May 31, 2019.
Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).
Notice of an application under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) for an exemption from sections 18(a)(2), 18(c) and 18(i) of the Act, and for an order pursuant to section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act.
Summary of Application:
Applicants request an order to permit certain registered closed-end management investment companies to issue multiple classes of shares of beneficial interest with varying sales loads and to impose asset-based distribution and/or service fees.
Cresset Private Markets Opportunity Fund (the “Initial Fund”) and Cresset SPG, LLC (the “Adviser”).
The application was filed on June 6, 2018, and amended on February 1, 2019.
Hearing or Notification of Hearing:
An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on June 25, 2019, and should be accompanied by proof of service on the applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.
Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants, 444 W Lake Street, Suite 4700, Chicago, IL 60606.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Christine Y. Greenlees, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6871, or Andrea Ottomanelli Magovern, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).
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Start Supplemental Information
The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's website by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.Start Printed Page 26490
1. The Initial Fund is a Delaware statutory trust that is registered under the Act as a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Initial Fund's primary investment objective will be to generate appropriate risk-adjusted long-term returns by investing in a diversified portfolio of private equity investments.
2. The Adviser, a Delaware limited liability company, is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). The Adviser will serve as investment adviser to the Initial Fund.
3. Applicants seek an order to permit the Initial Fund to issue multiple classes of shares of beneficial interest with varying sales loads and to impose asset-based distribution and/or service fees and early repurchase fees.
4. Applicants request that the order also apply to any continuously offered registered closed-end management investment company that has been previously organized or that may be organized in the future for which the Adviser, or any entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser, or any successor in interest to any such entity,
acts as investment adviser and which provides periodic liquidity with respect to its shares pursuant to rule 13e-4 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (each, a “Future Fund” and together with the Initial Fund, the “Funds”).
5. The Initial Fund initially will register a single class of shares (the “Initial Class”). Shares of the Initial Fund will be sold only to persons who are “accredited investors,” as defined in Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933, and “qualified clients,” as defined in the Advisers Act. The Funds will offer their Shares continuously at a price based on net asset value. Shares of the Funds will not be listed on any securities exchange nor quoted on any quotation medium. The Funds do not expect there to be a secondary trading market for their shares.
6. If the requested relief is granted, the Initial Fund intends to redesignate the Initial Class as “Class I Shares.” Additionally, if the requested relief is granted, the Initial Fund currently intends to continuously offer at least one additional class of shares, currently contemplated to be named “Class A Shares.” Each of the Class I Shares and Class A shares will have its own fee and expense structure. Additional offerings by any Fund relying on the order may be on a private placement or public offering basis.
7. Applicants state that, from time to time, the Initial Fund may create additional classes of shares, the terms of which may differ between Class I Shares and Class A Shares pursuant to and in compliance with rule 18f-3 under the Act.
8. Applicants state that shares of a Fund may be subject to an early repurchase fee (“Early Repurchase Fee”) at a rate of no greater than 2% of the shareholder's repurchase proceeds if the interval between the date of purchase of the shares and the valuation date with respect to the repurchase of those shares is less than one year.
Any Early Repurchase Fee will apply equally to all classes of shares of a Fund, consistent with section 18 of the Act and rule 18f-3 thereunder. To the extent a Fund determines to waive, impose scheduled variations of, or eliminate any Early Repurchase Fee, it will do so consistently with the requirements of rule 22d-1 under the Act as if the Early Repurchase Fee were a CDSL and as if the Fund were an open-end investment company and the Fund's waiver of, scheduled variation in, or elimination of, any such Early Repurchase Fee will apply uniformly to all shareholders of the Fund regardless of class. Applicants state that the Initial Fund intends to impose an Early Repurchase Fee of 2%.
9. Applicants represent that any asset-based service and/or distribution fees for each class of shares of the Funds will comply with the provisions of the FINRA Rule 2341(d) (“FINRA Sales Charge Rule”).
Applicants also represent that each Fund will disclose in its prospectus the fees, expenses and other characteristics of each class of shares offered for sale by the prospectus, as is required for open-end multiple class funds under Form N-1A. As is required for open-end funds, each Fund will disclose its expenses in shareholder reports, and describe any arrangements that result in breakpoints in or elimination of sales loads in its prospectus.
In addition, applicants will comply with applicable enhanced fee disclosure requirements for fund of funds, including registered funds of hedge funds.
10. Each of the Funds will comply with any requirements that the Commission or FINRA may adopt regarding disclosure at the point of sale and in transaction confirmations about the costs and conflicts of interest arising out of the distribution of open-end investment company shares, and regarding prospectus disclosure of sales loads and revenue sharing arrangements, as if those requirements applied to the Fund. In addition, each Fund will contractually require that any distributor of the Fund's shares comply with such requirements in connection with the distribution of such Fund's shares.
Applicants' Legal Analysis
Multiple Classes of Shares
1. Section 18(a)(2) of the Act provides that a closed-end investment company may not issue or sell a senior security that is a stock unless certain requirements are met. Applicants state that the creation of multiple classes of shares of the Funds may violate section 18(a)(2) because the Funds may not meet such requirements with respect to a class of shares that may be a senior security.
2. Section 18(c) of the Act provides, in relevant part, that a closed-end investment company may not issue or sell any senior security if, immediately thereafter, the company has outstanding more than one class of senior security. Applicants state that the creation of multiple classes of shares of the Funds may be prohibited by section 18(c), as a class may have priority over another class as to payment of dividends because shareholders of different classes would pay different fees and expenses.
3. Section 18(i) of the Act provides that each share of stock issued by a Start Printed Page 26491registered management investment company will be a voting stock and have equal voting rights with every other outstanding voting stock. Applicants state that multiple classes of shares of the Funds may violate section 18(i) of the Act because each class would be entitled to exclusive voting rights with respect to matters solely related to that class.
4. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security or transaction or any class or classes of persons, securities or transactions from any provision of the Act, or from any rule or regulation under the Act, if and to the extent such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Applicants request an exemption under section 6(c) from sections 18(a)(2), 18(c) and 18(i) to permit the Funds to issue multiple classes of shares.
5. Applicants submit that the proposed allocation of expenses relating to distribution and voting rights among multiple classes is equitable and will not discriminate against any group or class of shareholders. Applicants submit that the proposed arrangements would permit a Fund to facilitate the distribution of its securities and provide investors with a broader choice of shareholder services. Applicants assert that the proposed closed-end investment company multiple class structure does not raise the concerns underlying section 18 of the Act to any greater degree than open-end investment companies' multiple class structures that are permitted by rule 18f-3 under the Act. Applicants state that each Fund will comply with the provisions of rule 18f-3 as if it were an open-end investment company.
Asset-Based Distribution and/or Service Fees
1. Section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act prohibit an affiliated person of a registered investment company, or an affiliated person of such person, acting as principal, from participating in or effecting any transaction in connection with any joint enterprise or joint arrangement in which the investment company participates unless the Commission issues an order permitting the transaction. In reviewing applications submitted under section 17(d) and rule 17d-1, the Commission considers whether the participation of the investment company in a joint enterprise or joint arrangement is consistent with the provisions, policies and purposes of the Act, and the extent to which the participation is on a basis different from or less advantageous than that of other participants.
2. Rule 17d-3 under the Act provides an exemption from section 17(d) and rule 17d-1 to permit open-end investment companies to enter into distribution arrangements pursuant to rule 12b-1 under the Act. Applicants request an order under section 17(d) and rule 17d-1 under the Act to the extent necessary to permit the Fund to impose asset-based distribution and/or service fees. Applicants have agreed to comply with rules 12b-1 and 17d-3 as if those rules applied to closed-end investment companies, which they believe will resolve any concerns that might arise in connection with a Fund financing the distribution of its shares through asset-based distribution fees.
3. For the reasons stated above, applicants submit that the exemptions requested under section 6(c) are necessary and appropriate in the public interest and are consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Applicants also state that the Funds' imposition of asset-based distribution and/or service fees is consistent with the provisions, policies and purposes of the Act and does not involve participation on a basis different from or less advantageous than that of other participants.
Applicants agree that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the following condition:
Each Fund relying on the order will comply with the provisions of rules 6c-10, 12b-1, 17d-3, 18f-3, 22d-1, and, where applicable, 11a-3 under the Act, as amended from time to time, as if those rules applied to closed-end management investment companies, and will comply with the FINRA Sales Charge Rule, as amended from time to time, as if that rule applied to all closed-end management investment companies.
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For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.
Eduardo A. Aleman,
[FR Doc. 2019-11793 Filed 6-5-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P