On September 20, 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted by a 4-1 margin to adopt amendments to the fund “Names Rule” (Rule 35d-1) under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The amendments greatly expand the scope of the rule, but relax some of the compliance requirements that were originally proposed.
- Consistent with the proposal, the final amendments expand the scope of the rule to require funds with names that suggest a focus in investments that have, or issuers that have, “particular characteristics” to adopt an 80% investment policy.
- The final amendments retain the rule’s original language requiring funds to comply with their 80% policies “under normal circumstances” and “at the time of investment,” but add a requirement that funds must review compliance with their 80% policies no less frequently than quarterly, in lieu of the continuous monitoring that was proposed.
In a departure from the proposal, the final amendments do not require unlisted closed-end funds and BDCs to adopt their 80% policies as fundamental policies, rather, the amended rule states that such funds may not change their policies without a majority shareholder vote, unless the fund conducts a tender offer prior to the change, provides notice of the change prior to the tender offer, shares are repurchased at net asset value, and the tender offer is not oversubscribed.