Experts Discuss Viability and Use of Hedge Fund Appreciation Rights in Light of Revenue Ruling 2014-18

Section 457A of the Internal Revenue Code, enacted in 2008, generally prohibits deferral of compensation paid by entities that are not subject to U.S. tax.  The tax risk created by that section caused private fund managers to avoid performance fees payable in respect of multi-year measurement periods, which could be considered to be deferred compensation.  Earlier this year, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2014-18, which generally confirms that fund managers may use fund appreciation rights (analogous to stock appreciation rights) to provide performance-based compensation on a tax-deferred basis.  A recent program considered the impact of that ruling, with an emphasis on the benefits that fund appreciation rights may provide as a compensation vehicle.  The program was moderated by COOConnect founding partner Dominic Hobson.  The speakers were David E. Francl, Director, Hedge Funds and Operations, in Intel’s Treasury Department; Andrew L. Oringer, a Partner at Dechert LLP; and Thomas M. Young, a Managing Director at Optcapital LLC.  For more on Revenue Ruling 2014-18, see “Are Compensatory Options on Offshore Hedge Fund Shares Subject to the Anti-Deferral Provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 457A?,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 23 (Jun. 13, 2014).

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