Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

Startup investors seek gay-couple equality from SEC

09/09/2013 | 01:53pm US/Eastern
Recommend:
0

A group of startup investors and venture capitalists are asking U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to ensure investment rights equality for gay couples.

In a September 4 letter, more than 50 people with a campaign known as StartupEquality.org urged the SEC to afford gay couples the same rights as straight couples to invest in private placements and other startups.

At issue is an SEC rule that defines who is eligible to participate in private stock offerings.

That rule says only "accredited investors" who meet certain income or net worth thresholds are eligible. Under the rule, a married couple can combine their incomes to meet the accredited investor definition.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that struck down a federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian couples.

StartupEquality.org is concerned that gay couples in states that do not allow gay marriage could effectively be locked out of the start-up market.

As the rule is currently written, the investors said they fear couples joined in civil unions or domestic partnerships, rather than technically married, could be prevented from qualifying as "accredited investors."

"If you are not an 'accredited investor,' you are effectively shut out of early stage investing," the investors wrote.

StartupEquality.org's letter was submitted to the SEC in response to a July proposal to require hedge funds and other firms offering private stock deals to provide regulators with more information on the nature of their ads and steps they took to verify they were only advertising to qualified accredited investors.

Part of that proposal also asks the public to comment on whether changes are needed in the SEC's definition of accredited investor.

StartupQuality.org's letter urges the SEC to tweak its accredited investor rule to define the term "spouse" more broadly so that it will cover a domestic partner, designated beneficiary, husband or wife - regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

"This problem is urgent," the investors wrote.

"For the sake of justice, and to protect the integrity of capital formation for America's innovation economy, we respectfully urge you to adopt the clarifying rule."

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the letter.

He noted that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law requires the SEC to revisit and consider revisions to the accredited investor definition every four years.

The last change the SEC made to the definition was in 2011, after the agency moved to exclude the home value in the calculation of net worth.

By law, the SEC is not able to make changes to the definition of accredited investor until 2014.

It will likely consider making some changes next year, especially after the Government Accountability Office in July issued a report urging the SEC to modernize the accredited investor definition.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Andrew Hay)

By Sarah N. Lynch

Recommend :
0
React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
13m ago GRAHAM : Taxman Out of Control
13m ago GRAHAM : Child Care Costs Headlining News Again
19m ago CASCADE MICROTECH : COMPASS 2014 Users’ Conference Announces Final Call for Papers
19m ago CASCADE MICROTECH : Named as Finalist for American Technology Award in Semiconductors & Electronic Components
26m ago Weir tipped to sweeten offer as Metso snubs GBP8.5bn tie-up
26m ago BP : GBP65m cost of refinery dispute to Scotland's economy
26m ago UKIO BANKAS : 'The second most important day in Hearts' modern history'
26m ago STARBUCKS : Leader : Political vision needed to improve Glasgow's health
26m ago BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE : Elite cyclist's crash death 'accidental'
29m ago LLOYDS BANKING : Primark profits jump as City questions pace of expansion
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
HAVELOCK EUROPA : Preliminary Results to 31 December 2013
LDK SOLAR : Provides Additional Information on its Request for Review of NYSE Regulation's Decision to Suspend Trading and Commence Delisting Procedures
HAYNES PUBLISHING : Third Quarter Hit By Us Inventory Returns, Weak UK
SPACEANDPEOPLE : Shares Slide As It Lowers 2014 Forecast
BLUR : Shares In Blur Group Plummet Due To Delayed Revenue Recognition
Most Read News
1d ago ON THE WEB THEGUARDIAN.COM/SPORT : Premier League today Follow Spurs v Fulham from 12.45pm then Chelsea against Sunderland from 5.30pm Premier League tomorrow Keep up to date with Norwich v Liverpool, Hull v Arsenal and Everton v Manchester United La Liga Live coverage as Barcelona take on Athletic Bilbao from 8pm
1d ago OAK VALLEY BANCORP NDA : : Reports 1st Quarter Results
1d ago REVLON : Olivia Wilde Is One Hot Mama in Maiyet
1d ago MADISON SQUARE GARDEN : Lundqvist's name all over Rangers record book, now star goalie wants name on Stanley Cup
1d ago KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN : SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Kansas City Southern - KSU
Most recommended articles
2d ago U.S. shares seen opening lower as tech giants stumble
2d ago Financials bolster FTSE after reassuring U.S. earnings
2d ago BLACKSTONE : earnings rise 30 percent, boosted by private equity gains
54m ago Russia's PM says government has funds to honour social spending pledges
3h agoDJDAIMLER : Fiat, Chrysler Agree to Build Jeep Vehicles in China for Country's Market -- Update
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF