Cayman Grand Court Holds Independent Directors of Failed Hedge Fund Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Personally Liable for Losses Due to their Willful Failure to Supervise Fund Operations

In a judgment with serious implications for those who serve as directors of Cayman Islands hedge funds, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has ruled that Stefan Peterson and Hans Ekstrom, who were the independent directors of Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited (Fund), were personally liable for $111 million of excess redemption payments that had been made by the Fund using a wildly inflated net asset value.  The Court found that those directors had willfully neglected their duties to supervise the operation of the Fund and had served as little more than rubber stamps for the Fund’s founder, Magnus Peterson.  They missed or ignored critical – and obvious – signs that something was seriously amiss with the Fund.  The Court’s judgment, summarized in this article, provides a useful roadmap for the level of engagement, due diligence and oversight required of directors of Cayman Islands hedge funds.  For our original coverage of the Fund’s collapse, see “The Weavering Blow-Up and What It May Mean for Boards of Directors of Cayman Islands Hedge Funds,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 2, No. 13 (April 2, 2009).  For a discussion of the role that non-executive directors should play in the governance of offshore hedge funds and the protection of investors, see “The Case In Favor of Non-Executive Directors of Offshore Hedge Funds with Investment Expertise, Fewer Directorships and Independence from the Manager,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 3, No. 50 (Dec. 29, 2010), and a letter to the editor in response, “The Case in Favor of Focused, Experienced and Independent Hedge Fund Directors,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jan. 21, 2011).

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