HFLR Interview Assesses the Mechanics, Revenue Model and Purposes of Hedge Connection

Hedge fund managers generally have been deliberate in availing themselves of the expanded advertising rights under the JOBS Act.  Instead of explicit advertising, managers generally have been more receptive to conversations with the press, to communicating their values (rather than their performance numbers) through various channels and to expanded (but nonetheless cautious) use of the Internet.  See, e.g., “Dan Darchuck of Topturn Capital Discusses the Mechanics and Consequences of Video Advertising by Hedge Fund Managers,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No 13 (Apr. 4, 2014).  We have not seen, for example, a rush by hedge fund managers onto Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but managers have become incrementally more detailed in discussions on their own websites, and marginally more receptive to creative web-based marketing solutions.  Hedge Connection is an online fund database and “online community” for hedge fund industry participants.  While not launched in direct response to the JOBS Act (it was started in 2005), the JOBS Act has nonetheless altered Hedge Connection’s role in hedge fund industry networking and marketing.  In an effort to understand the interaction between regulatory trends and online tools for connecting investors, managers and other industry participants, the Hedge Fund Law Report recently interviewed Lisa Vioni, CEO of Hedge Connection.  Our interview covered the mechanics, revenue model and purposes of Hedge Connection; access limitations; and Hedge Connection’s role in the hedge fund marketing ecosystem, in particular, its interaction with third-party marketers and in-house marketing departments.  This interview is relevant for hedge fund industry participants asking themselves in the wake of the JOBS Act: Should the Internet play a more fundamental role in my networking, marketing and related efforts and, if so, what should that role look like?

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