Investors Sue Hedge Fund Manager Harbinger Capital and Philip A. Falcone for Alleged Style Drift

Hedge fund investors have certain fundamental expectations of hedge funds in which they invest, including that the hedge fund will invest assets in accordance with the investment strategies, guidelines and restrictions outlined in the fund offering documents.  In addition, the stated investment strategy informs investors as to whether the hedge fund manager has the requisite expertise to manage the fund, given its investment experience.  Also, investors often want to ensure that they have allocated their assets in accordance with their own asset allocation parameters.  As a result, when hedge fund managers deviate from these investment strategies, fund investors find themselves exposed to risks that they had not anticipated when performing due diligence on the fund and manager.  The SEC has increased regulatory scrutiny of funds to identify style drift and has brought enforcement actions premised on allegations of style drift.  See “Recent SEC Enforcement Action Provides a Dramatic Example of Style Drift in the Hedge Fund Context,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 43 (Dec. 1, 2011).  Investors have also initiated private legal action against fund managers for style drift, as demonstrated by a recent class action complaint brought against Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, Harbinger Holdings, LLC and Philip A. Falcone.  The allegations in the complaint generally arise out of investments by a Harbinger fund in LightSquared Inc.

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