Kramer Levin Partner George Silfen Discusses Challenges Faced by Hedge Fund Managers in Operating and Distributing Alternative Mutual Funds

Hedge fund and retail investors are increasingly receptive to the liquidity, transparency and fee benefits associated with alternative mutual funds.  Recognizing that receptivity, hedge fund managers are increasingly interested in launching such products.  While there are notable similarities between managing mutual funds and hedge funds, there are also fundamental differences – many of them regulatory and operational.  For example, the manner in which hedge funds and mutual funds are distributed to investors is considerably different.  Therefore, hedge fund managers interested in entering the alternative mutual funds market must contend with a range of issues that they typically are not equipped to handle by experience, staffing or structure.  See “How Can Hedge Fund Managers Organize and Operate Alternative Mutual Funds to Access Retail Capital (Part Two of Two),” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 6 (Feb. 7, 2013).  To help hedge fund managers identify the issues that they will have to tackle before entering the alternative mutual funds market – and to provide strategies for handling those issues – the Hedge Fund Law Report recently spoke with George Silfen, a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.  Silfen has significant experience advising sponsors on the organization, operation and distribution of alternative mutual funds.  Our interview with Silfen covered various topics relevant to alternative mutual funds and their managers, including popular investment strategies; distribution arrangements and fees; fulcrum fees and other compensation for the fund sponsor; the risk of cannibalization of a manager’s hedge funds; affiliated transaction concerns; appeal for institutional investors; side letters; side by side management with traditional hedge funds; and managing conflicts of interest.  See also “SEI Report Describes the Growth Opportunity for Hedge Fund Managers in Regulated Alternative Funds,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 44 (Dec. 8, 2012).

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