Section 211 - Rules, Regulations and Orders of Commission

(a) Power of Commission

The Commission shall have authority from time to time to make, issue, amend, and rescind such rules and regulations and such orders as are necessary or appropriate to the exercise of the functions and powers conferred upon the Commission elsewhere in this subchapter, including rules and regulations defining technical, trade, and other terms used in this subchapter, except that the Commission may not define the term “client” for purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 80b–6 of this title to include an investor in a private fund managed by an investment adviser, if such private fund has entered into an advisory contract with such adviser. For the purposes of its rules or regulations the Commission may classify persons and matters within its jurisdiction and prescribe different requirements for different classes of persons or matters.

(b) Effective date of regulations

Subject to the provisions of chapter 15 of title 44 and regulations prescribed under the authority thereof, the rules and regulations of the Commission under this subchapter, and amendments thereof, shall be effective upon publication in the manner which the Commission shall prescribe, or upon such later date as may be provided in such rules and regulations.

(c) Orders of Commission after notice and hearing; type of notice

Orders of the Commission under this subchapter shall be issued only after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing. Notice to the parties to a proceeding before the Commission shall be given by personal service upon each party or by registered mail or certified mail or confirmed telegraphic notice to the party’s last known business address. Notice to interested persons, if any, other than parties may be given in the same manner or by publication in the Federal Register.

(d) Good faith compliance with rules and regulations

No provision of this subchapter imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any rule, regulation, or order of the Commission, notwithstanding that such rule, regulation, or order may, after such act or omission, be amended or rescinded or be determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.

(e) Disclosure rules on private funds

The Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shall, after consultation with the Council but not later than 12 months after July 21, 2010, jointly promulgate rules to establish the form and content of the reports required to be filed with the Commission under subsection 80b–4(b) of this title and with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by investment advisers that are registered both under this subchapter and the Commodity Exchange Act [7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.].

(g) Standard of conduct

(1) In general

The Commission may promulgate rules to provide that the standard of conduct for all brokers, dealers, and investment advisers, when providing personalized investment advice about securities to retail customers (and such other customers as the Commission may by rule provide), shall be to act in the best interest of the customer without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker, dealer, or investment adviser providing the advice. In accordance with such rules, any material conflicts of interest shall be disclosed and may be consented to by the customer. Such rules shall provide that such standard of conduct shall be no less stringent than the standard applicable to investment advisers under section 80b–6 (1) and (2) of this title when providing personalized investment advice about securities, except the Commission shall not ascribe a meaning to the term “customer” that would include an investor in a private fund managed by an investment adviser, where such private fund has entered into an advisory contract with such adviser. The receipt of compensation based on commission or fees shall not, in and of itself, be considered a violation of such standard applied to a broker, dealer, or investment adviser.

(2) Retail customer defined

For purposes of this subsection, the term “retail customer” means a natural person, or the legal representative of such natural person, who —

(A) receives personalized investment advice about securities from a broker, dealer, or investment adviser; and

(B) uses such advice primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(h) Other matters

The Commission shall—

(1) facilitate the provision of simple and clear disclosures to investors regarding the terms of their relationships with brokers, dealers, and investment advisers, including any material conflicts of interest; and

(2) examine and, where appropriate, promulgate rules prohibiting or restricting certain sales practices, conflicts of interest, and compensation schemes for brokers, dealers, and investment advisers that the Commission deems contrary to the public interest and the protection of investors.

(i) Harmonization of enforcement

The enforcement authority of the Commission with respect to violations of the standard of conduct applicable to an investment adviser shall include—

(1) the enforcement authority of the Commission with respect to such violations provided under this subchapter; and

(2) the enforcement authority of the Commission with respect to violations of the standard of conduct applicable to a broker or dealer providing personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including the authority to impose sanctions for such violations, and the Commission shall seek to prosecute and sanction violators of the standard of conduct applicable to an investment adviser under this subchapter to same extent as the Commission prosecutes and sanctions violators of the standard of conduct applicable to a broker or dealer providing personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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