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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.

Extension:

Rule 17a-10; SEC File No. 270-507; OMB Control No. 3235-0563.

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 (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit these existing collections of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

Section 17(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a) (the “Act”), prohibits affiliated persons of a registered investment company (“fund”) from borrowing money or other Start Printed Page 10499property from, or selling or buying securities or other property to or from the fund, or any company that the fund controls. Section 2(a)(3) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 80a-2(a)(3)(E)) defines “affiliated person” of a fund to include its investment advisers. Rule 17a-10 (17 CFR 270.17a-10) permits (i) a subadviser of a fund to enter into transactions with funds the subadviser does not advise but which are affiliated persons of a fund that it does advise (e.g., other funds in the fund complex), and (ii) a subadviser (and its affiliated persons) to enter into transactions and arrangements with funds the subadviser does advise, but only with respect to discrete portions of the subadvised fund for which the subadviser does not provide investment advice.

To qualify for the exemptions in rule 17a-10, the subadvisory relationship must be the sole reason why section 17(a) prohibits the transaction; and the advisory contracts of the subadviser entering into the transaction, and any subadviser that is advising the purchasing portion of the fund, must prohibit the subadvisers from consulting with each other concerning securities transactions of the fund, and limit their responsibility to providing advice with respect to discrete portions of the fund's portfolio.[1]

The Commission staff estimates that 3583 portfolios of approximately 649 fund complexes use the services of one or more subadvisers. Based on discussions with industry representatives, the staff estimates that it requires approximately 6 hours to draft and execute revised subadvisory contracts allowing funds and subadvisers to rely on the exemptions in rule 17a-10.[2] The staff assumes that all existing funds amended their advisory contracts following the adoption of rule 17a-10 in 2003 that conditioned certain exemptions upon these contractual alterations, and therefore there is no continuing burden for those funds.[3]

Based on an analysis of fund filings, the staff estimates that approximately 600 fund portfolios enter into new subadvisory agreements each year.[4] Based on discussions with industry representatives, the staff estimates that it will require approximately 3 attorney hours [5] to draft and execute additional clauses in new subadvisory contracts in order for funds and subadvisers to be able to rely on the exemptions in rule 17a-10. Because these additional clauses are identical to the clauses that a fund would need to insert in their subadvisory contracts to rely on rules 10f-3, 12d3-1, and 17e-1, and because we believe that funds that use one such rule generally use all of these rules, we apportion this 3 hour time burden equally among all four rules. Therefore, we estimate that the burden allocated to rule 17a-10 for this contract change would be 0.75 hours.[6] Assuming that all 600 funds that enter into new subadvisory contracts each year make the modification to their contract required by the rule, we estimate that the rule's contract modification requirement will result in 450 burden hours annually, with an associated cost of approximately $131,400.[7]

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 will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 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.

Please direct your written comments to R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312; or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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Dated: February 19, 2008.

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  See 17 CFR 270.17a-10(a)(2).

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2.  Rules 12d3-1, 10f-3, 17a-10, and 17e-1 require virtually identical modifications to fund advisory contracts. The Commission staff assumes that funds would rely equally on the exemptions in these rules, and therefore the burden hours associated with the required contract modifications should be apportioned equally among the four rules.

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3.  We assume that funds formed after 2002 that intended to rely on rule 17a-10 would have included the required provision as a standard element in their initial subadvisory contracts.

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4.  The use of subadvisers has grown rapidly over the last several years, with approximately 600 portfolios that use subadvisers registering between December 2005 and December 2006. Based on information in Commission filings, we estimate that 31 percent of funds are advised by subadvisers.

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5.  The Commission staff's estimates concerning the wage rates for attorney time are based on salary information for the securities industry compiled by the Securities Industry Association. The $292 per hour figure for an attorney is from the SIA Report on Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2006, modified to account for an 1800-hour work-year and multiplied by 5.35 to account for bonuses, firm size, employee benefits and overhead.

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6.  This estimate is based on the following calculation (3 hours ÷ 4 rules = .75 hours).

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7.  These estimates are based on the following calculations: (0.75 hours × 600 portfolios = 450 burden hours); ($292 per hour × 450 hours = $131,400 total cost).

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[FR Doc. E8-3622 Filed 2-26-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P