For updates and guidance related to COVID-19 / Coronavirus, click here.
2310. Direct Participation Programs
For the purposes of this Rule, the following terms shall have the stated meanings:
(1) Affiliate — when used with respect to a member or sponsor, shall mean any person which controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, such member or sponsor and includes:
(A) any partner, officer or director (or person performing similar functions) of (i) such member or sponsor, or (ii) a person which beneficially owns 50% or more of the equity interest in, or has the power to vote 50% or more of the voting interest in, such member or sponsor;
(B) any person which beneficially owns or has the right to acquire 10% or more of the equity interest in or has the power to vote 10% or more of the voting interest in (i) such member or sponsor, or (ii) a person which beneficially owns 50% or more of the equity interest in, or has the power to vote 50% or more of the voting interest in, such member or sponsor;
(C) any person with respect to which such member or sponsor, the persons specified in subparagraph (A) or (B), and the immediate families of partners, officers or directors (or persons performing similar functions) specified in subparagraph (A), or other person specified in subparagraph (B), in the aggregate beneficially own or have the right to acquire 10% or more of the equity interest or have the power to vote 10% or more of the voting interest;
(D) any person an officer of which is also a person specified in subparagraph (A) or (B) and any person a majority of the board of directors of which is comprised of persons specified in subparagraph (A) or (B); or
(E) any person controlled by a person or persons specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C) or (D).
(2) Cash available for distribution — cash flow less amount set aside for restoration or creation of reserves.
(3) Cash flow — cash funds provided from operations, including lease payments on net leases from builders and sellers, without deduction for depreciation, but after deducting cash funds used to pay all other expenses, debt payments, capital improvements and replacements.
(4) Direct participation program (program) — a program which provides for flow-through tax consequences regardless of the structure of the legal entity or vehicle for distribution including, but not limited to, oil and gas programs, real estate programs, agricultural programs, cattle programs, condominium securities, Subchapter S corporate offerings and all other programs of a similar nature, regardless of the industry represented by the program, or any combination thereof. A program may be composed of one or more legal entities or programs but when used herein and in any rules or regulations adopted pursuant hereto the term shall mean each of the separate entities or programs making up the overall program and/or the overall program itself. Excluded from this definition are real estate investment trusts, tax qualified pension and profit sharing plans pursuant to Sections 401 and 403(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and individual retirement plans under Section 408 of that Code, tax sheltered annuities pursuant to the provisions of Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, and any company including separate accounts, registered pursuant to the Investment Company Act.
(5) Dissenting limited partner — a person who, on the date on which soliciting material is mailed to investors, is a holder of a beneficial interest in a limited partnership that is the subject of a limited partnership rollup transaction, and who casts a vote against the transaction and complies with procedures established by FINRA, except that for purposes of an exchange or tender offer, such person shall file an objection in writing under FINRA rules during the period in which the offer is outstanding. Such objection in writing shall be filed with the party responsible for tabulating the votes or tenders.
(6) Equity interest — when used with respect to a corporation, means common stock and any security convertible into, exchangeable or exercisable for common stock, and, when used with respect to a partnership, means an interest in the capital or profits or losses of the partnership.
(7) Fair market net worth — total assets computed at fair market value less total liabilities.
(8) Limited partner or investor in a limited partnership — the purchaser of an interest in a direct participation program that is a limited partnership who is not involved in the day-to-day management of the limited partnership and bears limited liability.
(9) Limited partnership — an unincorporated association that is a direct participation program organized as a limited partnership whose partners are one or more general partners and one or more limited partners, which conforms to the provisions of the Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act or the applicable statute that regulates the organization of such partnership.
(10) Limited partnership rollup transaction — a transaction involving the combination or reorganization of one or more limited partnerships, directly or indirectly, in which:
(A) some or all of the investors in any of such limited partnerships will receive new securities, or securities in another entity, that will be reported under a transaction reporting plan declared effective before January 1, 1991, by the SEC under Section 11A of the Exchange Act.
(B) any of the investors' limited partnership securities are not, as of the date of the filing, reported under a transaction reporting plan declared effective before January 1, 1991, by the SEC under Section 11A of the Exchange Act.
(C) investors in any of the limited partnerships involved in the transaction are subject to a significant adverse change with respect to voting rights, the term of existence of the entity, management compensation, or investment objectives; and
(D) any of such investors are not provided an option to receive or retain a security under substantially the same terms and conditions as the original issue. Notwithstanding the foregoing definition, a "limited partnership rollup transaction" does not include:
(i) a transaction that involves only a limited partnership or partnerships having an operating policy or practice of retaining cash available for distribution and reinvesting proceeds from the sale, financing, or refinancing of assets in accordance with such criteria as the SEC determines appropriate;
(ii) a transaction involving only limited partnerships wherein the interests of the limited partners are repurchased, recalled or exchanged pursuant to the terms of the pre-existing limited partnership agreements for securities in an operating company specifically identified at the time of the formation of the original limited partnership;
(iii) a transaction in which the securities to be issued or exchanged are not required to be and are not registered under the Securities Act;
(iv) a transaction that involves only issuers that are not required to register or report under Section 12 of the Exchange Act, both before and after the transaction;
(v) a transaction, except as the SEC may otherwise provide for by rule for the protection of investors, involving the combination or reorganization of one or more limited partnerships in which a non-affiliated party succeeds to the interests of the general partner or sponsor, if:
a. such action is approved by not less than 66 2/3 percent of the outstanding units of each of the participating limited partnerships; and
b. as a result of the transaction, the existing general partners will receive only compensation to which they are entitled as expressly provided for in the pre-existing partnership agreements; or
(vi) a transaction, except as the SEC may otherwise provide for by rule for the protection of investors, in which the securities offered to investors are securities of another entity that are reported under a transaction reporting plan declared effective before January 1, 1991, by the SEC under Section 11A of the Exchange Act; if:
a. such other entity was formed, and such class of securities was reported and regularly traded, not less than 12 months before the date on which soliciting material is mailed to investors; and
b. the securities of that entity issued to investors in the transaction do not exceed 20 percent of the total outstanding securities of the entity, exclusive of any securities of such class held by or for the account of the entity or a subsidiary of the entity.
(vii) a transaction involving only entities registered under the Investment Company Act or any Business Development Company as defined in Section 2(a)(48) of that Act.
(11) Management fee — a fee paid to the sponsor, general partner(s), their affiliates, or other persons for management and administration of a direct participation program.
(12) Organization and offering expenses — expenses incurred in preparing a direct participation program for registration and subsequently offering interests in the program to the public, including all forms of compensation paid to underwriters, broker-dealers, or affiliates thereof in connection with the offering of the program.
(13) Participant — the purchaser of an interest in a direct participation program.
(14) Person — any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.
(15) Prospectus — a prospectus as defined by Section 2(10) of the Securities Act, as amended, an offering circular as described in Securities Act Rule 256 or, in the case of an intrastate offering, any document utilized for the purpose of announcing the offer and sale of securities to the public.
(16) Registration statement — a registration statement as defined by Section 2(8) of the Securities Act, as amended, a notification on Form 1-A filed with the SEC pursuant to the provisions of Securities Act Rule 255 and, in the case of an intrastate offering, any document initiating a registration or similar process for an issue of securities which is required to be filed by the laws or regulations of any state.
(17) Solicitation expenses — direct marketing expenses incurred by a member, in connection with a limited partnership rollup transaction such as telephone calls, broker-dealer fact sheets, members' legal and other fees related to the solicitation, as well as direct solicitation compensation to members.
(18) Sponsor — a person who directly or indirectly provides management services for a direct participation program whether as general partner, pursuant to contract or otherwise.
(19) Transaction costs — costs incurred in connection with a limited partnership rollup transaction, including printing and mailing the proxy, prospectus or other documents; legal fees not related to the solicitation of votes or tenders; financial advisory fees; investment banking fees; appraisal fees; accounting fees; independent committee expenses; travel expenses; and all other fees related to the preparatory work of the transaction, but not including costs that would have otherwise been incurred by the subject limited partnerships in the ordinary course of business or solicitation expenses.
No member or person associated with a member shall participate in a public offering of a direct participation program, a limited partnership rollup transaction or, where expressly provided below, a real estate investment trust as defined in Rule 2231(d)(4)("REIT"), except in accordance with this paragraph (b).
(A) A member or person associated with a member shall not underwrite or participate in a public offering of a direct participation program unless standards of suitability have been established by the program for participants therein and such standards are fully disclosed in the prospectus and are consistent with the provisions of subparagraph (B).
(B) In recommending to a participant the purchase, sale or exchange of an interest in a direct participation program, a member or person associated with a member shall:
(i) have reasonable grounds to believe, on the basis of information obtained from the participant concerning his investment objectives, other investments, financial situation and needs, and any other information known by the member or associated person, that:
a. the participant is or will be in a financial position appropriate to enable him to realize to a significant extent the benefits described in the prospectus, including the tax benefits where they are a significant aspect of the program;
b. the participant has a fair market net worth sufficient to sustain the risks inherent in the program, including loss of investment and lack of liquidity; and
c. the program is otherwise suitable for the participant; and
(ii) maintain in the files of the member documents disclosing the basis upon which the determination of suitability was reached as to each participant.
(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) hereof, no member shall execute any transaction in direct participation program in a discretionary account without prior written approval of the transaction by the customer.
(D) Subparagraphs (A) and (B), and, only in situations where the member is not affiliated with the direct participation program, subparagraph (C) shall not apply to:
(i) a secondary public offering of or a secondary market transaction in a unit, depositary receipt, or other interest in a direct participation program that is listed on a national securities exchange; or
(ii) an initial public offering of a unit, depositary receipt or other interest in a direct participation program for which an application for listing on a national securities exchange has been approved by such exchange and the applicant makes a good faith representation that it believes such listing on an exchange will occur within a reasonable period of time following the formation of the program.
(A) Prior to participating in a public offering of a direct participation program or REIT, a member or person associated with a member shall have reasonable grounds to believe, based on information made available to him by the sponsor through a prospectus or other materials, that all material facts are adequately and accurately disclosed and provide a basis for evaluating the program.
(B) In determining the adequacy of disclosed facts pursuant to subparagraph (A) hereof, a member or person associated with a member shall obtain information on material facts relating at a minimum to the following, if relevant in view of the nature of the program:
(i) items of compensation;
(ii) physical properties;
(iii) tax aspects;
(iv) financial stability and experience of the sponsor;
(v) the program's conflict and risk factors; and
(vi) appraisals and other pertinent reports.
(C) For purposes of subparagraphs (A) or (B) hereof, a member or person associated with a member may rely upon the results of an inquiry conducted by another member or members, provided that:
(i) the member or person associated with a member has reasonable grounds to believe that such inquiry was conducted with due care;
(ii) the results of the inquiry were provided to the member or person associated with a member with the consent of the member or members conducting or directing the inquiry; and
(iii) no member that participated in the inquiry is a sponsor of the program or an affiliate of such sponsor.
(D) Prior to executing a purchase transaction in a direct participation program or a REIT, a member or person associated with a member shall inform the prospective participant of all pertinent facts relating to the liquidity and marketability of the program or REIT during the term of the investment. Included in the pertinent facts shall be information regarding whether the sponsor has offered prior programs or REITs in which disclosed in the offering materials was a date or time period at which the program or REIT might be liquidated, and whether the prior program(s) or REIT(s) in fact liquidated on or around that date or during the time period; provided however, this subparagraph (D) shall not apply to an initial or secondary public offering of or a secondary market transaction in a unit, depositary receipt or other interest in a direct participation program that meets the criteria in paragraph (b)(2)(D)(i) or (ii).
(4) Organization and Offering Expenses
(A) No member or person associated with a member shall underwrite or participate in a public offering of a direct participation program or REIT if the organization and offering expenses are not fair and reasonable, taking into consideration all relevant factors.
(B) In determining the fairness and reasonableness of organization and offering expenses that are deemed to be in connection with or related to the distribution of the public offering for purposes of subparagraph (A) hereof, the arrangements shall be presumed to be unfair and unreasonable if:
(i) organization and offering expenses, as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(C), in which a member or an affiliate of a member is a sponsor, exceed an amount that equals fifteen percent of the gross proceeds of the offering;
(ii) the total amount of all items of compensation from whatever source, including compensation paid from offering proceeds and in the form of "trail commissions," payable to underwriters, broker-dealers, or affiliates thereof exceeds an amount that equals ten percent of the gross proceeds of the offering (excluding securities purchased through the reinvestment of dividends);
(iii) any compensation in connection with an offering is to be paid to underwriters, broker-dealers, or affiliates thereof out of the proceeds of the offering prior to the release of such proceeds from escrow, provided, however, that any such payment from sources other than proceeds of the offering shall be made only on the basis of bona fide transactions;
(iv) commissions or other compensation are to be paid or awarded either directly or indirectly, to any person engaged by a potential investor for investment advice as an inducement to such advisor to advise the purchaser of interests in a particular program or REIT, unless such person is a registered broker-dealer or a person associated with such a broker-dealer;
(v) the program or REIT provides for compensation of an indeterminate nature to be paid to members or persons associated with members for sales of the program or REIT, or for services of any kind rendered in connection with or related to the distribution thereof, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following: a percentage of the management fee, a profit sharing arrangement, brokerage commissions, an over-riding royalty interest, a net profits interest, a percentage of revenues, a reversionary interest, a working interest, a security or right to acquire a security having an indeterminate value, or other similar incentive items;
(vi) the program or REIT charges a sales load or commission on securities that are purchased through the reinvestment of dividends, unless the registration statement registering the securities under the Securities Act became effective prior to August 6, 2008; or
(vii) the member has received reimbursement for due diligence expenses that are not included in a detailed and itemized invoice, unless the amount of the reimbursement is included in the calculation of underwriting compensation as a non-accountable expense allowance, which when aggregated with all other such non-accountable expenses, does not exceed three percent of offering proceeds.
(C) The organization and offering expenses subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(4)(B)(i) above include the following:
(i) issuer expenses that are reimbursed or paid for with offering proceeds, including overhead expenses, which issuer expenses include, but are not limited to, expenses for:
a. assembling, printing and mailing offering materials, processing subscription agreements, generating advertising and sales materials;
b. legal and accounting services provided to the sponsor or issuer;
c. salaries and non-transaction-based compensation paid to employees or agents of the sponsor or issuer for performing services for the issuer;
d. transfer agents, escrow holders depositories, engineers and other experts; and
e. registration and qualification of securities under federal and state law, including taxes and fees and FINRA fees;
(ii) underwriting compensation as defined in Rule 5110(j)(22) including payments:
a. to any wholesaling or retailing firm that is engaged in the solicitation, marketing, distribution or sales of the program or REIT securities;
b. to any registered representative of a member who receives transaction-based compensation in connection with the offering, except to the extent that such compensation has been included in a. above;
c. to any registered representative who is engaged in the solicitation, marketing, distribution or sales of the program or REIT securities, except:
1. to the extent that such compensation has been included in a. above;
2. for a registered representative whose functions in connection with the offering are solely and exclusively clerical or ministerial; and
3. for a registered representative whose sales activities are de minimis and incidental to his or her clerical or ministerial job functions; or
d. for training and education meetings, legal services provided to a member in connection with the offering, advertising and sales material generated by the member and contributions to conferences and meetings held by non-affiliated members for their registered representatives.
(iii) due diligence expenses incurred when a member affirmatively discharges its responsibilities to ensure that all material facts pertaining to a program or REIT are adequately and accurately disclosed in the offering document.
(D) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b)(4)(C)(ii)b. and c. above, for every program or REIT filed with the Corporate Financing Department (the "Department") for review, the Department shall, based upon the information provided, make a determination as to whether some portion of a registered representative's non-transaction-based compensation should not be deemed to be underwriting compensation if the registered representative is either:
(i) a dual employee of a member and the sponsor, issuer or other affiliate with respect to a program or REIT with ten or fewer registered representatives engaged in wholesaling, in which instance the Department may make such determination with respect to the ten or fewer registered representatives engaged in wholesaling; or
(ii) a dual employee of a member and the sponsor, issuer or other affiliate who is one of the top ten highest paid executives based on non-transaction-based compensation in any program or REIT.
(E) All items of compensation paid by the program or REIT directly or indirectly from whatever source to underwriters, broker-dealers, or affiliates thereof, including, but not limited to, sales commissions, wholesaling fees, due diligence expenses, other underwriter's expenses, underwriter's counsel's fees, securities or rights to acquire securities, rights of first refusal, consulting fees, finder's fees, investor relations fees, and any other items of compensation for services of any kind or description, which are deemed to be in connection with or related to the public offering, shall be taken into consideration in computing the amount of compensation for purposes of determining compliance with the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B).
(F) The determination of whether compensation paid to underwriters, broker-dealers, or affiliates thereof is in connection with or related to a public offering, for purposes of this subparagraph (4), shall be made on the basis of such factors as the timing of the transaction, the consideration rendered, the investment risk, and the role of the member or affiliate in the organization, management and direction of the enterprise in which the sponsor is involved.
(i) An affiliate of a member which acts or proposes to act as a general partner, associate general partner, or other sponsor of a program or REIT shall be presumed to be bearing investment risk for purposes of this paragraph (b) if the affiliate:
a. is subject to potential liability as a general partner to the same extent as any other general partner;
b. is not indemnified against potential liability as a general partner to any greater or different extent than any other general partner for its actions or those of any other general partner;
c. has a net worth equal to at least five percent of the net proceeds of the public offering or $1.0 million, whichever is less; provided, however, that the computation of the net worth shall not include an interest in the program offered but may include net worth applied to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (b) with respect to other programs or REITs; and
d. agrees to maintain net worth as required by subparagraph c. above under its control until the earlier of the removal or withdrawal of the affiliate as a general partner, associate general partner, or other sponsor, or the dissolution of the program or REIT.
(ii) For purposes of determining the factors to be utilized in computing compensation derived from securities received in connection with a public offering, the guidelines set forth in Rule 5110 shall govern to the extent applicable.
(G) Subject to the limitations on direct and indirect non-cash compensation provided under subparagraph (C), no member shall accept any cash compensation unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:
(i) all compensation is paid directly to the member in cash and the distribution, if any, of all compensation to the member's associated persons is controlled solely by the member;
(ii) the value of all compensation to be paid in connection with an offering is included as compensation to be received in connection with the offering for purposes of subparagraph (B);
(iii) arrangements relating to the proposed payment of all compensation are disclosed in the prospectus or similar offering document;
(iv) the value of all compensation paid in connection with an offering is reflected on the books and records of the recipient member as compensation received in connection with the offering; and
(v) no compensation paid in connection with an offering is directly or indirectly related to any non-cash compensation or sales incentive items provided by the member to its associated persons.
(5) Valuation for Customer Account Statements
A member shall not participate in a public offering of the securities of a direct participation program (DPP) that is not subject to the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940 or of a REIT unless the issuer of the DPP or REIT has agreed to disclose:
(A) a per share estimated value of the DPP or REIT security, developed in a manner reasonably designed to ensure it is reliable, in the DPP or REIT periodic reports filed pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act;
(B) an explanation of the method by which the per share estimated value was developed;
(C) the date of the valuation; and
(D) in a periodic or current report filed pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act within 150 days following the second anniversary of breaking escrow and in each annual report thereafter, a per share estimated value:
(i) based on valuations of the assets and liabilities of the DPP or REIT performed at least annually, by, or with the material assistance or confirmation of, a third-party valuation expert or service;
(ii) derived from a methodology that conforms to standard industry practice; and
(iii) accompanied by a written opinion or report by the issuer, delivered at least annually, that explains the scope of the review, the methodology used to develop the valuation or valuations, and the basis for the value or values reported.
(6) Participation in Rollups
(A) No member or person associated with a member shall participate in the solicitation of votes or tenders from limited partners in connection with a limited partnership rollup transaction, irrespective of the form of the resulting entity (i.e., a partnership, real estate investment trust or corporation), unless any compensation received by the member:
(i) is payable and equal in amount regardless of whether the limited partner votes affirmatively or negatively in the proposed limited partnership rollup transaction;
(ii) in the aggregate, does not exceed 2% of the exchange value of the newly created securities; and
(iii) is paid regardless of whether the limited partners reject the proposed limited partnership rollup transaction.
(B) No member or person associated with a member shall participate in the solicitation of votes or tenders from limited partners in connection with a limited partnership rollup transaction unless the general partner(s) or sponsor(s) proposing the limited partnership rollup transaction agrees to pay all solicitation expenses related to the limited partnership rollup transaction, including all preparatory work related thereto, in the event the limited partnership rollup transaction is rejected.
(C) No member or person associated with a member shall participate in any capacity in a limited partnership rollup transaction if the transaction is unfair or unreasonable.
(i) A limited partnership rollup transaction will be presumed not to be unfair or unreasonable if the limited partnership rollup transaction provides for the right of dissenting limited partners:
a. to receive compensation for their limited partnership units based on an appraisal of the limited partnership assets performed by an independent appraiser unaffiliated with the sponsor or general partner of the program that values the assets as if sold in an orderly manner in a reasonable period of time, plus or minus other balance sheet items, and less the cost of sale or refinancing and in a manner consistent with the appropriate industry practice. Compensation to dissenting limited partners of limited partnership rollup transactions may be cash, secured debt instruments, unsecured debt instruments, or freely tradeable securities; provided, however, that:
1. limited partnership rollup transactions which utilize debt instruments as compensation must provide for a trustee and an indenture to protect the rights of the debt holders and provide a rate of interest equal to at least 120% of the applicable federal rate as determined in accordance with Section 1274 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
2. limited partnership rollup transactions which utilize unsecured debt instruments as compensation, in addition to the requirements of subparagraph 1., must limit total leverage to 70% of the appraised value of the assets;
3. all debt securities must have a term no greater than 8 years and provide for prepayment with 80% of the net proceeds of any sale or refinancing of the assets previously owned by the partnership entitles subject to the limited partnership rollup transaction or any part thereof; and
4. freely tradeable securities used as compensation to dissenting limited partners must be previously listed on a national securities exchange prior to the limited partnership rollup transaction, and the number of securities to be received in return for limited partnership interests must be determined in relation to the average last sale price of the freely tradeable securities in the 20-day period following the date of the meeting at which the vote on the limited partnership rollup transaction occurs. If the issuer of the freely tradeable securities is affiliated with the sponsor or general partner, newly issued securities to be used as compensation to dissenting limited partners shall not represent more than 20 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of that class of securities after giving effect to the issuance. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a sponsor or general partner is "affiliated" with the issuer of the freely tradeable securities if the sponsor or general partner receives any material compensation from the issuer or its affiliates in conjunction with the limited partnership rollup transaction or the purchase of the general partner's interest; provided, however, that nothing herein shall restrict the ability of a sponsor or general partner to receive any payment for its equity interests and compensation as otherwise provided by this subparagraph.
b. to receive or retain a security with substantially the same terms and conditions as the security originally held. Securities received or retained will be considered to have the same terms and conditions as the security originally held if:
1. there is no material adverse change to dissenting limited partners' rights with respect to the business plan or the investment, distribution and liquidation policies of the limited partnership; and
2. the dissenting limited partners receive substantially the same rights, preferences and priorities as they had pursuant to the security originally held; or
c. to receive other comparable rights including, but not limited to:
1. approval of the limited partnership rollup transaction by 75% of the outstanding units of each of the individual participating limited partnerships and the exclusion of any individual limited partnership from the limited partnership rollup transaction which fails to reach the 75% threshold. The third-party appointed to tabulate votes and dissents pursuant to subparagraph (C)(ii)b.4. hereof shall submit the results of such tabulation to FINRA;
2. review of the limited partnership rollup transaction by an independent committee of persons not affiliated with the general partner(s) or sponsor. Whenever utilized, the independent committee:
A. shall be approved by a majority of the outstanding securities of each of the participating partnerships;
B. shall have access to the books and records of the partnerships;
C. shall prepare a report to the limited partners subject to the limited partnership rollup transaction that presents its findings and recommendations, including any minority views;
D. shall have the authority to negotiate the proposed transaction with the general partner or sponsor on behalf of the limited partners, but not the authority to approve the transaction on behalf of the limited partners;
E. shall not deliberate for a period longer than 60 days, although extensions will be permitted if unanimously agreed upon by the members of the independent committee or if approved by FINRA;
F. may be compensated and reimbursed by the limited partnerships subject to the limited partnership rollup transaction and shall have the ability to retain independent counsel and financial advisors to represent all limited partners at the limited partnerships' expense provided the fees are reasonable; and
G. shall be entitled to indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by law from the limited partnerships subject to the limited partnership rollup transaction from claims, causes of action or lawsuits related to any action or decision made in furtherance of their responsibilities; provided, however, that general partners or sponsors may also agree to indemnify the independent committee; or
3. any other comparable rights for dissenting limited partners proposed by general partners or sponsors, provided, however, that the general partner(s) or sponsor demonstrates to the satisfaction of FINRA or, if FINRA determines appropriate, to the satisfaction of an independent committee, that the rights proposed are comparable.
(ii) Regardless of whether a limited partnership rollup transaction is in compliance with subparagraph (C)(i), a limited partnership rollup transaction will be presumed to be unfair and unreasonable:
a. if the general partner(s):
1. converts an equity interest in any limited partnership(s) subject to a limited partnership rollup transaction for which consideration was not paid and which was not otherwise provided for in the limited partnership agreement and disclosed to limited partners, into a voting interest in the new entity (provided, however, an interest originally obtained in order to comply with the provisions of Internal Revenue Service Revenue Proclamation 89-12 may be converted);
2. fails to follow the valuation provisions, if any, in the limited partnership agreements of the subject limited partnerships when valuing their limited partnership interests; or
3. utilizes a future value of their equity interest in the limited partnership rather than the current value of their equity interest, as determined by an appraisal conducted in a manner consistent with subparagraph (C)(i)a., when determining their interest in the new entity;
b. as to voting rights, if:
1. the voting rights in the entity resulting from a limited partnership rollup transaction do not generally follow the original voting rights of the limited partnerships participating in the limited partnership rollup transaction; provided, however, that changes to voting rights may be effected if FINRA determines that such changes are not unfair or if the changes are approved by an independent committee;
2. a majority of the interests in an entity resulting from a limited partnership rollup transaction may not, without concurrence by the sponsor, general partner(s), board of directors, trustee, or similar governing entity, depending on the form of entity and to the extent not inconsistent with applicable state law, vote to:
A. amend the limited partnership agreement, articles of incorporation or by-laws, or indenture;
B. dissolve the entity;
C. remove the general partner, board of directors, trustee or similar governing entity, and elect a new general partner, board of directors, trustee or similar governing entity; or
D. approve or disapprove the sale of substantially all of the assets of the entity;
3. the general partner(s) or sponsor(s) proposing a limited partnership rollup transaction do not provide each limited partner with a document which instructs the limited partner on the proper procedure for voting against or dissenting from the transaction; or
4. the general partner(s) or sponsor(s) does not utilize an independent third party to receive and tabulate all votes and dissents in connection with the limited partnership rollup transaction, and require that the third party make the tabulation available to the general partner and any limited partner upon request at any time during and after voting occurs;
c. as to transaction costs, if:
1. transaction costs of a rejected limited partnership rollup transaction are not apportioned between general and limited partners of the subject limited partnerships according to the final vote on the proposed transaction as follows:
A. the general partner(s) or sponsor(s) bear all transaction costs in proportion to the total number of abstentions and votes to reject the limited partnership rollup transaction; and
B. limited partners bear transaction costs in proportion to the number of votes to approve the limited partnership rollup transaction; or
2. individual limited partnerships that do not approve a limited partnership rollup transaction are required to pay any of the transaction costs, and the general partner or sponsor is not required to pay the transaction costs on behalf of the non-approving limited partnerships, in a limited partnership rollup transaction in which one or more limited partnerships determines not to approve the transaction, but where the transaction is consummated with respect to one or more approving limited partnerships; or
d. as to fees of general partners, if:
1. general partners are not prevented from receiving both unearned management fees discounted to a present value (if such fees were not previously provided for in the limited partnership agreement and disclosed to limited partners) and new asset-based fees;
2. property management fees and other general partner fees are inappropriate, unreasonable and more than, or not competitive with, what would be paid to third parties for performing similar services; or
3. changes in fees which are substantial and adverse to limited partners are not approved by an independent committee according to the facts and circumstances of each transaction.
(c) Non-Cash Compensation
The terms "compensation," "non-cash compensation" and "offeror" for the purposes of this paragraph (c) shall have the following meanings:
(A) "Compensation" shall mean cash compensation and non-cash compensation.
(B) "Non-cash compensation" shall mean any form of compensation received in connection with the sale and distribution of direct participation securities that is not cash compensation, including but not limited to merchandise, gifts and prizes, travel expenses, meals and lodging.
(C) "Offeror" shall mean an issuer, sponsor, an adviser to an issuer or sponsor, an underwriter and any affiliated person of such entities.
(2) Restriction on Non-Cash Compensation
In connection with the sale and distribution of direct participation program or REIT securities, no member or person associated with a member shall directly or indirectly accept or make payments or offers of payments of any non-cash compensation, except as provided below. Non-cash compensation arrangements must be consistent with the applicable requirements of SEA Rule 15l-1 ("Regulation Best Interest") and are limited to the following:
(A) Gifts that do not exceed an annual amount per person fixed periodically by the Board of Governors1 and are not conditioned on achievement of a sales target.
(B) An occasional meal, a ticket to a sporting event or the theater, or comparable entertainment which is neither so frequent nor so extensive as to raise any question of propriety and is not preconditioned on achievement of a sales target.
(C) Payment or reimbursement by offerors in connection with meetings held by an offeror or by a member for the purpose of training or education of associated persons of a member, provided that:
(i) associated persons obtain the member's prior approval to attend the meeting and attendance by a member's associated persons is not conditioned by the member on the achievement of a sales target or any other incentives pursuant to a non-cash compensation arrangement permitted by paragraph (c)(2)(D);
(ii) the location is appropriate to the purpose of the meeting, which shall mean a United States office of the offeror or the member holding the meeting, or a facility located in the vicinity of such office, or a United States regional location with respect to meetings of associated persons who work within that region or, with respect to meetings with direct participation programs or REITs, a United States location at which a significant or representative asset of the program or REIT is located;
(iii) the payment or reimbursement is not applied to the expenses of guests of the associated person; and
(iv) the payment or reimbursement by the offeror is not conditioned by the offeror on the achievement of a sales target or any other non-cash compensation arrangement permitted by paragraph (c)(2)(D).
(D) Non-cash compensation arrangements between a member and its associated persons or a company that controls a member company and the member's associated persons, provided that no unaffiliated non-member company or other unaffiliated member directly or indirectly participates in the member's or non-member's organization of a permissible non-cash compensation arrangement; and
(E) Contributions by a non-member company or other member to a non-cash compensation arrangement between a member and its associated persons, provided that the arrangement meets the criteria in paragraph (c)(2)(D).
A member shall maintain records of all non-cash compensation received by the member or its associated persons in arrangements permitted by paragraphs (c)(2)(C) through (E). The records shall include: the names of the offerors, non-members or other members making the non-cash compensation contributions; the names of the associated persons participating in the arrangements; the nature and value of non-cash compensation received; the location of training and education meetings; and any other information that proves compliance by the member and its associated persons with paragraph (c)(2)(C) through (E).
Pursuant to the Rule 9600 Series, FINRA may exempt a member or person associated with a member from the provisions of this Rule for good cause shown.
1 The current annual amount fixed by the Board of Governors is $100.
|Amended by SR-FINRA-2019-012. eff. Sept. 16, 2020.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2020-007 eff. June 30, 2020.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2019-009 eff. May 8, 2019.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2014-006 eff. April 11, 2016.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2009-046 eff. Aug. 17, 2009.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2009-016 eff. Aug. 17, 2009.
Amended by SR-NASD-2005-114 eff. Aug. 6, 2008.
Amended by SR-NASD-2005-087 eff. Aug. 1, 2006.
Amended by SR-NASD-2003-68 eff. April 7, 2003.
Amended by SR-NASD-00-13 eff. April 16, 2001.
Amended by SR-NASD-97-28 eff. Aug. 7, 1997.
Amended by SR-NASD-95-21 eff. July 11, 1995.
Amended by SR-NASD-95-19 eff. July 3, 1995.
Amended by SR-NASD-93-03 eff. Nov. 1, 1994.
Amended to incorporate Appendix F by SR-NASD-93-48 eff. Mar. 8, 1994.
Amended SR-NASD-81-19 eff. Sept. 16, 1982; Jan. 17, 1984; SR-NASD-84-2 eff. July 3, 1984; SR-NASD-85-26 eff. Nov. 5. 1985; SR-NASD-86-21 eff. Sept. 15, 1986; SR-NASD-86-22 eff. Jan. 1, 1989; SR-NASD-84-10 eff. Feb. 1, 1989; SR-NASD-91-24 eff. Aug. 19, 1991; SR-NASD-93-29 eff. June 23, 1993.
Adopted by SR-NASD-77-8 eff. July 14, 1980.
Selected Notices: 73-50 , 77-03 , 78-12 , 81-34 , 82-14 , 82-50 , 82-51 , 82-52 , 83-13 , 84-28 , 84-64 , 85-17 , 85-29 , 86-66 , 86-81 , 88-88 , 89-16 , 91-56 , 91-78 , 93-15 , 93-44 , 94-24 , 94-70 , 95-63 , 95-64 , 08-35, 09-33, 15-02, 20-10, 20-18.
- Regulatory Notice 17-14April 12, 2017
- Regulatory Notice 16-29August 08, 2016
- Regulatory Notice 15-32September 08, 2015
- Regulatory Notice 15-17May 22, 2015
- Regulatory Notice 15-02January 05, 2015
- Regulatory Notice 14-22May 15, 2014
- Regulatory Notice 14-30July 11, 2014
- Regulatory Notice 14-15April 08, 2014
- Regulatory Notice 13-18May 02, 2013
- Regulatory Notice 12-32June 26, 2012
- Regulatory Notice 12-14March 07, 2012
- Regulatory Notice 12-22April 30, 2012
- Regulatory Notice 11-44September 29, 2011
- Regulatory Notice 09-33June 15, 2009