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 Securities Lawyer's Deskbook
                         published by The University of Cincinnati College of Law
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Investment Advisers Act of 1940

Section 205 -- Investment Advisory Contracts

  1. Compensation, assignment, and partnership-membership provisions. No investment adviser, unless exempt from registration pursuant to section 203(b), shall make use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, directly or indirectly, to enter into, extend, or renew any investment advisory contract, or in any way to perform any investment advisory contract entered into, extended, or renewed on or after the effective date of this title, if such contract--

    1. provides for compensation to the investment adviser on the basis of a share of capital gains upon or capital appreciation of the funds or any portion of the funds of the client;

    2. fails to provide, in substance, that no assignment of such contract shall be made by the investment adviser without the consent of the other party to the contract; or

    3. fails to provide, in substance, that the investment adviser, if a partnership, will notify the other party to the contract of any change in the membership of such partnership within a reasonable time after such change.

  2. Compensation prohibition inapplicable to certain compensation computations. Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall not--

    1. be construed to prohibit an investment advisory contract which provides for compensation based upon the total value of a fund averaged over a definite period, or as of definite dates, or taken as of a definite date;

    2. apply to an investment advisory contract with--

      1. an investment company registered under title I of this Act, or

      2. any other person (except a trust, governmental plan, collective trust fund, or separate account referred to in section 3(c)(11) of title I of this Act, provided that the contract relates to the investment of assets in excess of $ 1 million,

      if the contract provides for compensation based on the asset value of the company or fund under management averaged over a specified period and increasing and decreasing proportionately with the investment performance of the company or fund over a specified period in relation to the investment record of an appropriate index of securities prices or such other measure of investment performance as the Commission by rule, regulation, or order may specify;

    3. apply with respect to any investment advisory contract between an investment adviser and a business development company, as defined in this title, if (A) the compensation provided for in such contract does not exceed 20 per centum of the realized capital gains upon the funds of the business development company over a specified period or as of definite dates, computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation, and the condition of section 61(a)(3)(B)(iii) of title I of this Act is satisfied, and (B) the business development company does not have outstanding any option, warrant, or right issued pursuant to section 61(a)(3)(B) of title I of this Act and does not have a profit-sharing plan described in section 57(n) of title I of this Act;

    4. apply to an investment advisory contract with a company excepted from the definition of an investment company under section 3(c)(7) of title I of this Act; or

    5. apply to an investment advisory contract with a person who is not a resident of the United States.

  3. Measurement of changes in compensation. For purposes of paragraph (2) of subsection (b), the point from which increases and decreases in compensation are measured shall be the fee which is paid or earned when the investment performance of such company or fund is equivalent to that of the index or other measure of performance, and an index of securities prices shall be deemed appropriate unless the Commission by order shall determine otherwise.

  4. "Investment advisory contract" defined. As used in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a), "investment advisory contract" means any contract or agreement whereby a person agrees to act as investment adviser to or to manage any investment or trading account of another person other than an investment company registered under title I of this Act.

  5. Exempt persons and transactions. The Commission, by rule or regulation, upon its own motion, or by order upon application, may conditionally or unconditionally exempt any person or transaction, or any class or classes of persons or transactions, from subsection (a)(1), if and to the extent that the exemption relates to an investment advisory contract with any person that the Commission determines does not need the protections of subsection (a)(1), on the basis of such factors as financial sophistication, net worth, knowledge of and experience in financial matters, amount of assets under management, relationship with a registered investment adviser, and such other factors as the Commission determines are consistent with this section.

Legislative History

Aug. 22, 1940, ch 686, Title II, § 205, 54 Stat. 852; Sept. 13, 1960, P.L. 86-750, § 7, 74 Stat. 887; Dec. 14, 1970, P.L. 91-547, § 25, 84 Stat. 1432; Oct. 21, 1980, P.L. 96-477, Title II, § 203, 94 Stat. 2290; Dec. 4, 1987, P.L. 100-181, Title VII, § 703, 101 Stat. 1263; Oct. 11, 1996, P.L. 104-290, Title II, § 210, 110 Stat. 3436.

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