Eight Corporate Governance Steps That Hedge Fund Managers Should Consider in Response to Concerns Expressed by Institutional Investors

Fund governance provider Carne Global Financial Services (Carne) recently released a research paper entitled “Corporate Governance in Hedge Funds: Investor Survey 2011” (Report).  The Report is a summary of the results of Carne’s survey (Survey) of institutional hedge fund allocators with respect to the issue of hedge fund corporate governance.  Overall, the Report demonstrates a desire among investors for higher corporate governance standards at hedge funds.  The Report attributes this desire to three major factors: (1) anxiety stemming from the financial crisis that began in 2008; (2) the recent decision in Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited v. Stefan and Hans Ekstrom; and (3) a push by regulators and others to crack down on hedge funds in order to improve their public image.  See “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,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 31 (Sep. 8, 2011).  Hedge fund managers can look to the Survey results as a barometer of investor sentiment and as a tool for benchmarking the sufficiency of the governance of their own funds.  See also “The Case in Favor of Focused, Experienced and Independent Hedge Fund Directors,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jan. 21, 2011).  This article summarizes the most important results of the Report including: the level of importance allocators place on corporate governance; allocators’ current satisfaction with corporate governance standards at hedge funds; areas of corporate governance that allocators believe require the most improvement; allocators’ preferences for board composition and oversight; and the degree of allocator concern about directors’ conflicts of interest.  The article concludes with a suggested list of eight corporate governance action points for hedge fund managers.

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