How Hedge Fund Managers Can Prepare for the Anticipated “End” of LIBOR

The possibility of a significant change to, or discontinuation of, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) has been discussed for some time. A recent speech by Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, however, has crystallized the issue and made it appear almost certain that LIBOR will eventually cease to be published. Given LIBOR’s pervasive use by hedge funds and other market participants, the consequences of its permanent discontinuation will be felt – for better or worse – throughout the financial markets, and a misstep could affect investors worldwide. In a guest article, Anne E. Beaumont, partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, discusses the possible consequences for derivatives transactions that involve USD LIBOR and are governed by ISDAs, while also suggesting five steps that advisers can take today to prepare for this impending change. For additional commentary from Beaumont on derivatives documentation, see “The 1992 ISDA Master Agreement Says Notice Can Be Given Using an ‘Electronic Messaging System’; If You Think That Means ‘Email,’ Think Again” (May 23, 2014); and “Five Steps for Proactively Managing OTC Derivatives Documentation Risk” (Apr. 25, 2014).

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