May 21, 2015

Mark-to-Market Election for Hedge Funds

Section 475 of the tax code permits certain active traders to treat all investment transactions as generating ordinary income or loss.  Fund managers making a mark-to-market election recognize all gain or loss in open positions at year-end at the current fair market value as though they had been sold on December 31.  By recognizing all transactions as ordinary income a fund manager forfeits the ability to treat any assets as long-term capital gains.  Similarly, by marking portfolio assets to market at year-end, a manager loses the ability to defer income to later years.

May 19, 2015

Real Estate Fund Strategies

As is the case with investment funds in general, real estate funds are trending toward greater levels of specialization.  Specialization may be by asset class, strategy or both.  Examples of asset class-specific firms include: office, retail, medical, industrial, agricultural, storage, hospitality, etc.  Real estate fund strategies can be loosely categorized into one or more of the following groups:

May 2, 2015

Using Intermediaries to Raise Capital

After the initial seed raise, many issuers find it difficult to locate sufficientaccredited investors to participate in the offering and turn to intermediaries. When using intermediaries, a company must (unless conducting a Rule 506(c) offering) ensure that the intermediaries follow the rules requiring substantive pre-existing relationships with any prospective investors, and avoid general advertising and solicitation.

May 2, 2015

Real Estate Fund Investment Terms

One of the most important aspects of forming a real estate fund is to set the terms of the investment. When properly structured, real estate fund offering documents contain terms that adequately protect the fund sponsor and are attractive to investors. 

April 5, 2015

Key-Man Investment Fund Risk Mitigation

Successful hedge funds rely heavily on the intellect and expertise of key individuals, the loss of which can prove ruinous to hedge funds of all sizes. In November 2014, one of Europe’s largest money mangers, BlueBay, had to close a $1.4 billion fund because of the departure of a single key fund manager.

April 5, 2015

Preferred Equity as a Substitute for a Debt Offering

A company seeking to raise capital through a private placement generally looks to either debt or equity.  Each has its respective advantages and disadvantages, both to the company and to the investor.   An equity investment presents the investors with the possibility of a larger upside participation, but does not does not require the repayment of  capital. 

April 5, 2015

The Most Common Exemption–Regulation D Rule 506

Regulation D contains safe harbors that provide exemptions from federal registration. These include exemptions under Rules 504, Rule 505, and Rule 506. Rule 506 is the most commonly relied upon exemption in private offerings (accounting for more than 90% of offerings, according to SEC statistics).

April 5, 2015

How to Avoid Liability in a Private Placement

Improper drafting of PPM disclosures often results in significant liability, even when the issuer did not overtly intend to deceive investors. The SEC and state securities commissions have developed a complex system of disclosure regulations, with which a company must comply for the securities to be deemed properly sold. 

April 5, 2015

Structuring a Private Placement Offering

A private placement offering’s basic structure involves either debt, equity, or some combination of debt and equity. Within the basic structure, an issuer has numerous options, from convertible securities (debts that convert to equity upon certain events), to priority distributions and resumptions. Not one structure fits every issuer.

April 5, 2015

What’s in a Private Placement Memorandum

A Private Placement Memorandum (“PPM”), also known as a private offering document and confidential offering memorandum, is a securities disclosure document used in a private offering of securities by a company or investment fund. 

April 5, 2015

Domestic and Offshore Hedge Fund Structures

One of the initial considerations when structuring a hedge fund is whether to form the fund domestically, offshore or both. If a fund sponsor expects to have only U.S. investors, a domestic entity is sufficient. However, if a sponsor anticipates offshore investors or U.S. tax-exempt investors (IRAs, pension plans, endowments, etc.) an appropriate offshore fund will be needed to shield such investors from U.S. tax liability.
April 5, 2015

Brief Survey of Common Hedge Fund Terms

As part of the hedge fund formation process, the attorney works closely with the fund sponsor to craft the terms to which the fund and its investors will be bound. When properly structured, hedge fund offering documents contain terms that adequately protect the fund sponsor and are attractive to investors.

April 5, 2015

CFTC Grants Relief to Allow Limited Solicitation for CPO Hedge Funds

On September 23 of last year, the SEC adopted rules allowing private issuers of securities, including hedge funds, to engage in advertising and general solicitation under Regulation D. Until the recent CFTC announcement, hedge funds that include commodities or futures within their portfolios could not engage in general solicitation, since such instruments are regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

April 5, 2015

Common Hedge Fund Strategies

Hedge fund strategies encompass a broad range of risk tolerance and investment philosophies within a wide array of  investments, including debt and equity securities, commodities, currencies, derivatives, real estate and other investment vehicles. The horizon of hedge fund investment strategies has seen unprecedented expansion in recent years.

April 5, 2015

Hedge Fund Attorney

A team of experienced and committed hedge fund lawyers play a vital role in guiding hedge fund managers through their various responsibilities and helping managers avoid devastating mistakes.

Choosing the right legal team can mean the difference between an emerging hedge fund’s success or failure.

April 5, 2015

Ongoing RIA Compliance

Filing the ADV and other registration documents is only the beginning of an RIA’s regulatory obligations. Following registration, RIAs and their representatives become subject to a network of complex compliance obligations.  This article touches briefly on a few of  the many components of RIA compliance, including: annual license renewals,  detailed record keeping,  investor disclosure, compliance/ethics manual issues, and preparing for audits. 

April 4, 2015

Hedge Fund Prime Broker/Custodian

A prime broker is a central broker through whom the fund executes most or all of its trades and who typically acts as custodian to the fund’s assets. When the hedge fund executes trades through other brokers, the prime broker works with the executing brokers to settle and transfer all assets through the prime broker.

April 3, 2015

Hedge Fund Documents

Your hedge fund attorney will prepare five core documents, which are necessary to launch the fund:

(i) a private placement memorandum, (ii) limited partnership agreement, (iii) subscription agreement, (iv) investment management agreement, and (v) management company operating agreement.

April 3, 2015

Who Can Invest in a Hedge Fund?

There are two standards of investor suitability that may apply to investment fund investors, depending whether the fund manager is required to be registered as an investment adviser: the “accredited investor” standard or the significantly higher “qualified client” standard.
April 2, 2015

Hedge Fund Manager Compensation

Hedge fund manager fees typically consist of (i) an annual management fee and (ii) a performance allocation, also referred to as incentive allocation, or carried interest. The latter is not technically a “fee,” but rather a capital allocation, as will be discussed. This blog post describes the role of both compensation components.