Interest in Bespoke Fund Structures Surges As Markets Adjust to New Administration and Regulatory Regime

A little more than a year into the Trump administration, the private funds market displays growing levels of innovation and experimentation. Fund managers are increasingly opting to employ bespoke fund structures, such as first loss capital arrangements, each of which has its own unique set of advantages as well as potentially catastrophic liabilities. Recent changes at the regulatory level – including the newly effective revisions to Form ADV; a heightened regulatory focus on blockchain and the fiduciary responsibilities of legal professionals providing related advice; and a growing emphasis on individual liability, particularly with respect to chief compliance officers – add to the environment’s complexity and may sometimes appear contrary to the administration’s pro-business rhetoric. These factors and trends make the 2018 private funds environment drastically different from that under the previous administration, raising exhilarating and daunting possibilities for fund managers. To help readers understand the unique benefits and potential drawbacks of some of the more popular bespoke fund structures, the Hedge Fund Law Report recently interviewed Peter Bilfield, partner at Day Pitney with experience in this area. This article presents his thoughts. For further commentary from Bilfield, see “What Do the Investor Advisory Committee’s Recommendations Mean for the Future of Marketing of Hedge Funds to Natural Persons?” (Oct. 24, 2014); and “Investments by Family Offices in Hedge Funds Through Variable Insurance Policies: Tax-Advantaged Structures, Diversification and Investor Control Rules and Restructuring Strategies (Part One of Two)” (Apr. 1, 2011).

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