Primer on Deal-by-Deal Funds: An Overview of the Structure and Investor Perceptions Toward It (Part One of Three)

In recent years, the alternative investment industry has subtly evolved to suit the varying needs of investors and sponsors alike. While sponsors have sought flexible vehicles with minimal barriers to entry that reduce costs and increase profits, investors have desired more active roles in the allocation and management of fund investments. See “Beyond the Master-Feeder: Managing Liquidity Demands in More Flexible Fund Structures” (May 25, 2017). Conveniently positioned to satisfy each of these demands, the deal-by-deal fund structure – in which a dedicated vehicle is created to make an investment in a single target opportunity – has become increasingly popular among private equity sponsors and investors. This three-part series provides an overview of the different features of, and important considerations when adopting, the deal-by-deal structure. This first article provides a basic overview of deal-by-deal funds, as well as an exploration of how investors perceive the structure. The second article will describe the rolling fundraising process; analyze how the vehicle differs from the traditional private equity approach; and outline its structure, along with key provisions to protect investors and sponsors. The third article will address the issue of deal uncertainty and how some sponsors overcome it, as well as how various fees and expenses are handled in the deal-by-deal fund model. For additional information about private equity fund structures, see “Interest in Bespoke Fund Structures Surges As Markets Adjust to New Administration and Regulatory Regime” (Mar. 8, 2018).

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