ Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).
    \4\ See generally section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and Study 
Regarding Obligations of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers, 
Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3058 (July 27, 2010) [75 FR 
44996 (July 30, 2010)].
    \5\ See section 913(d)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Act (requiring us to 
submit the study to Congress no later than six months after the date 
of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act).
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    Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act also authorizes us to promulgate 
rules concerning, among other things, the legal or regulatory standards 
of care for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and persons associated 
with these intermediaries for providing personalized investment advice 
about securities to retail customers. In enacting any rules pursuant to 
this authority, we are required to consider the findings, conclusions, 
and recommendations of the mandated study. The study and our 
consideration of the need for further rulemaking pursuant to this 
authority are part of our broader consideration of the regulatory 
requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers in 
connection with the Dodd-Frank Act.\6\
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    \6\ The study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act is 
one of several studies and other actions relevant to the regulation 
of broker-dealers and investment advisers mandated by that Act. See, 
e.g., section 914 of the Dodd-Frank Act (requiring the Commission to 
review and analyze the need for enhanced examination and enforcement 
resources for investment advisers); section 919 of the Dodd-Frank 
Act (authorizing the Commission to issue rules designating documents 
or information that shall be provided by a broker or dealer to a 
retail investor before the purchase of an investment product or 
service by the retail investor).
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    In light of these legislative developments, we proposed on December 
1, 2010 to extend the date on which rule 206(3)-3T will sunset for a 
limited amount of time, from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012.\7\ 
We received 10 comment letters addressing our proposal prior to the 
expiration of the comment period.\8\ Six of these commenters generally 
supported

[[Page 82237]]

extending rule 206(3)-3T,\9\ and two commenters opposed an 
extension.\10\ Two other commenters did not address the extension 
directly.\11\ The comments we received on our proposal are discussed 
below. After considering each of the comments, we are extending the 
rule's sunset period by two years to December 31, 2012, as proposed.
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    \7\ See Temporary Rule Regarding Principal Trades with Certain 
Advisory Clients, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3118 (Dec. 1, 
2010), [75 FR 75650 (Dec. 6, 2010)] (``Proposing Release'').
    \8\ See Comment Letter of the Consumer Federation of America 
(Dec. 20, 2010) (``CFA Letter''); Comment Letter of Bank of America 
Corporation (Dec. 20, 2010) (``Bank of America Letter''); Comment 
Letter of Fiduciary360 (Dec. 20, 2010) (``Fiduciary360 Letter''); 
Comment Letter of Tamar Frankel, Professor of Law, Boston University 
School of Law (Dec. 14, 2010) (``Frankel Letter''); Comment Letter 
of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (Dec. 20, 
2010) (``NAPFA Letter''); Comment Letter of Pickard and Djinis LLP 
(Dec. 10, 2010) (``Pickard and Djinis Letter''); Comment Letter of 
Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (Dec. 20, 2010) 
(``PIABA Letter''); Comment Letter of Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP (Dec. 
20, 2010) (``Rhoades Letter''); Comment Letter of the Securities 
Industry and Financial Markets Association (Dec. 20, 2010) (``SIFMA 
Letter''); Comment Letter of Winslow, Evans & Crocker (Dec. 8, 2009) 
(``Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter''). The comment letters are 
available at http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-23-07/s72307.shtml.
    \9\ See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; PIABA Letter; 
Pickard and Djinis Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker 
Letter. We note that PIABA supported a one-year extension.
    \10\ See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter.
    \11\ See Frankel Letter; Rhoades Letter.
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II. Discussion

    We are amending rule 206(3)-3T only to extend the rule's expiration 
date by two years. Absent further action by the Commission, the rule 
will expire on December 31, 2012. We are adopting this extension 
because, as we discussed in the Proposing Release, we believe that 
firms' compliance with the substantive provisions of rule 206(3)-3T 
provides sufficient protection to advisory clients to warrant the 
rule's continued operation for the additional two years while we 
conduct the study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and 
consider more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-
dealers and investment advisers.\12\ As part of our broader 
consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-
dealers and investment advisers, we intend to carefully consider 
principal trading by advisers, including whether rule 206(3)-3T should 
be substantively modified, supplanted, or permitted to expire.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See Proposing Release, Section II.
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    If we permit rule 206(3)-3T to expire on December 31, 2010, after 
that date investment advisers also registered as broker-dealers who 
currently rely on rule 206(3)-3T would be required to comply with 
section 206(3)'s transaction-by-transaction written disclosure and 
consent requirements without the benefit of the alternative means of 
complying with these requirements currently provided by rule 206(3)-3T. 
This could limit the access of non-discretionary advisory clients of 
advisory firms that are also registered as broker-dealers to certain 
securities. In addition, certain of these firms have informed us that, 
if rule 206(3)-3T were to expire on December 31, 2010, it would be 
disruptive to their clients, and the firms would be required to make 
substantial changes to their disclosure documents, client agreements, 
procedures, and systems.
    We expect to revisit the relief provided in rule 206(3)-3T soon 
after the completion of our study in January 2011. Although we 
anticipate that will occur prior to the amended expiration date for the 
temporary rule, we want to ensure that we have sufficient time to 
engage in any potential rulemaking or other process that may emerge 
from either the study or any broader consideration of the regulatory 
requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers prior 
to the rule's expiration.
    As discussed above, six commenters generally supported our proposal 
to amend rule 206(3)-3T to extend it,\13\ and two commenters opposed 
it.\14\ Commenters who supported the extension cited the disruption to 
investors that would occur if the rule expired at this time, asserting 
that investors would be forced to change their accounts and would lose 
access to a wider range of securities.\15\ Commenters who supported the 
extension of the rule also asserted that allowing the rule to sunset 
would prove disruptive to advisory firms that are registered as broker 
dealers: they explained that expiration of the rule would act as an 
operational barrier to their ability to engage in principal trades with 
their customers.\16\ These and other commenters further explained that, 
if the rule were allowed to expire, firms relying on the rule would be 
required to make considerable changes to their disclosure documents, 
client agreements, procedures, and technical systems at substantial 
expense.\17\ These commenters agreed that extending the rule while the 
Commission conducted its review of the obligations of broker-dealers 
and investment advisers, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, would be 
the least disruptive option.
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    \13\ See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; PIABA Letter; 
Pickard and Djinis Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker 
Letter.
    \14\ See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter.
    \15\ See Bank of America Letter; CFA Letter; SIFMA Letter.
    \16\ See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter.
    \17\ See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & 
Crocker Letter.
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    Conversely, two commenters questioned whether the rule benefits 
clients and asserted that the Commission should not further extend the 
rule in light of what they view as risks posed by the compliance issues 
that the staff identified.\18\ One commenter, while opposing the 
extension, encouraged the Commission to take additional measures to 
protect clients from the conflicts of interest raised by principal 
trading if we chose to extend the rule.\19\ Another commenter 
challenged the proposition that firms and investors would face 
disruptions if the rule sunsets, asserting that few firms and investors 
rely on the rule.\20\
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    \18\ See Fiduciary360 Letter; NAPFA Letter. We also note that 
one commenter who supported the extension, CFA, also expressed 
concern about these compliance issues. See CFA Letter.
    \19\ See NAPFA Letter. We also note that CFA, while supporting 
the extension, stated that the Commission should address 
``weaknesses identified in the current approach and [back] that rule 
with tough enforcement focused on the larger issue of the 
appropriateness of recommendations.'' CFA Letter.
    \20\ See Fiduciary360 Letter.
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    On balance, and after careful consideration of these comments, we 
conclude that the benefits from extending this rule outweigh the 
potential costs of an extension. First, we believe that permitting the 
rule to sunset just before we commence a comprehensive review of the 
obligations of broker-dealers and investment advisers could produce 
substantial disruption for investors with accounts serviced by firms 
relying on the rule. These investors might lose access to securities 
available through principal transactions and be forced to convert their 
accounts in the interim, only to face the possibility of future change 
-- and the costs and uncertainty such additional change may entail.\21\ 
This disruption will be avoided if we maintain the status quo while we 
engage in our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements 
applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.\22\ We continue 
to believe that the rule benefits investors because it provides 
investors with access to a wider range of securities and protects 
investors who hold billions of dollars in advisory accounts.
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    \21\ As discussed in the 2007 Principal Trading Release and 
again in the 2009 Extension Release, firms have explained that they 
may refrain from engaging in principal trading with their advisory 
clients in the absence of the rule given the practical difficulties 
of complying with Section 206(3), and thus may not offer principal 
trading through advisory accounts. See 2007 Principal Trading 
Release, Section I.B; 2009 Release, Section I.
    \22\ See CFA Letter (``Although CFA has been critical of the 
temporary rule and has in the past urged the Commission to act 
expeditiously to replace it, we believe that, at this point, 
revision of the rule is best achieved in conjunction with the 
Commission's broader consideration of the regulatory requirements 
applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.'').
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    In reaching this conclusion, we have paid particular attention to 
our staff's observations about firms' compliance with the rule. We 
emphasize that we share the commenters' concerns about the compliance 
issues that the staff identified, the critical aspects of which we 
summarized in the Proposing Release.\23\ Having carefully considered

[[Page 82238]]

the staff's observations, we conclude that the requirements of rule 
206(3)-3T, coupled with regulatory oversight informed by those 
observations, will adequately protect advisory clients during the 
extension. Throughout the period of the extension, the staff will 
examine firms with higher risk characteristics, including firms that 
engage in principal transactions in reliance on rule 206(3)-3T,\24\ and 
continue to take appropriate action to help ensure that firms are 
complying with the rule's conditions, including referring firms to the 
Division of Enforcement for possible enforcement action if warranted. 
One commenter asserted that the burdens placed on firms by rule 206(3)-
3T are too stringent.\25\ As this commenter noted, the staff did not 
identify instances of ``dumping,'' a harm that section 206(3) is 
designed to redress, and we believe that the conditions and limitations 
in the rule serve as appropriate safeguards during the pendency of the 
extension.
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    \23\ Although some of the commenters suggested that the 
discussion of the staff's observations in the Proposing Release was 
not robust enough, we believe the summary contained in the release 
outlined the critical aspects of the issues observed by the staff 
with respect to compliance with the rule. See NAPFA Letter; 
Fiduciary360 Letter; CFA Letter.
    \24\ One commenter suggested that the Commission's Office of 
Compliance Inspections and Examinations should conduct additional 
examinations to determine if firms are complying with rule 206(3)-
3T, among other requirements. See NAPFA Letter.
    \25\ See Pickard and Djinis Letter.
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    We note that one commenter asserted that even if principal trading 
relief may have been appropriate when we originally adopted rule 
206(3)-3T in 2007, it no longer is.\26\ In particular, the commenter 
contended that the valuation of certain securities--such as municipal 
bonds--has become much more difficult, such that ``a much greater 
amount of due diligence is required of the investment adviser who 
engages in advising clients on purchases of individual municipal 
bonds.'' But extension of the rule does not have any bearing on an 
adviser's due diligence obligations. The standard of care to which 
advisers are subject and the duties they owe clients are in no way 
diminished by their reliance on rule 206(3)-3T.\27\
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    \26\ See NAPFA Letter.
    \27\ See rule 206(3)-3T(b) (``This section shall not be 
construed as relieving in any way an investment adviser from acting 
in the best interests of an advisory client, including fulfilling 
the duty with respect to the best price and execution for the 
particular transaction for the advisory client; nor shall it relieve 
such person or persons from any obligation that may be imposed by 
section 206(1) or (2) of the Advisers Act or by other applicable 
provisions of the federal securities laws.'').
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    Second, we further conclude that the extension of the rule's sunset 
date is warranted to avoid the disruption to firms relying on the rule 
that will occur if the rule expires. The letters submitted by three 
commenters demonstrated that some firms in fact do rely on the rule, 
and that those firms will be faced with uncertainty and disruption of 
operations should the rule expire just as the Commission is about to 
begin a comprehensive review process that may ultimately produce a 
different regulatory standard.\28\ One commenter that represents 
securities firms described that large and small firms have relied upon 
the rule, and provided data showing that a substantial number of 
accounts and volume of trades would be affected by a change in the 
rule.\29\
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    \28\ See Bank of America Letter; SIFMA Letter; Winslow, Evans & 
Crocker Letter.
    \29\ See SIFMA Letter.
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    We received four comment letters specifically addressing the 
duration of our proposed extension of rule 206(3)-3T.\30\ Three 
expressed support for extending the rule for an additional two years, 
but argued that the rule should be made permanent.\31\ One of these 
commenters cited uncertainty and its attendant costs as a reason to 
make the rule permanent.\32\ Other commenters supported a shorter 
extension of the rule. For example, one commenter supported a one-year 
extension.\33\ This commenter stated that a one-year extension of the 
rule strikes the proper balance between the concerns of investor 
protection and the burden of potential revised regulations applying to 
investment advisers and broker-dealers.\34\ Two commenters generally 
opposed the extension and supported allowing the rule to expire: One 
commenter stated alternatively that the Commission should adopt a one-
year extension with the imposition of other measures to ensure firms' 
compliance with the rule and with their fiduciary obligations 
generally, and the other indicated that it would support an extension 
of six months if the Commission provided ``further explanation and 
supporting evidence.'' \35\
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    \30\ See Bank of America Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter; Winslow, 
Evans & Crocker Letter; PIABA Letter.
    \31\ See Bank of America Letter; Winslow, Evans & Crocker 
Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter.
    \32\ See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter.
    \33\ See PIABA Letter.
    \34\ See id.
    \35\ See NAPFA Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter.
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    As we noted in the Proposing Release, we believe that the rule 
should be extended only for a limited amount of time.\36\ That period 
of time, however, must be long enough to permit the Commission to 
engage in any rulemaking prompted by our study under section 913 of the 
Dodd-Frank Act and our broader review of regulatory requirements 
applicable to investment advisers and broker-dealers. Having considered 
the comments regarding the duration of the extension, and taking into 
account the importance of the issues that this process will address, 
the Commission believes on balance that a two-year extension is 
necessary to give the Commission adequate time to complete any such 
rulemaking. Because that process cannot begin until the completion of 
the study required by the Dodd-Frank Act, adopting a six-month or one-
year extension, as certain commenters recommended, most likely would 
not provide sufficient time for such rulemaking, and thus could result 
in greater uncertainty (along with its attendant costs) for investors 
and firms that rely on the rule. We believe that certainty in this area 
is important, and we will complete any relevant rulemaking as soon as 
is feasible consistent with administrative procedure.
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    \36\ See Proposing Release, Section II. The statements in the 
Proposing Release should not be read as limiting the scope of the 
alternatives we will consider in conducting the study mandated by 
section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and considering more broadly the 
regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment 
advisers.
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    A number of commenters also raised issues that were beyond the 
scope of our proposal to extend rule 206(3)-3T, including the broader 
legal and policy questions related to the meaning, scope, and 
application of a fiduciary standard and the appropriate considerations 
related to principal trading.\37\ These comments pertain to our broader 
consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-
dealers and investment advisers, and we will consider these comments in 
conducting this broader review.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ See CFA Letter; Fiduciary360 Letter; Frankel Letter; NAPFA 
Letter; Pickard and Djinis Letter; Rhoades Letter; SIFMA Letter.
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III. Certain Administrative Law Matters

    The amendment to rule 206(3)-3T is effective on December 30, 2010. 
The Administrative Procedure Act generally requires that an agency 
publish a final rule in the Federal Register not less than 30 days 
before its effective date.\38\ However, this requirement does not apply 
if the rule is a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an 
exemption or relieves a restriction, or if the rule is 
interpretive.\39\ Rule 206(3)-3T is a rule that recognizes an

[[Page 82239]]

exemption and relieves a restriction and in part has interpretive 
aspects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ 5 U.S.C. 553(d).
    \39\ Id.
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IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Rule 206(3)-3T contains ``collection of information'' requirements 
within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.\40\ The 
Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') approved the burden estimates 
presented in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release,\41\ first on an 
emergency basis and subsequently on a regular basis. OMB approved the 
collection of information with an expiration date of March 31, 2011. An 
agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. The title for the collection of information 
is: ``Temporary rule for principal trades with certain advisory 
clients, rule 206(3)-3T'' and the OMB control number for the collection 
of information is 3235-0630. The 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release and 
the Proposing Release solicited comments on our PRA estimates, but we 
did not receive comment on them.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    \41\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section V.B&C.
    \42\ See 2009 Extension Release, Section IV; Proposing Release, 
Section IV.
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    The amendment to the rule we are adopting today--to extend rule 
206(3)-3T for two years--does not affect the burden estimates contained 
in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release. Therefore, as was the case 
when we extended rule 206(3)-3T in December 2009, we are not revising 
our Paperwork Reduction Act burden and cost estimates submitted to OMB 
as a result of this amendment. We will submit burden and cost estimates 
as part of our routine renewal of OMB's approval of the rule's 
collection of information.

V. Cost-Benefit Analysis

    Other than extending rule 206(3)-3T's sunset period for two years, 
we are not otherwise modifying the rule from the form in which we 
initially adopted it on an interim final basis in September 2007 or as 
final in December 2009. We discussed the benefits provided by rule 
206(3)-3T in both the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release and the 2009 
Extension Release.
    In summary, as explained in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, 
the 2009 Extension Release, and the Proposing Release,\43\ we believe 
the principal benefit of rule 206(3)-3T is that it maintains investor 
choice and protects the interests of investors who formerly held an 
estimated $300 billion in fee-based brokerage accounts. A resulting 
second benefit of the rule is that non-discretionary advisory clients 
of advisory firms that are also registered as broker-dealers have 
easier access to a wider range of securities which, in turn, should 
continue to lead to increased liquidity in the markets for these 
securities and promote capital formation in these areas. A third 
benefit of the rule is that it provides the protections of the sales 
practice rules of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange 
Act'') \44\ and the relevant self-regulatory organizations because an 
adviser relying on the rule must also be a registered broker-dealer. 
Another benefit of rule 206(3)-3T is that it provides a lower cost 
alternative for an adviser to engage in principal transactions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.C; 2009 
Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V.
    \44\ 15 U.S.C. 78 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter disputed a number of the benefits of rule 206(3)-3T 
we have described above. The commenter did not provide any specific 
data, analysis, or other information in support of its comment.\45\ No 
commenter provided any substantive or specific evidence to contradict 
the Commission's previous conclusion that the rule benefits investors, 
and the Commission continues to believe that the rule provides those 
benefits.\46\
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    \45\ See NAPFA Letter (questioning the benefits of the rule in: 
(1) Providing protections of the sales practice rules of the 
Exchange Act and the relevant self-regulatory organizations; (2) 
allowing non-discretionary advisory clients of advisory firms that 
are also registered as broker-dealers to have easier access to a 
wider range of securities which, in turn, should continue to lead to 
increased liquidity in the markets for these securities and promote 
capital formation in these areas; and (3) maintaining investor 
choice).
    \46\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.C; 2009 
Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the general benefits described above, there also are 
benefits to extending the rule for an additional two years. By 
extending the rule for two years, non-discretionary advisory clients 
who have had access to certain securities because of their advisers' 
reliance on the rule to trade on a principal basis will continue to 
have access to those securities without disruption. If we chose not to 
extend the rule in its current form, firms currently relying on the 
rule would be required to restructure their operations and client 
relationships on or before the rule's current expiration date--
potentially only to have to do so again shortly thereafter (first when 
the rule expires or is modified, and again if we adopt a new approach 
after the study mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, discussed above, is 
complete). Firms relying on the rule will continue to be able to offer 
clients and prospective clients access to certain securities on a 
principal basis as well and will not need during this two-year period 
to incur the cost of adjusting to a new set of rules or abandoning the 
systems established to comply with the current rule. In other words, 
extension will avoid disruption to clients and firms during the period 
while we complete the study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank 
Act and our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements 
applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers.
    We also discussed the costs associated with rule 206(3)-3T in the 
2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, the 2009 Extension Release, and the 
Proposing Release.\47\ In the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we 
presented estimates of the costs of each of the rule's disclosure 
elements, including: Prospective disclosure and consent; transaction-
by-transaction disclosure and consent; transaction-by-transaction 
confirmations; and the annual report of principal transactions. We also 
provided estimates for the following related costs of compliance with 
rule 206(3)-3T: (i) The initial distribution of prospective disclosure 
and collection of consents; (ii) systems programming costs to ensure 
that trade confirmations contain all of the information required by the 
rule; and (iii) systems programming costs to aggregate already-
collected information to generate compliant principal transactions 
reports. We did not receive comments directly addressing with 
supporting data the cost-benefit analysis we presented in the 2007 
Principal Trade Rule Release.\48\ We do not believe that a two-year 
extension of rule 206(3)-3T would materially affect those costs.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VI.D; 2009 
Extension Release, Section V; Proposing Release, Section V.
    \48\ In the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we estimated the 
total overall costs, including estimated costs for all eligible 
advisers and eligible accounts, relating to compliance with rule 
206(3)-3T to be $37,205,569. See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, 
Section VI.D.
    \49\ See Proposing Release, Section V.
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    We recognize that, as a result of our amendment, firms relying on 
the rule will incur the costs associated with complying with the rule 
for two additional years. We also recognize that a temporary rule, by 
nature, creates uncertainty, which in turn, may generate costs and 
inefficiency.\50\

[[Page 82240]]

However, we believe that a temporary extension of the rule is the most 
appropriate action that we can take at this time while we conduct the 
study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and consider more 
broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and 
investment advisers.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter (``We do, however, feel 
that extending the temporary rule is in the best interest of 
investors but think that doing so on a temporary basis is short 
sighted and leads to certain inefficiencies, particularly to smaller 
firms * * * We believe the Commission should adopt the rule on a 
permanent basis thus eliminating uncertainty with respect to 
compliance in this area.''). See also Bank of America Letter (urging 
the Commission to consider a permanent rule that would allow firms 
to continue acting in a principal capacity in transactions with 
certain of their clients).
    \51\ See CFA Letter (``If, as we hope, more extensive revisions 
to the principal trading requirements are just around the corner, it 
would be unduly disruptive to abandon the existing system now absent 
evidence of significant harm to investors.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Promotion of Efficiency, Competition, and Capital Formation

    Section 202(c) of the Advisers Act mandates that the Commission, 
when engaging in rulemaking that requires it to consider or determine 
whether an action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, 
consider, in addition to the protection of investors, whether the 
action will promote efficiency, competition, and capital formation.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ 15 U.S.C. 80b-2(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We explained in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, the 2009 
Extension Release, and the Proposing Release, the manner in which rule 
206(3)-3T, in general, would promote these aims.\53\ We continue to 
believe that this analysis generally applies today.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VII; 2009 
Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, Section VI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As noted in the 2009 Extension Release and Proposing Release, we 
received comments on the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release from 
commenters who opposed the limitation of the temporary rule to 
investment advisers that are also registered as broker-dealers, as well 
as to accounts that are subject to both the Advisers Act and Exchange 
Act as providing a competitive advantage to investment advisers that 
are also registered broker-dealers.\54\ Based on our experience with 
the rule to date, just as we noted in the 2009 Extension Release and 
Proposing Release, we have no reason to believe that broker-dealers (or 
affiliated but separate investment advisers and broker-dealers) are put 
at a competitive disadvantage to advisers that are themselves also 
registered as broker-dealers; \55\ however we intend to continue to 
evaluate these effects in connection with our broader consideration of 
the regulatory requirements applicable to broker-dealers and investment 
advisers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ See 2009 Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, 
Section VI; Comment Letter of the Financial Planning Association 
(Nov. 30, 2007).
    \55\ See 2009 Extension Release, Section VI; Proposing Release, 
Section VI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We received one comment letter arguing that rule 206(3)-3T would 
impede capital formation because it would lead to ``more numerous and 
more severe violations * * * of the trust placed by individual 
investors in their trusted investment adviser.'' \56\ While we share 
the view that numerous and severe violations of trust could 
theoretically impede capital formation, we have not seen any evidence 
that rule 206(3)-3T has caused this result. We also reiterate that, in 
addition to conducting a broader review, we will continue to consider 
any potential violations of the rule and take appropriate action as 
necessary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ See NAPFA Letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VII. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Commission has prepared the following Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (``FRFA'') regarding the amendment to rule 206(3)-
3T in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604. We prepared and included an Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (``IRFA'') in the Proposing 
Release.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ See Proposing Release, Section VII.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Need for the Rule Amendment

    We are adopting an amendment to rule 206(3)-3T to extend the rule 
for two years in its current form because we believe that it would be 
premature to require firms relying on the rule to restructure their 
operations and client relationships before we complete our study and 
our broader consideration of the regulatory requirements applicable to 
broker-dealers and investment advisers. The objective of the amendment 
to rule 206(3)-3T, as discussed above, is to permit firms currently 
relying on rule 206(3)-3T to limit the need to modify their operations 
and relationships on multiple occasions, both before and potentially 
after we complete our study and any related rulemaking.
    We are amending rule 206(3)-3T pursuant to sections 206A and 211(a) 
of the Advisers Act [15 U.S.C. 80b-6a and 15 U.S.C. 80b-11(a)].

 B. Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments

    We received one comment letter related to our IRFA.\58\ The 
commenter stated that extending the rule temporarily, rather than 
permanently, would create uncertainty, thereby causing certain 
inefficiencies, particularly with regard to smaller firms.\59\ We 
recognize that a temporary rule, by nature, creates uncertainty, which 
in turn may generate costs and inefficiency, especially for smaller 
firms. However, as discussed above, we believe that a temporary 
extension of the rule is the most appropriate approach at this time 
while we conduct the study mandated by section 913 of the Dodd-Frank 
Act and consider more broadly the regulatory requirements applicable to 
broker-dealers and investment advisers.\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ See Winslow, Evans & Crocker Letter.
    \59\ See id.
    \60\ See CFA Letter (``If, as we hope, more extensive revisions 
to the principal trading requirements are just around the corner, it 
would be unduly disruptive to abandon the existing system now absent 
evidence of significant harm to investors.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Small Entities Subject to the Rule

    Rule 206(3)-3T is an alternative method of complying with Advisers 
Act section 206(3) and is available to all investment advisers that: 
(i) Are registered as broker-dealers under the Exchange Act; and (ii) 
effect trades with clients directly or indirectly through a broker-
dealer controlling, controlled by or under common control with the 
investment adviser, including small entities. Under Advisers Act rule 
0-7, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act an investment 
adviser generally is a small entity if it: (i) Has assets under 
management having a total value of less than $25 million; (ii) did not 
have total assets of $5 million or more on the last day of its most 
recent fiscal year; and (iii) does not control, is not controlled by, 
and is not under common control with another investment adviser that 
has assets under management of $25 million or more, or any person 
(other than a natural person) that had $5 million or more on the last 
day of its most recent fiscal year.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ See 17 CFR 275.0-7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As noted in the Proposing Release, we estimate that as of November 
1, 2010, 680 SEC-registered investment advisers were small 
entities.\62\ As discussed in the 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, we 
opted not to make the relief provided by rule 206(3)-3T available to 
all investment advisers, and instead have restricted it to investment 
advisers that also are registered as broker-dealers under the Exchange 
Act.\63\ We therefore estimate for purposes of this FRFA that 38 of 
these small entities (those that are

[[Page 82241]]

both investment advisers and broker-dealers) could rely on rule 206(3)-
3T.\64\ We did not receive any comments on these estimates.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ IARD data as of November 1, 2010.
    \63\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section VIII.B.
    \64\ IARD data as of November 1, 2010.
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D. Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    The provisions of rule 206(3)-3T impose certain reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements, and our amendment will extend the 
imposition of these requirements for an additional two years. The two-
year extension will not alter these requirements.
    Rule 206(3)-3T is designed to provide an alternative means of 
compliance with the requirements of section 206(3) of the Advisers Act. 
Investment advisers taking advantage of the rule with respect to non-
discretionary advisory accounts are required to make certain 
disclosures to clients on a prospective, transaction-by-transaction and 
annual basis.
    Specifically, rule 206(3)-3T permits an adviser, with respect to a 
non-discretionary advisory account, to comply with section 206(3) of 
the Advisers Act by, among other things: (i) Making certain written 
disclosures; (ii) obtaining written, revocable consent from the client 
prospectively authorizing the adviser to enter into principal trades; 
(iii) making oral or written disclosure and obtaining the client's 
consent orally or in writing prior to the execution of each principal 
transaction; (iv) sending to the client confirmation statements for 
each principal trade that disclose the capacity in which the adviser 
has acted and indicating that the client consented to the transaction; 
and (v) delivering to the client an annual report itemizing the 
principal transactions. Advisers are already required to communicate 
the content of many of the disclosures pursuant to their fiduciary 
obligations to clients. Other disclosures are already required by rules 
applicable to broker-dealers.
    Our amendment will only extend the rule for two years in its 
current form. Advisers currently relying on the rule already should be 
making the disclosures described above.

E. Agency Action To Minimize Effect on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act directs us to consider significant 
alternatives that would accomplish our stated objective, while 
minimizing any significant adverse impact on small entities.\65\ 
Alternatives in this category would include: (i) Establishing different 
compliance or reporting standards or timetables that take into account 
the resources available to small entities; (ii) clarifying, 
consolidating, or simplifying compliance requirements under the rule 
for small entities; (iii) using performance rather than design 
standards; and (iv) exempting small entities from coverage of the rule, 
or any part of the rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe that special compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables for small entities, or an exemption from coverage for small 
entities, may create the risk that the investors who are advised by and 
effect securities transactions through such small entities would not 
receive adequate disclosure. Moreover, different disclosure 
requirements could create investor confusion if it creates the 
impression that small investment advisers have different conflicts of 
interest with their advisory clients in connection with principal 
trading than larger investment advisers. We believe, therefore, that it 
is important for the disclosure protections required by the rule to be 
provided to advisory clients by all advisers, not just those that are 
not considered small entities. Further consolidation or simplification 
of the rule for investment advisers that are small entities would be 
inconsistent with the Commission's goals of fostering investor 
protection.
    We have endeavored through rule 206(3)-3T to minimize the 
regulatory burden on all investment advisers eligible to rely on the 
rule, including small entities, while meeting our regulatory 
objectives. It was our goal to ensure that eligible small entities may 
benefit from the Commission's approach to the new rule to the same 
degree as other eligible advisers. The condition that advisers seeking 
to rely on the rule must also be registered as broker-dealers and that 
each account with respect to which an adviser seeks to rely on the rule 
must be a brokerage account subject to the Exchange Act, and the rules 
thereunder, and the rules of the self-regulatory organization(s) of 
which it is a member, reflect what we believe is an important element 
of our balancing between easing regulatory burdens (by affording 
advisers an alternative means of compliance with section 206(3) of the 
Act) and meeting our investor protection objectives.\66\ Finally, we do 
not consider using performance rather than design standards to be 
consistent with our statutory mandate of investor protection in the 
present context.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ See 2007 Principal Trade Rule Release, Section II.B.7 
(noting commenters that objected to this condition as disadvantaging 
small broker-dealers (or affiliated but separate investment advisers 
and broker-dealers)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIII. Statutory Authority

    The Commission is amending rule 206(3)-3T pursuant to sections 206A 
and 211(a) of the Advisers Act.

List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 275

    Investment advisers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Text of Rule Amendment

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, Title 17, Chapter II of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows.

PART 275--RULES AND REGULATIONS, INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940

0
1. The authority citation for part 275 continues to read in part as 
follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 80b-2(a)(11)(G), 80b-2(a)(17), 80b-3, 80b-
4, 80b-4a, 80b-6(4), 80b-6a, and 80b-11, unless otherwise noted.
* * * * *


Sec.  275.206(3)-3T  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  275.206(3)-3T, amend paragraph (d) by removing the words 
``December 31, 2010'' and adding in their place ``December 31, 2012''.

    Dated: December 28, 2010.

    By the Commission.
Elizabeth M. Murphy,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2010-33077 Filed 12-28-10; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P