The liquid alternatives (or alternative mutual fund) space has expanded significantly in recent years. In 2014, Barclays estimated that alternative mutual funds have grown at an annual compound rate of 20% since 2008. See “Barclays Surveys Options for Hedge Fund Managers in Alternative Mutual Fund Space
,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 14 (Apr. 11, 2014). Offerings of alternative mutual funds by hedge fund managers have increased by 27% since 2013. As more hedge fund managers look to launch alternative mutual funds, they need to understand how to successfully launch a fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (’40 Act) as well as the common structures of alternative mutual funds. Additionally, regulators are interested in ensuring alternative mutual funds meet regulatory requirements and managers of those funds are operating within the confines of applicable regulations. Finally, investors need to know what to look for in a manager when conducting due diligence. These issues were among those discussed at the recent Liquid Alts 2015 conference hosted by Financial Research Associates, LLC. This article, the first in a three-part series, focuses on the panel discussion of the keys to successfully launching and operating an alternative mutual fund. The second article will discuss ’40 Act fund structures and regulatory issues with liquid alternative funds. The third article will review issues investors should consider while conducting due diligence on an alternative mutual fund. For more on alternative mutual funds, see “FRA Compliance Master Class Highlights Operational and Regulatory Issues for Hedge Fund Managers Considering Launching Alternative Mutual Funds
,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 13 (Apr. 2, 2015).