Risks Faced by Hedge Fund Managers That Access the Alternative Mutual Fund Market Via Turnkey Platforms

A growing number of hedge fund managers are entering the alternative mutual fund market, attracted by the sizable amount of retail assets available for investment globally.  See “Citi Prime Finance Report Describes the Competition among Traditional, Hedge and Private Equity Fund Managers for $1.3 Trillion in Liquid Alternative Assets (Part Two of Two),” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 22 (May 30, 2013). There are multiple entry points for a hedge fund manager to access this space.  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).  One option is for the manager to build its own operational and distribution infrastructure from scratch, but doing so involves considerable cost and execution risk.  See “Kramer Levin Partner George Silfen Discusses Challenges Faced by Hedge Fund Managers in Operating and Distributing Alternative Mutual Funds,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 16 (Apr. 18, 2013).  An increasingly popular option is for hedge fund managers to join a so-called mutual fund “turnkey platform.”  This option is less costly than building original infrastructure, but it also leaves the manager with less control and other operating risks.  In a guest article, George Silfen and Patrick Sheridan, partner and associate, respectively, at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, examine some of those key risks and offer practical solutions for hedge fund managers seeking to mitigate them.  See also “Deutsche Bank Survey Describes the Contours of the Nontraditional Hedge Fund Product Market: Investor Appetite, Performance, Marketing, Fees and More,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jan. 23, 2014).

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