Wall Street traders often consider leaving large investment houses to launch their own hedge funds. They have built solid track records; made money for their firms and clients; and figure it’s time to be their own bosses and take the show on the road. What these emerging managers may not understand, however, is that running a hedge fund means overseeing a full-service business, not just a trading strategy. While the trading strategy is very important and generating returns is paramount, there is much more to consider when establishing and sustaining a successful hedge fund operation. In this guest article, Marni Pankin of Marcum provides a checklist for emerging managers to follow when launching a hedge fund in order to meet various operational, accounting, compliance and regulatory requirements. In a companion article to be published in a forthcoming issue of the HFLR, Vinod Paul of Eze Castle Integration will discuss technology and infrastructure considerations applicable to emerging hedge fund managers. For more insight from Marcum, see “Prime Broker Merlin Securities Develops Spectrum of Hedge Fund Investors; Event Hosted by Accounting Firm Marcum LLP Examines Marketing Implications of the Merlin Spectrum,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 3, No. 39 (Oct. 8, 2010). For more on emerging managers, see “Key Accounting and Legal Hurdles in Starting a Hedge Fund Management Business, and How to Surmount Them,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 18 (May 8, 2014).