Tag Archives: hedge fund law firm

Announcing Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP

Friends:

We are pleased to announce today the merger of our respective firms to form Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, a law firm focused on the hedge fund industry.  Below is our press release announcing the merger.  We look forward to continuing to provide top-tier legal services to both large and start-up managers and will continue to focus on bringing useful information to the hedge fund community through the Hedge Fund Law Blog.

Many thanks to everyone who has supported this website and our practices over the years.

– Karl Cole-Frieman & Bart Mallon

****

Cole-Frieman LLP & Mallon P.C. merge to form 3rd largest hedge fund practice based in San Francisco

– Combined firm has over 200 hedge fund industry clients

San Francisco, July 27th, 2011 – Two fast-growing San Francisco based law firms, Cole-Frieman LLP and Mallon P.C., today announced an agreement to combine businesses. The combined firm, known as Cole- Frieman & Mallon LLP, will be a boutique generalist firm focusing on hedge fund managers and hedge fund investors. Karl Cole-Frieman and Bart Mallon will be Co-Managing Partners of the eight person firm, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has a satellite office in New York. With 215 clients in the hedge fund industry, the firm also managed over 100 hedge fund launches in the last two years.

Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP provides advice on a broad range of corporate, regulatory and litigation matters including hedge fund formation, adviser registration, CFTC and NFA matters, ISDAs and counterparty documentation, loan trading and distressed debt transactions, seed deals, employment and compensation matters and regulatory inquiries.

The firm will also manage the widely read and highly influential Hedge Fund Law Blog (http://www.hedgefundlawblog.com), which focuses on legal issues that impact the hedge fund community.

“This merger will create an industry leading firm that provides a full suite of services to hedge funds and others in the alternative investment community,” says Karl Cole-Frieman. Mallon notes, “Many larger managers are opting to bifurcate their legal work between our firm and a large law firm. Whether the client needs start-up support or more tailored advice, we are able to provide high level, cost-effective services which consider the manager’s needs from a business as well as a legal perspective.”

“There are few firms that can provide an institutional quality product at a reasonable price point. With Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP we get the benefit of top notch expertise, as well as the personalized service and attention of a boutique firm” said Dennis Carlton, General Counsel of WMD Asset Management, LLC.

Bruce Wilson at North Creek Advisors, LLC adds “Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP bring to the table a deep understanding of the hedge fund business and hedge fund operations. They are business partners, as well as counselors, who engineer the solutions for their clients.”

About Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP

Informed by significant in-house and private practice experience at some of the most prestigious Wall Street firms, hedge funds, and law firms Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP has the business acumen and market knowledge to

provide legal solutions for a wide range of financial services matters. With offices in San Francisco and New York, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP has a nationwide practice that services both start-up managers as well as multi-billion dollar firms. Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP provides a variety of services including: hedge fund formation, advisor registration and counterparty documentation, CFTC and NFA matters, seed deals, internal investigations, operational compliance, regulatory risk management, hedge fund due diligence, marketing and investor relations, employment and compensation matters, and routine business matters. For more information please visit us at: http://www.colefrieman.com/.

Karl Cole-Frieman can be reached at 415-352-2300.

Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

zp8497586rq

Bay Area Hedge Fund Event | July 28, 2010

YOU’RE INVITED!

The Bay Area Hedge Fund Roundtable presents:

Due Diligence and Fraud – The Reality of Headline Risk

FEATURING:

Scott Adams – American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Shaun Dalton – Formerly with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and Stanford Financial Group

Olivia Robinson – Background Intelligence, Inc.

MODERATED BY JAY GOULD, PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP

JULY 28, 2010 SAN FRANCISCO, CA

CHECK IN – 3 PM

PRESENTATION – 3:30 PM

Sens Restaurant @

Four Embarcadero Promenade Level

Admission is $25 – Cash only please, receipts will be provided.

Cocktail Reception to Follow

Please RSVP to info@bayhedge.org.

The Bay Area Hedge Fund Roundtable (“BAHR”) is an informal (and not for profit) organization of members of the Bay Area hedge fund community that was established in 2001. BAHR strives to provide intelligent, fresh perspectives from industry leaders on current developments and offer an open, casual environment where members can exchange information and expertise and further develop their relationships within the industry.

****

Hedge Fund Law Blog is sponsored by Cole-Frieman &  Mallon LLP which provides legal and hedge fund registration services to fund managers.  Bart Mallon, Esq. can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Hedge Fund Auditors | Thought Piece From Castle Hall Alternatives

The following article is by Christopher Addy, President and CEO of Castle Hall Alternatives, a hedge fund due diligence firm.  We have published a number of pieces by Mr. Addy in the past (please see Hedge Fund Fees, Hedge Fund Due Diligence Issues, Issues for Hedge Fund Administrators to Consider and ERISA vs. the Hedge Fund Industry).  The following post can be found here.

****

And the auditors work for….

Audit opinions of a hedge fund’s financial statements are unlikely to make the New York Times bestseller list.  As a result, we can certainly understand if the auditor’s fine print is not exactly top of the list for investor attention.  However, not all audit opinions are the same and, over time, it seems that different audit firms are quietly introducing different standards of care and attention – and, of course, liability, which is always the 800 pound gorilla.

The issue is the addressee of the audit report – or, put more simply, who the auditor works for.  In a public company, the auditors report to both the shareholders and the Board of Directors.  A quick web search gives us a couple of examples – GE and Goldman Sachs (don’t laugh at the Level III assets, by the way).

In a hedge fund, however, sometimes the audit report mentions the shareholders, but sometimes it does not.  What seems to be a fine difference is actually very profound – exactly why would a hedge fund auditor report only to the Board of Directors and deliberately fail to address their report to the shareholders?  Adding insult to injury, of course, is the reality that the average Board of Caymanian rent-a-directors hardly acts with the same vigor and intervention as the non execs on the boards of GE and Goldman.

In our experience, certain audit firms appear to have taken a deliberate decision to direct their audit opinions, wherever possible, only to the directors.  This is a difference which applies across both US GAAP reports as well as audits completed under International Financial Reporting Standards.  Check 10 audit reports from different firms, and see what we mean.

The underlying issue – of course – is the lack of investor control.  Investors, if asked, would very likely have an opinion on this issue: but, needless to say, they are not asked.  Audit engagement letters are signed under cloak and dagger secrecy (usually because they include ever more expansive terms seeking to limit auditor liability under Caymanian law).  Thereafter, as investors and due diligence practitioners know to their ongoing annoyance, it proves incredibly difficult and pointlessly time consuming to get some auditors even to confirm that they are the auditor of record for the hedge fund in question.

In the short term, one answer would be for offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands to mandate that all audit reports filed for Caymanian hedge funds be addressed to the shareholders rather than just the Board.  If it’s good enough for GE, it should be good enough for any hedge fund.

In the bigger picture, however, this is just one question within the broad construct of Hedge Funds 2.0 post Madoff.  Unfortunately, it is only investor pressure which can enforce any change so that service providers – auditors, administrators, lawyers et al – take responsibility and recognize that their primary duty of care is to the investors that pay them.  Without that pressure, hedge funds will continue to be the asset class where everyone wants to get paid, but no-one wants to take responsibility.

www.castlehallalternatives.com
Hedge Fund Operational Due Diligence

****

Other related hedge fund law and start up articles include: