How Can Emerging Managers Raise Institutional Capital While Avoiding Regulatory Pitfalls?

The current capital-raising and regulatory environments are challenging for all hedge fund managers, but particularly for emerging managers.  Institutional investors expect institutional quality infrastructure at the managers to which they allocate capital – and those expectations are not materially adjusted or abridged for manager size.  Start-up and emerging managers therefore face considerable obstacles to entry: they have to build institutional operations before having institutional cash flows.  Accordingly, third-party capital is increasingly perceived as necessary to starting a management company, though not sufficient.  Sufficiency requires more these days – a brand, an identifiable competitive advantage, a coherent strategy and other attributes.  An event recently hosted by the law firm Herrick, Feinstein LLP – which included participants from third-party capital providers, administrators and other service providers, in addition to Herrick partners – focused on the challenges facing emerging managers and identified solutions to many of those challenges.  In particular, the event highlighted strategies for marketing by emerging managers to institutional investors; manager selection criteria employed by institutional investors; methods whereby emerging managers may enhance their operating and compliance systems; and regulatory hurdles that emerging managers must surmount.  This article highlights the pertinent points raised at the event.  See also “SEI Study Offers a Reality Check to Hedge Fund Managers on What Actually Works When Marketing to Institutional Investors,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No.15 (Apr. 11, 2013).

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