An advisory group for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly voted in favour of letting ordinary investors to invest in private funds.
The SEC’s Asset Management Advisory Committee approved a report that recommended the regulator to enlarge the common investor’s access to private-equity, private-debt and real-estate vehicles, WSJ reported.
At present, only institutional and wealthy investors are eligible to invest in private equity funds.
The report, submitted by a subcommittee on private investments, suggested that ordinary investors could gain from the performance of such funds.
It also recommended that the regulator should balance greater access with investor protections.
In the recent past, government regulatory bodies have urged to let more retail investors, who don’t qualify as accredited investors, into private equity.
The Asset Management Committee in its report noted that ‘most retail investors are precluded from investing in the majority of private investments’.
“We believe that the SEC should consider how to amend the regulatory framework to provide wider access to private investments by retail investors whilst maintaining appropriate safeguards,” it said.
While the committee’s vote would not change the existing norms, it is expected to accelerate the ongoing push for wider access by some regulators, politicians as well as asset managers.
SEC ex-chairman Jay Clayton made efforts to open private-markets funds to more investors. He argued that the existing rules deny most people access to some of the best investments.
However, it is unclear whether the SEC would immediately focus on expanding access to private equity funds under current chairman Gary Gensler.