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“T” is for Transparency

Post on: April 12, 2016 | Bill Robbins | 0

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WealthForge recently had the opportunity to attend and network at the Alternative & Direct Investment Securities Association 2016 Spring Symposium in San Diego. This conference was designed for sponsors, broker-dealers, registered representatives and affiliates in the alternative investment securities marketplace.

Among the attendees were many broker-dealers as well as real estate and energy sponsors that conduct hundreds of private placements each year.

As a first time ADISA attendee, I was struck by the alphabet soup nature of many of the panel discussions and featured speaker topics. We heard about Reg-A+, BD’s, BDCs, the DOL, DPPs, FINRA 15-02, REITs, “T” shares, and more. It's clear that a combination of regulatory and market forces are continuing to bring an increased level of transparency to the private securities markets.

There were several lively discussions about the opportunities and challenges presented by the emerging Regulation A+ market. With the implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act, Regulation A has been revamped to provide for up to $20 million (Tier 1), or $50 million (Tier 2) from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Attendees were actively engaged in a dialogue about the implications for issuers, sponsors, and their broker-dealer partners of a burgeoning Reg A+ presence in the capital markets.

It seemed that no presentation was complete before touching on evolving regulatory actions impacting the investor experience. Frequent references were made to the upcoming implementation of FINRA Notice 15-02 concerning valuation and reporting on customer account statements of certain non-traded investments including non-traded REITs, and Direct Participation Programs (DPPs), such as non-traded Business Development Companies (BDCs). In addition, there was a great deal of speculation about the content and potential consequences of the Department of Labor's ruling regarding advice to retirement plan participants.

The conference concluded with an informative General Session Broker-Dealer CEO panel discussion that provided insight into how the leaders of the broker-dealer community are adapting to the market and regulatory changes that are reshaping our industry.

One thing is clear–private capital markets are evolving. As I networked with product sponsors in the exhibit hall as well as broker-dealer representatives and other attendees, I couldn’t help but observe that technology and transparency will drive changes that continue to benefit investors. At WealthForge, we believe in the power of capital to drive innovation and ideas that move us forward. The interaction between sponsors and intermediaries helps facilitate the process of allowing private capital to find it best potential—and I'm excited about our opportunity to support and enhance these relationships.

Disclaimer: WealthForge provides this information to our clients and other friends for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

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About author

Bill Robbins

Bill brings more than 25 years of experience in growing brokerage platforms and provides strategic oversight and leadership at WealthForge. Prior to joining WealthForge in 2015, he served as President of BB&T Securities Services leading teams that supported the firm's brokerage platform and operations. He earned both an MBA and bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond.
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