Category Archives: Featured

The Future of Hedge Funds: A Look at the Industry and Opportunities for Women

What the Future Holds for Women in the Hedge Fund Industry

Occasionally we will have readers submit potential articles for publication on this website which is the case with the post below.  If you are interested in having your article re-published on our website, please contact us.

Hedge Fund Research, Inc. (HFRI) recently conducted a study that shows a recent increase in quarterly assets invested in the hedge fund industry as well as a rise in the number of funds.   This data leads some experts to remain hopeful that the industry as a whole can sustain the impact of the financial crisis, and it begs the question as to how newcomers to the industry will be impacted by the new the impetus for regulation and transparency.

Kelly Chesney, and industry expert and co-founder of a well-known investment management company, maintains that the move towards regulation and transparency will be a good thing for the industry as a whole, but the cost of such regulation may raise the barrier to for women trying to enter a largely male-dominated industry. Currently, only three percent of hedge funds are led by women.  Opinions vary as to how the high costs of running a fund will impact women trying to enter the industry and run their own business. Typically, smaller and newer funds will have a more difficult time trying to keep up with the rising costs of compliance given their relatively low assets under management. Opinions vary as to how the high costs of running a fund will impact women trying to enter the industry and run their own business.  Some experts, like Chesney, remain hopeful that opportunities do exist out there for women and perhaps the future will find more female hedge fund managers than we see today.

The article published by The Glass Hammer can be found here and is also reprinted in full below.

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The Future of Hedge Funds

by Liz O’Donnell (Boston)

New data from Hedge Fund Research, Inc., (HFRI) shows assets invested in the industry increased by $100 billion in the second quarter of 2009, ending at $1.43 trillion. This is the first quarterly increase in assets since second quarter of 2008. HFRI attributes the growth to gains shown during the quarter. The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index returned 9.13 percent. This is the best quarterly gain since the last quarter of 1999, although still below the highest peak, reached in 1997. And while investors are still redeeming capital, the pace of the redemptions has slowed from recent years.

But looking past the most current returns, what does the future hold for the hedge fund industry given the tremendous impact of the global financial crisis and amid discussions of government regulations? And what about the outlook for women? Will the recent inflow mean more opportunities or will women still be virtually missing from the industry this time next year?

“Right now hedge funds are a hot topic,” says Kelly Chesney, principal and co-founder of Pluscios Management LLC, a women-owned investment management firm. “I think they really got some negative press and sentiment last year and they are starting to turn around. There is more publicity when hedge funds don’t perform well, but they did much of what was expected.”

Following what she calls “an economic tsunami”, Chesney, and others, see consolidation and regulation as key issues that will impact the industry. “I think it will be choppy and we’ll have various events happen over the next few years. We need to be nimble and adaptive and hedge funds are good at that,” Chesney says.

Certainly the industry has already seen the beginnings of consolidation. After a rapid growth spurt, (the number of funds grew from 610 in 1990 to approximately 9,000 today) 15 percent of funds have disappeared. State Street, in its recently released report “Alternatives: New Views of the Hedge Fund Industry” says that half of all hedge funds may disappear before the crisis shakes out.

Eloise Yellen Clark, founder and CEO of OmniQuest Capital LLC, agrees consolidation will be a continuing trend. “More and more money is going to the bigger players where traditionally there was a bunch of little players. It gets awfully expensive for smaller (funds) to survive.”

As far as what the future holds, Clark says, “Everybody’s talking regulation. I really don’t think it’s a big deal and I think it’s a good idea.” Clark points out that many hedge funds and many managers are already registered with the SEC. She believes more regulation around the issue of transparency would be valuable. Of course, just how far the government takes regulation could be an issue. “On the whole, reasonable regulation that respects fair markets is good. Transparency is good. But limiting the ability to buy and sell is bad,” said Clark.

Chesney says “absolutely” regulation will be a factor moving forward. “It’s not like there hasn’t been regulation.” But that regulation could increase. “It depends on what it is,” she says. “It could be wide ranging — from every fund must register—or it could be a ban on short selling.”

Some funds are “hedging” their bets. Aimee McCarty, marketing director for Ascentia Capital Partners, LLC, says her firm closed its hedge fund and now offers a mutual fund. According to McCarty, the new product combines the benefits of hedge funds with the features of mutual funds to offer a product that is “regulated, transparent, and liquid.” AQR Capital Management LLC added a mutual fund to its product offering earlier in the year.

Diversification might spell survival for some financial firms. Chesney believes it will get more expensive to run a fund, as compliance with regulations will add a new level of management. “There will be a higher barrier to entry,” she says.

That high cost of entry might not bode well for women. Already, there are very, very few women in the hedge fund industry. Currently only three percent of hedge funds are led by a woman. A recent report from The National Council for Research on Women, which we reported on here , asserts that one of the major reasons there are so few women in the industry is that gaining access to capital is harder for women than it is for men.

Chesney says,

“Typically women who get frustrated in other industries go out and start their own thing. But it’s tougher for women on Wall Street (because of) getting assets to manage.” None the less, Chesney is hopeful about the future of women in hedge funds. “I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities.”

Clark, who currently sees very few women in the business, says: “It’s my belief that women are different in business than men. Any organization that combines that is optimal.”

Chesney agrees. “Key in any fund management is diversification.” Whether that diversification extends beyond the fund and to the fund managers, is still to be seen.

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Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to start a hedge fund.  Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Forex Trading Software | Meta Trader 4

(www.hedgefundlawblog.com)

Meta Trader 4 – Online Forex Trading Platform

Meta Trader 4 is an online trading complex designed to provide broker services to customers at forex, futures and CFD markets.  This is a whole-cycle complex, which means that the trader will not need any other software to organize his/her broker services when using Meta Trader 4. The platform includes all necessary components for brokerage services via internet including the back office and dealing desk.  Currently, over 250 brokerage companies and banks worldwide have chosen this solution to meet their high standards of business performance.

The different functions and options of this system, allow great flexibility in trading. The MetaQuotes Language 4 allows users to incorporate their own strategies through the Expert Advisors, enabling the markets to be monitored automatically so not requiring constant supervision. The standard list of technical indicators may be expanded with the opportunity to add custom indicators as needed,  and real time demos are accessible through more than 35 brokerages free of charge.

Meta Trader 4 attempts to supply the sufficient information and tools in order to make the Forex traders’ decisions more appropriate and easy. The program has a simple and user friendly interface that allows traders to monitor their transactions and their account as well as performing technical analysis and develop Forex trading strategies of their own. In addition, the platform provides continuous real-time information and sophisticated technical analysis tools.

The cost of Meta Trader 4 is substantially lower than the alternative cost of creating a similar product, and is therefore a viable financial proposition to most financial institutions. Installation of the system into the full operational mode will take no more than one day, therefore saving a considerable amount of time for end users.

MetaTrader 4 is a premier business  solution for broker companies, banks, financial companies, and dealing centers. In addition to the points discussed above, the main advantages of the system are:

1.  Coverage of financial markets

  • The trading platform MetaTrader 4 covers all brokerage and trading activities at Forex, Futures and CFD markets.

2.   Multicurrency basis:

  • The system is designed on a multicurrency basis. It means that any currency can serve as a general currency used in the operation of the whole complex in any country and with any national currency.

3.  Economy and productivity:

  • Implemented data transfer and processing protocols are notable for their economy. It makes it possible to support several thousands of traders through a single server with the following configuration: Pentium 4 2 GHz, 512 DDR RAM, 80 GB HDD. New protocols reduce both the demands on datalink and their operational cost.

4.  Reliability:

  • In the case of damage to the historical data, the complex has backup and restoration systems. Also, the implemented synchronization allows to restore damaged historical databases within several minutes with the help of another MetaTrader 4 server.

5.  Safety:

  • To provide safety, all the information exchanged between parts of the complex is encrypted by 128-bit keys. Such solution guarantees safekeeping of information transferred and leaves no chance for a third person to use it. A built-in DDoS-attacks guard system raises the stability of operation of the server and the system as a whole.
    A new scheme of system working operation was created especially for DDoS-attacks resistance. With its help, you can hide the real IP-address of the server behind a number of access points (Data Centers). Data Centers also have a built-in DoS-attacks protection system; they can recognize and block such attacks. During distributed attacks at the system, only Data Centers are attacked; MetaTrader 4 Server continues its operation in regular mode. Thus, Data Centers increase the system’s stability to DoS and DDoS attacks.
    The implemented mechanisms of rights sharing make it possible to organize the security system with more effectiveness and to reduce the probability of ill-intentioned actions of company staff.

6.  Multilingual support:

  • MetaTrader 4 supports different languages, and a MultiLanguage Pack program is included into distributive packages. It provides translation of all program interfaces into any language. With the help of MultiLanguage Pack you can easily create any language and integrate it into the program. This feature of the system will bring MetaTrader 4 nearer to end-users in any country of the world.

7.  Application Program Interfaces:

  • MetaTrader 4 Server API makes it possible to customize the work of platform to meet your requirements. API can solve a wide range of problems:

– creating additional analyzers for finding a trend of monthly increase of traders;
– creating applications of integration into other systems;
– extending the functionality of the server;
– implementing its own system work control mechanisms;
– and do much more.

8.  Integration with web-services:

  • To provide traders with services of higher quality, the system supports the integration with web services (www, wap). This feature allows real-time publishing of quotations and charts on your site, dynamic tables containing contest results and much more.

9.  Flexibility of the system:

  • The platform possesses a wide range of customizable functions. You can set all parameters, from trade session time to detailed properties of financial instruments of each user groups.

10.  Subadministration:

  • Subadministration mechanisms allow leading many Introducing Brokers on one server quite easily. For processing all accounts and orders of the clients of your IBs, you will need one server only.

Overall, the newly released Meta Trader 4 platform is equipped to address a full range of account management needs and serves as a user-friendly front-end trading interface for dealings in the Forex, CFD, and futures markets.


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Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to start a hedge fund.  Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Hedge Fund Start Up Presentation

How to Start a Hedge Fund in 2009

Below is a link to a powerpoint presentation in which I detail the background information a hedge fund manager must have prior to starting the hedge fund formation process.  The presentation is designed to familiarize a manager with the process of forming a fund while identifying potential issues which the manager should be aware of during the process.

The presentation is 18 slides long and is about 40 minutes.  I will also be posting a video here shortly.

Hedge Fund Presentation with Voice

Starting a hedge fund in 2009 (voice) (voice-over powerpoint)

For more viewing options, please see our Hedge Fund Lawyer youtube profile.

Hedge Fund Presentation without Voice
Starting a Hedge Fund

Thoughts on Hedge Fund Offering Documents

FAQs on Offering Documents

I recently read an article by a hedge fund administration firm which discussed hedge fund offering documents and start up hedge fund expenses.  I thought this was an interesting topic and one which is popular with many of my start up clients.  Below I discuss some of the common questions regarding the offering documents and also provide reasons why a start up manager should use my law firm for starting a hedge fund.

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Offering documents are just boilerplate – why are they so expensive?

This is a common misperception.  Offering documents (if done correctly) are not merely boilerplate where the attorney pops in the fund name and the address – offering documents are a tailored to the specific needs of the client based on the client’s investment program and fund structure.

For instance, there are at least 12 different questions related to the management fee and performance fee/ performance allocation.  There are at least 22 different questions related to the fund’s contribution periods and withdrawal periods.  This level of customization does not come from a boilerplate form.  Furthermore, many of these questions or options may have specific implications for the manager’s business either from a legal standpoint or a business standpoint.  Many times the lawyer will need to have an in-depth discussion with the manager to help the manager determine which option is right for the fund.

Why are offering documents so long?

Offering documents are long – there is no getting around it.  The structure of the offering documents are determined by the federal and state securities laws and thus there is not really any wiggle room.  While it is often said that the hedge fund industry is “not regulated” or “lightly regulated” there are many hedge fund laws and regulations which managers must follow.   These laws dictate many aspects of the documents and are why offering documents are so long (and also why offering documents from different firms are structured so similarly).

In this prior post, discussing “Prospectus Creep” we discussed the length of offering documents:

4.  Is the Prospectus written for the Manager or the Investor?

Castle Hall discusses the interesting phenomenon of “Prospectus Creep” or basically the lengthening of hedge fund offering documents as hedge fund lawyers add more clauses to the documents which are designed to protect the managers.  Castle Hall notes that “today’s offering documents are typically drafted to give maximum freedom of action for the manager and often permit unrestricted investment activities. Investors are also faced with offering documents which list every possible risk factor in an attempt to absolve the manager from responsibility under virtually all loss scenarios.”

HFLB: We agree that offering documents can be long and that often they contain a long list of risk factors associated with the investment program.  The purpose of the offering documents is to explain the manager’s investment program and if the manager truly has a “kitchen sink” investment program, then all of the disclosures and risk factors are a necessary part of the offering documents.  However we also feel that hedge fund offering documents should accurately describe the manager’s proposed investment program and that if the manager has a very specific strategy, he should provide as much detail to the investors as possible.


Can I draft offering documents myself?  I have a friend who has some documents I think I can modify.

No.  You should never draft offering documents yourself.  I have seen countless examples of people who have tried to draft their own offering documents based on another fund.  Many times these people will ask me to “check the documents.”  Ninety-five percent of the time a brief skim of the documents will reveal major errors that cannot simply be fixed with a 2 hour review.   In most all occasions the documents will need to be completely scrapped.

Are all law firm offering documents the same?

No, but law firm documents are all very similar.

It is an interesting phenomenon in the hedge fund legal world that attorneys are always interested in (or obsessed with) reading the other law firms offering documents. As one of those lawyers that is very interested in the differences between the offering documents, I have studied the documents from most all of the major hedge fund law firms including the firms listed below which are considered to be the best in the industry.

  • Sidley Austin
  • Shartsis Friese
  • Seward & Kissel
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman
  • Schulte Roth & Zabel
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • K&L Gates

I have probably read through 500 different offering documents (many from the same large law firms) and have found most documents to be quite similar. For the most part with a name brand firm you are going to get a quality product that is probably pretty equal to another large or name brand law firm.  These documents will very likely protect you in all of the necessary ways.

However, that is not to say that all large law firm offering documents are perfect.  I have seen offering documents which cost over $70,000 with typos and errors.  Many times expensive offering documents are sloppy in certain respects – I expect this is because many large law firms use inexperienced associate attorneys to draft the offering documents.

Does price equal quality?

Not necessarily.  While you are less likely to receive white glove service from a document shop, BigLaw does not necessarily equate to fine quality – especially for small and start up managers.  In a large law firm you are going to probably initially talk with a partner about your program who will then relay the information to an associate who will be in charge of your project.  This means that your offering documents are likely drafted by an overworked associate who has relatively little experience.

I always recommend a start up manager ask the law firm who will be drafting the offering documents and how much experience the person has.  Many large law firms will say that an associate will draft the documents but the partner will review prior to finalization.  I find it hard to believe that a partner will review offering documents – many times this is not true.

Low cost offering documents – are you getting less quality?

In some cases yes, but in the case of my law firm documents the answer is a resounding NO.  While my firm will charge around $13,000 to $18,000 for offering documents (considered to be on the lower end), this does not mean that the quality of my work is less than any other firm.

As I have mentioned before on this site, I have worked with a substantial number of start up hedge funds and have drafted the offering documents or worked on around 150 funds.   Also, I have spent a great deal of time dissecting offering documents from a large number of firms.  My dedication to completely understanding the offering documents, along with my passion for the industry and helping managers with their business issues makes my services a compelling alternative to other firms which may cost more.

Additionally, I value the client relationship and always strive to return emails and phone calls promptly.

Conclusion

While the offering documents are the tangible item which you receive from your hedge fund lawyer, it is not the only part of the representation.  The offering documents are not valuable as objects, but really as a representation of the prior experience of the attorney who prepared those documents for your fund, based on your needs.

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Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to start a hedge fund. Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund, or if you have questions about becoming registered as a CPO or CTA, please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-296-8510.

New Hedge Fund Laws Proposed in Connecticut

State to Increase Regulation of Hedge Funds

(www.hedgefundlawblog.com)  Connecticut, home of many of the biggest hedge funds in the world, may begin regulating hedge funds in a heavy handed manner.  Recently state lawmakers have introduced three bills (Raised Bill No. 953, Raised Bill No. 6477 and Raised Bill No. 6480) which would greatly increase oversight of hedge funds which have a presence in Connecticut.   This article provides an overview of the three raised bills and provides reprints the actual text of these bills.

Raised Bill No. 953

The largest of the three bills, No. 953 has the following central features:

  • Definitions certain terms (including the term “Hedge Fund”) which are used throughout the bill.
  • Provides that, starting in 2011, hedge funds may not have individual investors  who do not have $2.5 million in “investment assets” (different than net worth)
  • Provides that, starting in 2011, hedge funds may not have institutional investors who do not have $5 million in “investment assets”
  • Provides that funds must disclose certain conflicts of interest of the manager
  • Provides that funds must disclose the existence of side letters
  • Requires an annual audit (beginning in 2010)

The above provisions would apply to those funds which have an office in Connecticut where employees regularly conduct business on behalf of the fund.   It is currently unclear whether there will be any sort of grandfathering provisions for those funds which currently have investors who do  not meet the “investment assets” threshold.   Another interesting part of the bill is that it defines a hedge fund with reference to Section 3(c)(1) and Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act.  The recently proposed Hedge Fund Transparency Act would actually eliminate these sections and add new Section 6(a)(6) and Section 6(a)(7).

Raised Bill No. 6477

The next bill is No. 6477 which would require hedge funds to be regulated by the Connecticut Banking Commission.  The bill requires hedge funds to purchase a $500 license issued by the Connecticut Banking Commissioner prior to conducting business in Connecticut.  The license would need to be purchased each year.  The bill also provides the Banking Commission with authority to adopt regulations.

This bill is interesting because it is fundamentally different from most hedge fund regulations which seek to regulate the management company through investment advisor registration.  This bill regulates the fund entity (as opposed to the management company) and does so through the power of the state to regulate banking.   Right now it looks like this bill will apply to all hedge funds, even those who do not utilize leverage.  It is not currently clear why or how the Banking Commission has jurisdiction non-banking private pools of capital, especially for those funds which do not utilize any sort of leverage.

It is also interesting to note that No. 6477 would apply regardless of the registration status of the fund’s management company.  This means that a fund could be subject to SEC oversight and may also be subject to direct oversight by the Connecticut Department of Banking (“DOB”), which means the DOB could presumably conduct audits of the fund.  Of course, this could potentially greatly increase operational costs for hedge funds with an office in Connecticut.

Raised Bill No. 6480

The final bill is No. 6480 which would require Connecticut based hedge funds with Connecticut pension fund investors to disclose detailed portfolio information to such pension funds upon request.  It goes without saying that this bill is likely to receive a considerable amount of scrutiny from the Connecticut hedge fund community.

Conclusion

The hedge fund industry continues to be a major focus of both state and federal lawmakers who are anxious to start regulating these vehicles.  Unfortunately we are witnessing a patchwork approach to regulation where there is little communication between the states and the federal lawmakers.  If other states follow Connecticut’s lead then we face the potential situation where funds in each state will need to follow state specific laws enacted by quick-to-legislate, out-of-touch lawmakers.   Efficiency in the securities markets is undercut by overlapping and unnecessary regulations – both managers and investors would be better served by a comprehensive effort to revise the securities laws at the federal and state levels.

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Raised Bill No. 953
January Session, 2009

Referred to Committee on Banks
Introduced by: (BA)

AN ACT CONCERNING HEDGE FUNDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) As used in this section:

(1) “Hedge fund” means any investment company, as defined in Section 3(a)(1) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, located in this state (A) that claims an exemption under Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act of 1940; (B) whose offering of securities is exempt under the private offering safe harbor criteria in Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act; and (C) that meets any other criteria as may be established by the Banking Commissioner in regulations adopted under subsection (f) of this section. A hedge fund is located in this state if such fund has an office in Connecticut where employees regularly conduct business on behalf of the hedge fund;

(2) “Institutional investor” means an investor other than an individual investor including, but not limited to, a bank, savings and loan association, registered broker, dealer, investment company, licensed small business investment company, corporation or any other legal entity;

(3) “Investment assets” includes any security, real estate held for investment purposes, bank deposits, cash and cash equivalents, commodity interests held for investment purposes and such other forms of investment assets as may be established by the Banking Commissioner in regulations adopted under subsection (f) of this section;

(4) “Investor” means any holder of record of a class of equity security in a hedge fund;

(5) “Major litigation” means any legal proceeding in which the hedge fund is a party which if decided adversely against the hedge fund would require such fund to make material future expenditures or have a material adverse impact on the hedge fund’s financial position;

(6) “Manager” means an individual located in this state who has direct and personal responsibility for the operation and management of a hedge fund; and

(7) “Material” means, with respect to future expenditures or adverse impact on the hedge fund’s financial position, more than one per cent of the assets of the hedge fund.

(b) On or after January 1, 2011, no hedge fund shall consist of individual investors who, individually or jointly with a spouse, have less than two million five hundred thousand dollars in investment assets or institutional investors that have less than five million dollars in assets.

(c) The manager shall disclose to each investor or prospective investor in a hedge fund, not later than thirty days before any investment in the hedge fund, any financial or other interests the manager may have that conflict with or are likely to impair, the manager’s duties and responsibilities to the fund or its investors.

(d) The manager shall disclose, in writing, to each investor in a hedge fund (1) any material change in the investment strategy and philosophy of the fund and the departure of any individual employed by such fund who exercises significant control over the investment strategy or operation of the fund, (2) the existence of any side letters provided to investors in the fund, and (3) any major litigation involving the fund or governmental investigation of the fund.

(e) On January 1, 2010, and annually thereafter, the manager shall disclose, in writing, to each investor in a hedge fund (1) the fee schedule to be paid by the hedge fund including, but not limited to, management fees, brokerage fees and trading fees, and (2) a financial statement indicating the investor’s capital balance that has been audited by an independent auditing firm.

(f) The Banking Commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of this section.\

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Raised Bill No. 6477
January Session, 2009

Referred to Committee on Banks
Introduced by: (BA)

AN ACT CONCERNING THE LICENSING OF HEDGE FUNDS AND PRIVATE CAPITAL FUNDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) No person shall establish or conduct business in this state as a hedge fund or private capital fund without a license issued by the Banking Commissioner. Applicants for such license shall apply to the Department of Banking on forms prescribed by the commissioner. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee of five hundred dollars. Such license shall be valid for one year and may be renewed upon payment of a fee of five hundred dollars and in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(b) The Banking Commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes for purposes of this section.

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Raised Bill No. 6480
January Session, 2009

Referred to Committee on Banks
Introduced by: (BA)

AN ACT REQUIRING THE DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION TO PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS IN HEDGE FUNDS AND PRIVATE CAPITAL FUNDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) Any hedge fund or private capital fund that is (1) domiciled in the state, and (2) receiving money from pension funds domiciled in the state shall disclose to each prospective pension investor in such funds, upon request, financial information including, but not limited to, detailed portfolio information relative to the assets and liabilities of such funds.

Hedge Fund Transparency Act Text

Below is the actual text of the Hedge Fund Transparency Act.  (For the bill with page and line numbers please see: Hedge Fund Transparency Act (pdf)).

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111TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION
S.

To require hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself and Mr. LEVIN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on

A BILL

To require hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Hedge Fund Transparency Act”.

SEC. 2. HEDGE FUND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS.

(a) DEFINITION OF INVESTMENT COMPANY.—Section 3(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3(c)) is amended—(1) by striking paragraph (1); (2) by striking paragraph (7); (3) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (6) as paragraphs (1) through (5), respectively; and (4) by redesignating paragraphs (8) through (14) as paragraphs (6) through (12), respectively.

(b) ADDITIONAL EXEMPTIONS.—Section 6 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-6) is amended—(1) in subsection (a), by adding at the end the following:

“(6)(A) Subject to subsection (g), any issuer whose outstanding securities (other than short-term paper) are beneficially owned by not more than 100 persons, and which is not making and does not presently propose to make a public offering of its securities.

“(B) For purposes of this paragraph and paragraph (7), beneficial ownership—

“(i) by a company shall be deemed to be beneficial ownership by one person, except that, if the company owns 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer, and is or, but for the exemption provided for in this paragraph or paragraph (7), would be an investment company, the beneficial ownership shall be deemed to be that of the holders of the outstanding securities (other than short-term paper) of such company; and

“(ii) by any person who acquires securities or interests in securities of an issuer described in this paragraph shall be deemed to be beneficial ownership by the person from whom such transfer was made, pursuant to such rules and regulations as the Commission shall prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of this title, where the transfer was caused by legal separation, divorce, death, or any other involuntary event.

“(7)(A) Subject to subsection (g), any issuer, the outstanding securities of which are owned exclusively by persons who, at the time of the acquisition of such securities, are qualified purchasers, and which is not making and does not at that time propose to make a public offering of such securities. Securities that are owned by persons who received the securities from a qualified purchaser as a gift or bequest, or in a case in which the transfer was caused by legal separation, divorce, death, or any other involuntary event, shall be deemed to be owned by a qualified purchaser, subject to such rules, regulations, and orders as the Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors.

“(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), an issuer is exempt under this paragraph if—”(i) in addition to qualified purchasers, outstanding securities of that issuer are beneficially owned by not more than 100 persons who are not qualified purchasers, if—”(I) such persons acquired any portion of the securities of such issuer on or before September 1, 1996; and “(II) at the time at which such persons initially acquired the securities of such issuer, the issuer was exempt under paragraph (6); and “(ii) prior to availing itself of the exemption provided by this paragraph—

“(I) such issuer has disclosed to each beneficial owner that future investors will be limited to qualified purchasers, and that ownership in such issuer is no longer limited to not more than 100 persons; and

“(II) concurrently with or after such disclosure, such issuer has provided each beneficial owner with a reasonable opportunity to redeem any part or all of their interests in the issuer, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary between the issuer and such persons, for the proportionate share of that person of the net assets of the issuer.

“(C) Each person that elects to redeem under subparagraph (B)(ii)(II) shall receive an amount in cash equal to the proportionate share of that person of the net assets of the issuer, unless the issuer elects to provide such person with the option of receiving, and such person agrees to receive, all or a portion of the share of that person in assets of the issuer. If the issuer elects to provide such persons with such an opportunity, disclosure concerning such opportunity shall be made in the disclosure required by subparagraph (B)(ii)(I).

“(D) An issuer that is exempt under this paragraph shall nonetheless be deemed to be an investment company for purposes of the limitations set forth in subparagraphs (A)(i) and (B)(i) of section 12(d)(1) (15 U.S.C. 80a-12(d)(1)(A)(i) and (B)(i)) relating to the purchase or other acquisition by such issuer of any security issued by any registered investment company and the sale of any security issued by any registered open-end investment company to any such issuer.

“(E) For purposes of determining compliance with this paragraph and paragraph (6), an issuer that is otherwise exempt under this paragraph and an issuer that is otherwise exempt under paragraph (6) shall not be treated by the Commission as being a single issuer for purposes of determining whether the outstanding securities of the issuer exempt under paragraph (6) are beneficially owned by not more than 100 persons, or whether the outstanding securities of the issuer exempt under this paragraph are owned by persons that are not qualified purchasers. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to establish that a person is a bona fide qualified purchaser for purposes of this paragraph or a bona fide beneficial owner for purposes of paragraph (6).”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(g) LIMITATION ON EXEMPTIONS FOR LARGE INVESTMENT COMPANIES.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—An investment company with assets, or assets under management, of not less than $50,000,000 is exempt under subsection (a)(6) or (a)(7) only if that company—

“(A) registers with the Commission;
“(B) files an information form with the Commission under paragraph (2);
“(C) maintains such books and records as the Commission may require; and
“(D) cooperates with any request for information or examination by the Commission.

“(2) INFORMATION FORM.—The information form required under paragraph (1) shall be filed at such time and in such manner as the Commission shall require, and shall—

‘(A) be filed electronically;
“(B) be filed not less frequently than once every 12 months;
“(C) include—
“(i) the name and current address of—
“(I) each natural person who is a beneficial owner of the investment company;
“(II) any company with an ownership interest in the investment company; and
“(III) the primary accountant and primary broker used by the investment company;
“(ii) an explanation of the structure of ownership interests in the investment company;
“(iii) information on any affliation that the investment company has with another financial institution;
“(iv) a statement of any minimum investment commitment required of a limited partner, member, or other investor;
“(v) the total number of any limited partners, members, or other investors; and
“(vi) the current value of—
“(I) the assets of the investment company; and
“(II) any assets under management by the investment company; and

“(D) be made available by the Commission to the public at no cost and in an electronic, searchable format.”.

SEC. 3. IMPLEMENTING GUIDANCE AND RULES.

(a) FORMS AND GUIDANCE.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission shall issue such forms and guidance as are necessary to carry out this Act.

(b) RULES.—The Securities and Exchange Commission may make a rule to carry out this Act.

8 SEC. 4. ANTI–MONEY LAUNDERING OBLIGATIONS.

(a) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this section to safeguard against the financing of terrorist organizations and money laundering.

(b) IN GENERAL.—An investment company that relies on paragraph (6) or (7) of section 6(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-6(a)(6) and (7)), as amended by this Act, as the basis for an exemption under that Act shall establish an anti-money laundering program and shall report suspicious transactions under subsections (g) and (h) of section 5318 of title 31, United States Code.

(c) RULEMAKING.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, shall, by rule, establish the policies, procedures, and controls necessary to carry out subsection (b).

(2) CONTENTS.—The rule required by paragraph (1)—

(A) shall require that each investment company that receives an exemption under paragraph (6) or (7) of section 6(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-6(a)(6) and (7)), as amended by this Act, shall—

(i) use risk–based due diligence policies, procedures, and controls that are reasonably designed to ascertain the indentity of and evaluate any foreign person (including, where appropriate, the nominal and beneficial owner or beneficiary of a foreign corporation, partnership, trust, or other foreign entity) that supplies or plans to supply funds to be invested with the advice or assistance of such investment company; and

(ii) be subject to section 5318(k)(2) of title 31, United States Code; and (B) may incorporate elements of the proposed rule for unregistered investment companies published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 60617) (relating to anti–money laundering programs).

(3) PUBLICATION DATE.—The Secretary of the Treasury, shall—

(A) propose the rule required by this subsection not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act; and

(B) issue the rule required by this subsection in final form not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Subsection (b) shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, whether or not a final rule is issued under subsection (c), and the failure to issue such rule shall in no way affect the enforceability of this section.

SEC. 5. TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS.

(a) SECURITIES ACT OF 1933.—Section 3(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77c(a)) is amended—(1) in paragraph (2)—(A) by striking “section 3(c)(3)” and inserting “section 3(c)(2)”; and (B) by striking “section 3(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”; (2) in paragraph (4), by striking “section 3(c)(10)(B)” and inserting “section 3(c)(8)(B)”; and (3) in paragraph (13), by striking “section (3)(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”.

(b) SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.—The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 3(a) (15 U.S.C. 78c(a))—(A) in paragraph (12)(A)—(i) in clause (iii), by striking “section 3(c)(3)” and inserting “section 3(c)(2)”; (ii) in clause (v), by striking “section 3(c)(10)(B)” and inserting “section 3(c)(8)(B)”; and (iii) in clause (vi), by striking “section 3(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”; (B) in paragraph (12)(C), by striking “section 3(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”; and (C) in paragraph (54)(A)—(i) in clause (ii), by striking “exclusion from the definition of investment company pursuant to section 3(c)(7)” and inserting “exemption under section 6(a)(7)”; and (ii) in clause (vii), by striking “section 3(c)(2)” and inserting “section 3(c)(1)”; (2) in section 3(g) (15 U.S.C. 78c(g)) by striking “section 3(c)(14)” each place that term appears and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”; and (3) in section 12(g)(2) (15 U.S.C. 78l(g)(2))—(A) in subparagraph (D), by striking “section 3(c)(10)(B)” and inserting “section 3(c)(8)(B)”; and (B) in subparagraph (H), by striking “section 3(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”.

(c) INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940.—The Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 2(a)(51) (15 U.S.C. 80a-2(a)(51))—(A) in subparagraph (A)(i), by striking “excepted under section 3(c)(7)” and inserting “exempt under section 6(a)(7)”; and (B) in subparagraph (C)—(i) by striking “that, but for the exceptions provided for in paragraph (1) or (7) of section 3(c), would be an investment company (hereafter in this paragraph referred to as an ‘excepted investment company’)” and inserting “that is exempt under paragraph (6) or (7) of section 6(a) (hereafter in this paragraph referred to as an ‘exempt investment company’)”; (ii) by striking “section 3(c)(1)(A)” and inserting “section 6(a)(6)(B)(i)”; and (iii) by striking “excepted” each place that term appears and inserting “any exempt”;

(2) in section 6 (15 U.S.C. 80a-6)—(A) in subsection (a)—(i) in paragraph (2), by striking “section 3(c)(1)” and inserting “section 6(a)(6)”; and (ii) in paragraph (5)(A)(iv), by striking “that would be an investment company except for the exclusions from the definition of the term ‘investment company’ under paragraph (1) or (7) of section 3(c)” and inserting “that is exempt under paragraph (6) or (7) of section 6(a)”; and (B) in subsection (f), by striking “excluded from the definition of an investment company by section 3(c)(1)” and inserting “exempt under section 6(a)(6)”;

(3) in section 7(e) (15 U.S.C. 80a-7(e)), by striking “section 3(c)(10)(B)” and inserting “section 3(c)(8)(B)”; and

(4) in section 30 (15 U.S.C. 80a-29) in each of subsections (i) and (j), by striking “section 3(c)(14)” each place that term appears and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”.

(d) INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940.—The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-1 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 203(b) (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(b))—(A) in paragraph (4) by striking “section 3(c)(10)” each place that term appears and inserting “section 3(c)(8)”; and (B) in paragraph (5), by striking “section 3(c)(14)” and inserting “section 3(c)(12)”; and (2) in section 205(b) (15 U.S.C. 80b-5(b))— (A) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking “section 3(c)(11)” and inserting “section 3(c)(9)”; and (B) in paragraph (4), by striking “excepted from the definition of an investment company under section 3(c)(7)” and inserting “exempt under section 6(a)(7)”.

(e) INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986.—Section 851(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to the definition of regulated investment company) is amended by striking “section 3(c)(3)” and inserting “section 3(c)(2)”.

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