Valuation is one of the key focal areas for many hedge fund investors because a hedge fund manager that utilizes poor valuation practices can present significant investment and operational risks. At the same time, assessing valuation risk is often one of the most difficult tasks that a hedge fund investor faces in conducting an operational due diligence review. This is due, in part, to the myriad investment strategies employed by hedge fund managers and the differing levels of transparency provided by hedge fund managers, which, in turn, lead to varying approaches in the presentation of portfolio information. In April 2012, Amber Partners published a White Paper (Amber White Paper) that supplies hedge fund investors with a roadmap for assessing the level of valuation risk posed by a hedge fund manager. Specifically, the Amber White Paper provides guidance to investors on how to evaluate the composition of a hedge fund portfolio as well as the manager’s controls over the month-end valuation process. In addition to providing guidance to hedge fund investors, managers can also glean important lessons from the Amber White Paper on how to avoid valuation pitfalls and institute best-of-breed valuation practices. This article details the recommendations described in the Amber White Paper. See also “Hedge Fund Valuation Pitfalls and Best Practices: An Interview with Arthur Tully, Co-Leader of Ernst & Young’s Global Hedge Fund Practice
,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Jan. 12, 2012).