In April, 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which makes it far easier for companies to market their securities to investors. Next month, rules mandated by the JOBS Act and adopted in July by the Securities and Exchange Commission will go into effect that loosen the decades-old prohibitions on general solicitation efforts such as cold calling, mass mailing, and running certain commercials. The rules won’t only apply to, say, start-up tech companies. They’ll also apply to hedge funds, private-equity funds, and other alternative investment funds.
Will we soon see full-page advertisements for hedge funds in the Times, GQ, or Sports Illustrated? Maybe there will be smiling children and a line like “Invest in Cerberus: Your Future and Your Family.” Will they run commercials during the Super Bowl or the Sunday-morning talk shows? What about mass mailings to everyone in the tri-state area who bought a Mercedes-Benz or a Rolex last year? It’s all possible now.