The SEC has proposed amendments to Rule 35d-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the "names rule").
The names rule currently requires a registered investment company or business development company (BDC) whose name suggests either a focus on a specific type of investment, a focus in investments in a specific industry, or a geographic focus, to adopt a policy to invest at least 80 percent of the value of its assets in those investments suggested by its name.
The amendments propose to, among other things: (i) expand the 80% investment policy requirement to apply to any registered investment company or BDC name with terms suggesting that the fund focuses in investments that have, or investments whose issuers have, particular characteristics (including, for example, "growth" or "value"), (ii) narrow the circumstances in which a registered investment company or BDC is permitted to depart from its 80% investment policy, (iii) require that any unlisted registered investment company or BDC obtain a shareholder vote before changing its 80% investment policy, (iv) impose specific guidelines on the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) terms in registered investment company or BDC names and (v) implement related reporting, notice and recordkeeping requirements.
The comment period for the proposed amendments will remain open for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The text of the proposed rule is available here.