For hedge fund managers, entering the alternative mutual fund space can be attractive for various reasons, including expanded distribution, diversification of product lines, permanent or at least more resilient capital and economies of scale in investment analysis (i.e., getting more mileage out of similar investment ideas). However, hedge fund managers entering the alternative mutual fund space must confront challenges with which they often have little or no experience – challenges relating to regulation, operations, distribution, marketing, fees, personnel, industry structure and related topics. We recently explored the opportunities and challenges of the alternative mutual fund space in a two-part series. See “How Can Hedge Fund Managers Organize and Operate Alternative Mutual Funds to Access Retail Capital? (Part One of Two)
,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 5 (Feb. 1, 2013); and Part Two of Two
, Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 6 (Feb. 7, 2013). Fortunately for hedge fund managers wishing to access the alternative mutual fund opportunity, there are a number of ports of entry into the space – different structuring tactics, different strategies and different levels of required resource commitment. To explore the range of the opportunity and the various ways of accessing it, the Hedge Fund Law Report recently spoke with Aisha Hunt and Richard Horowitz, both partners at Dechert LLP focusing on structuring and advising alternative mutual funds. Among other things, our interview with Hunt and Horowitz covered: the benefits and costs of offering advisory services through a series trust versus a stand-alone alternative mutual fund; the time and resources necessary to launch alternative mutual funds; open-end versus closed-end funds; trends in the use of fulcrum fees; offering commodity strategies through alternative mutual funds; cannibalization considerations; and the role to be played by 401(k) plans in the future of alternative mutual funds.