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Proposed Collection; Request For Public Comment

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549.


Rule 206(4)-2; SEC File No. 270-217; OMB Control No. 3245-0241

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Rule 206(4)-2, “Custody or Possession of Funds or Securities of Clients,” governs the custody or possession of funds or securities by Commission-registered investment advisers. Rule 206(4)-2 makes it a fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative act, practice or course of business for any investment adviser who has custody or possession of funds or securities of its clients to do any act or take any action with respect to any such funds or securities unless (1) the securities are properly segregated and safely kept; (2) the funds are held in one or more specially designated client accounts with the adviser named as trustee; (3) the adviser promptly notifies the client as to the place and manner of safekeeping; (4) the adviser sends a detailed written statement to each client at least once every three months; and (5) at least once each year, on an unannounced basis, an independent public accountant verifies by actual examination the clients' funds and securities and files a certificate with the Commission describing the examination. The rule does not apply to an investment adviser that is also registered as a broker-dealer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, provided the adviser is in compliance with Rule 15c3-1 under the Exchange Act, or, if a member of an exchange, is in compliance with exchange requirements with respect to financial responsibility and the segregation of funds or securities carried for the account of the customer.

The information required by Rule 206(4)-2. is used by the Commission in connection with its investment adviser inspection program to ensure that advisers are in compliance with Rule 206(4)-2. The information required by paragraphs (3) and (4) of the rule is also used by clients. Without the information collected under the rule, the Commission would be less efficient and effective in its inspection program and clients would not have information valuable for monitoring the adviser's handling of their accounts.

The respondents to this information collection are Commission-registered investment advisers that have custody of clients' funds or securities and are not also registered as broker-dealers. The Commissioner estimates that 173 advisers are subject to Rule 206(4)-2. The number of responses under Rule 206(4)-2 varies considerably depending on the number of clients for which an adviser has custody or possession of funds or securities. We estimate that an adviser subject to this rule is required to provide an average of 250 responses annually at an average of .5 hours per response. The total time burden for each respondent is estimated to be 125 hours. The annual aggregate burden for all respondents to the requirements of Rule 206(4)-2 is estimated to be 21,625 hours.

The estimated average burden hours are made solely for the purposes of Paperwork Reduction Act and are not derived from a comprehensive or even representative survey or study of the cost of Commission rules and forms.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Start Printed Page 47526Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: July 27, 2000.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 00-19498 Filed 8-1-00; 8:45 am]