Ropes & Gray Survey and Forum Consider Credit Fund Structures, Leverage, Conflicts of Interest and Challenging Environment (Part One of Two)

Ropes & Gray recently hosted a program presenting the results of a survey of 100 credit fund managers that it conducted in cooperation with Debtwire. In addition to discussing the results of the survey, the webinar, featuring Ropes & Gray partners James R. Brown, Eva Ciko Carman, Alyson Brooke Gal and Jessica Taylor O’Mary, presented key takeaways from the Ropes & Gray Credit Funds Forum, which took place on May 16, 2018. This two-part series summarizes the report’s findings and the speakers’ insights. This first article discusses the types of credit strategies offered by the survey participants, challenges currently facing credit funds and the types of fund structures adopted by credit fund managers – including “season and sell” structures, treaty funds, business development companies and blockers – when engaging in a direct lending strategy. The second article will examine a variety of conflicts of interest that frequently arise for credit managers, the forms of leverage these managers are using, the types of issues that investors subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 raise for credit managers and specific issues that arise for these managers when being examined by the SEC. See our three-part series on private funds as direct lenders: “Tax Considerations for Hedge Funds Pursuing Direct Lending Strategies” (Sep. 22, 2016); “Structures to Manage the U.S. Trade or Business Risk to Foreign Investors” (Sep. 29, 2016); and “Regulatory Considerations of Direct Lending and a Review of Fund Investment Terms” (Oct. 6, 2016).

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