Monthly Archives: November 2011

Seven Ways to Offer Hedge Fund Strategies Through ’40 Act Registered Funds

The Growing Demand for Registered Funds

The opportunities for hedge fund managers to grow assets under management continue to expand as pension fund, endowment, foundation, insurance and individual investors increase their allocation to alternative investments. To meet investor demand for absolute returns and diversification, as well as greater liquidity and transparency, an increasing number of hedge fund managers are offering hedge fund strategies through funds registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (’40 Act).

What Are the Benefits of Managing a Registered Fund?

Unregistered funds are only permitted to have up to 100 or 499 investors and require most fund investors to be accredited or qualified investors (as mandated by Section 3(c)(1) and Section 3(c)(7) of the ’40 Act). Funds registered under the ’40 Act can accept an unlimited number of accredited investors or qualified investors, which allows funds to lower account minimums and appeal to more investors. Additionally, funds registered as opened-end investment companies under the ’40 Act (or mutual funds) can be marketed and sold to an unlimited number of institutional and individual investors regardless of their income or net worth.

Why Do Investors Prefer Registered Funds?

In addition to providing portfolio transparency and greater liquidity (i.e., a mutual fund’s NAV is required to be calculated and marked to market daily), a ’40 Act registered fund provides greater regulatory safeguards. The ’40 Act requires oversight and accountability by independent fund board members; protects the physical integrity of fund assets; guards against conflicts of interest, including problematic affiliated transactions; protects against potentially unsound capital structures by imposing certain investment restrictions; and ensures that investors receive accurate and appropriate information about the fund and its manager(s). Generally, investors can also conduct due diligence and make investments in registered funds more efficiently and cost-effectively than unregistered funds. Most registered funds can be bought and sold directly from the fund and through intermediaries such as brokers or fund supermarkets (i.e., Schwab and Fidelity).

How are Hedge Fund Strategies Offered Through Registered Funds?

The evolution of fund structures has significantly broadened distribution channels for hedge fund strategies. Below are seven of the most common ways to offer hedge fund strategies through registered funds:

1. Register a new stand-alone fund (or a series trust to launch multiple funds).

2. Register a new series (or fund) of a third-party sponsored series trust.

3. Convert an existing private fund into a registered fund (or a series a of a third-party sponsored series trust).

4. Register a fund of funds (underlying funds can be private, registered or both).

5. Advise a private underlying fund of a registered fund of funds.

6. Advise a registered underlying fund of a registered fund of funds.

7. Provide sub-advisory services to a registered multi-manager fund.


Investors are increasingly seeking absolute returns to diversify their portfolios, as well as more protective fund structures. Investor demand for these attributes combined with fund managers’ desire to grow their AUM has driven the emergence of different ways to offer hedge fund strategies through registered funds. Although the process and cost significantly varies, hedge fund managers can easily assess the options outlined above with the assistance of a seasoned ’40 Act attorney and other fund service providers.

For more information regarding ’40 Act registered funds, please see the SEC’s Investment Company Registration and Regulation Package or contact Aisha Hunt, a Partner and the head of the ’40 Act/ Alternative Mutual Fund Practice at Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP.  Aisha can be reached directly at 415-762-2854.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a premier boutique investment management law firm, providing top-tier, responsive and cost-effective legal solutions for financial services matters. Headquartered in San Francisco, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP has an international practice that services both start-up investment managers, as well as established investment management firms.

Karl Cole-Frieman Speaking at Fund Compliance Event

On December 1st and 2nd Private Equity International (PEI) will be hosting a Fund Compliance Forum in San Francisco.   The forum will be focused on providing private equity firms with information on various Dodd-Frank compliance requirements, including the investment adviser registration requirement.  Karl Cole-Frieman, a partner with Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, will a panelist and will be discussing the compliance issues associated with marketing materials.  The overview of the session by Karl can be found here.

Information on the event is posted below and can be found on the PEI website by clicking here.


PEI Private Fund Compliance Forum: San Francisco

An enormous collective sigh of relief was felt around the private equity world when the SEC announced that the deadline to register was moved to March 30, 2012. This extension has given private equity firms more time to designate a chief compliance officer, implement a compliance program, and file all necessary forms with the SEC.

The PEI Private Fund Compliance Forum: San Francisco provides private equity and venture capital firms an opportunity to gain a more complete understanding of what newly registered private funds should expect post-registration and how to implement and manage an effective compliance program.

This one and a half day event, divided into panel discussions and in-depth workshop sessions, is tailored to firms that are in the process of registering with the SEC, those firms that are seeking more information about the scope of what is entailed in registration as well as those who are already operating as RIAs that are looking to enhance their compliance functions.


Panel: Effective and appropriate marketing materials

10:40 – 11:45

• Interpreting rules governing marketing and advertising

• Making sure that presentations are reviewed by compliance

• Making sure your web sites are in compliance

• Guidelines regarding talking to the press


Janis Kerns, Editor, ACA Insight

Panel Members:

Karl A. Cole-Frieman, Partner, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP

Jennifer Keese-Powell, Marketing Manager, Hall Capital Partners LLC

Lois Towers, Compliance Officer, Pantheon Ventures (US)


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:

NIBA Petitions For Release of Segregated Funds to MF Global Customers

The National Introducing Brokers Association (NIBA) has started a petition asking the judge in the MF Global bankruptcy proceeding to release customer segregated funds.  Below we have provided the full text of the petition which members of the community can sign by going here.  It is unclear how this would work in conjunction with the CME’s promise to guarantee up to $300M of the missing $650M or so (for more information on this, please see the CME release).

Below the reprint of the petition, we have also posted a recent statement by the FIA on MF Global.


Release remaining cash balances of former MF Global customers

Greetings NIBA members and supporters,

We urge you to sign the following petition in order for the bankruptcy court to have a chance to hear from you – the broker, the trading advisor, the IB – directly. Some of you have the resources to pursue your interests individually, that’s great. But, the court needs to hear from all of you. Our voice is much stronger if we are unified; acting collectively, we can make a difference. This is one of the reasons you belong to and support the NIBA. We are standing up for the rights of all our members. Please sign regardless of whether you cleared with MFG.


Honorable Martin Glenn
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Courtroom 501
One Bowling Green
New York City, NY 10004

The National Introducing Brokers Association (NIBA) submits this Petition urging you to exercise your authority and immediately, to the extent it does not hinder the bankruptcy process, permit the release of the remaining cash balances of liquidating and transferred customers of MF Global, and of customers who were included in the bulk transfer process. To the extent there are sufficient “segregated” funds available, they are the assets of the customers. Further, those funds are absolutely vital for the marketplace to function fully. The result of withholding these funds is affecting the ability of customers to maintain and trade their positions, and will impact liquidity and trading volume – absolutely necessary for an efficient market.

The NIBA is a 20-year old non-profit association of registered Introducing Brokers, Commodity Trading Advisors and Associated Persons who transact business for customers in the retail sector of the futures industry, as well as in managed futures. Our membership includes professionals associated with MF Global, as well as IBs, CTAs and APs at the receiving futures commission merchants. Our customers include individuals and entities as diverse as farmers, pension funds and users of energy and metals.

Customers and futures professional alike are suffering under the current scheme. We urge you to heed Petition and release these funds. We want to get back to work.

Respectfully, The National Introducing Brokers Association




[Your name]


FIA Issues Statement Regarding MF Global

WASHINGTON, D.C. ―Nov. 9, 2011― The Futures Industry Association issued the following statement in response to the events involving the bankruptcy of MF Global.

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) is deeply troubled by the failure of MF Global (MFG) and the financial distress that the apparent shortfall in customer segregated funds has caused our members’ customers and the markets generally. Segregation of customer funds is the cornerstone that assures the financial integrity of our markets and any violation of these segregation requirements cannot be tolerated.

Since the appointment of a Trustee for MFG on October 31, FIA member firms have been working closely with all affected stakeholders, including the CME Group, ICE Clear US, ICE Clear Europe and other relevant derivatives clearing organizations, to effect the prompt and orderly transfer of customer positions to other futures commission merchants (FCMs).

FIA supports a full review of the circumstances that led to the failure of MFG and, in particular, the apparent shortfall in customer segregated funds. FIA recognizes that this apparent shortfall will delay the date by which customers will receive all of the funds that were on deposit with MFG. Futures customers cannot afford to have the funds they had deposited to support their positions held up while the claims process runs its course. FIA strongly encourages the Trustee, with the assistance of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the clearing organizations, to complete an interim accounting and facilitate the prompt return of all customer funds.

The FIA is the primary industry association for centrally cleared futures and swaps. Its membership includes the world’s largest derivatives clearing firms as well as derivatives exchanges from more than 20 countries. For more information, please contact Joanne Morrison ([email protected]) at 202.466.5460 or visit our website at


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP provides legal services to the managed futures community.  Please contact us if you have questions or call Bart Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

Revised Form ADV Part 1 Now Available on IARD

New Questions Added to Form ADV Part 1

The SEC has released a new Form ADV Part 1a which includes a number of additions as described in greater depth below.  Please also see the the paper version of the new Form ADV Part 1 which is currently effective.

Since enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC has adopted a series of rules that have a significant impact on investment advisers and the IA registration process. Last year, amendments to the Form ADV Part 2 required registered investment advisers to provide new and prospective clients with a brochure and brochure supplements prepared using a “plain English” narrative approach. The new Form Part 2 became effective January 1, 2011 for new registrants and March 31, 2011 for registrants updating their Form ADV. Many states followed suit requiring the use of the new Form Part 2.

Overview of Major Changes to Form ADV Part 1

The new Form ADV Part 1 is now available on the IARD website. The changes reflect the new asset thresholds and the SEC’s effort to gather detailed information about investment advisers and their operations. For example, Section 7 now requires the following information about private funds (defined as “an issuer that would be an investment company as defined in section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 but for section 3(c)(1) or section 3(c)(7) of that Act”):

  • a private fund identification number (which is assigned to the fund)
  • whether the fund is part of a master-feeder structure (and if so, information about the master and/or feeder funds)
  • whether the fund is a “fund of funds
  • details about the beneficial owners of the fund
  • information about whether the fund relies on an exemption from registration under Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933
  • details about the fund’s service providers

Next Steps

For firms who have not started the registration process, completion of the new Form ADV Part 1 will take longer because of the additional information that must be collected.  For firms who have begun the process but have not yet been registered with the SEC or state, it is likely that the new information will be required to be submitted prior to registration being approved by the SEC or state securities commission.  For advisers who are already registered with the SEC or state, the new questions will need to be completed as part of the Annual Updating Amendment (for more information, please see our post for the requirement in 2011 – we will have a similar post for 2012 after the new year).  The due date for the Form ADV Annual Updating Amendment approaching is March 30, 2012.

Should you have any questions on the completion, submission, and/or reporting deadlines for Form ADV, please feel free to contact us or call Bart Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP provides investment adviser registration and compliance services to private fund managers.  The firm has a robust investment management practice catering to hedge fund managers, mutual fund managers and institutional investors.

SEC Action Against Hedge Fund Manager for Marketing Misrepresentations

SEC v. Andrey C. Hicks and Locust Offshore Management, LLC

Marketing, of course, is an issue close to the heart of every hedge fund manager. You spend so much time and effort making your pitchbook and other materials exactly right in terms of strategy, investment process and all the details that help you make the most of your investor meetings. It needs to look great; it needs to tell your story, and as the SEC recently reminded us, it needs to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Overview of Case

On October 26, 2011, the SEC filed an action in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Andrey C. Hicks (“Hicks”) and Locust Offshore Management, LLC (“LOM”). Hicks and LOM purported to manage a British Virgin Islands-based investment vehicle named Locust Offshore Fund, Ltd. (the “Fund” and collectively with Hicks and LOM, “Locust”), which employed a strategy based on a quantitative model developed by Hicks. The SEC alleged that the Fund was in fact part of a fraudulent scheme that ultimately funneled incoming subscriptions into Hicks’ personal accounts.

According to the complaint (see SEC v. Hicks & Locust),  the scheme depended on a number of misrepresentations found in LOM’s website, the Fund’s offering memorandum, Hicks’ email correspondence, Hicks’ verbal statements to at least one investor, post-subscription correspondence with investors.

The SEC asserted causes of action under Section 17(a) of the Securities Act (fraudulent interstate transactions), Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and related rules (prohibiting the use of manipulative and deceptive devices); Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act (prohibiting act, practice or course of business that is fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative), and for equitable relief.

The District Court issued a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Locust.

Takeaways for Managers

The alleged misrepresentations included the following:

  • Statements that the Fund was formed and registered as a professional fund in the British Virgin Islands, when in fact no such entity had existed or been registered there;
  • Flowing from the above, any statement identifying Hicks as the portfolio manager, director, or other principal of the Fund or LOM, as well as any statement that LOM was the manager of the Fund;
  • Identifying Ernst & Young as the auditor of the Fund, and Credit Suisse as the Fund’s prime broker, when in fact neither company had ever been retained to provide services to the Fund;
  • Statements that the 27 year old Hicks held an undergraduate degree and doctorate degree in applied mathematics from Harvard, when in fact he had only attended three semesters as an undergraduate, and was forced to withdraw due to repeated failure to meet academic standards. Hicks received a D minus in the only math course he took;
  • Statements that Hicks managed a book of futures, options and foreign exchange investments at Barclays, and grew his book nearly two-fold during his brief tenure, when in fact he had never been employed at Barclays; and
  • Assurances to at least one investor that his subscription monies had been received and were “entered into live trading,” and similar statements.

The first investor in the Fund, referred to as Investor A, met Hicks on an airplane and the two fell into conversation. The above statements, found in the offering documents, on the website and in other materials, were reinforced during their conversation. Hicks talked about his education and professional experience, showed Investor A LOM’s website on his Blackberry, and the two parted, exchanging their business cards. The chance meeting and follow-up emails were evidently persuasive; Investor A wired his subscription monies about a month later.

This action highlights several points for managers:

  • Do not lie in your marketing materials; in biographies especially, take care to avoid statements that exaggerate education, qualifications, experience and expertise;
  • Carefully check all facts, even basic data such as service provider information and fund formation details in all areas where they appear (not merely obvious places like your fund offering documents, but any presentations, pitchbooks, websites or other materials);
  • Maintain files of backup materials to document every factual statement made in your offering documents, marketing materials and on your website;
  • The anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws have a long reach and managers should be careful about all communications, not just in their marketing materials. Evaluate letterhead, business cards, email signatures and speak with all employees, but especially those involved in marketing, regarding appropriate parameters for meetings (planned or chance) with potential investors.


Although Hicks is an extreme example, all managers should ensure that their funds’ offering documents marketing materials, stationery, written correspondence, and verbal statements are accurate, including with respect to service provider information, fund formation details, and biographies. To the extent that managers provide such information on their websites, all of these details should be confirmed as accurate on the website itself, and in any linked or uploaded materials.

We recommend that your attorney, in-house counsel or compliance consultant review all marketing materials prior to distributing them, and retaining these materials and backup information in your files.

For more information please see the complaint above of the SEC litigation release.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon is a boutique hedge fund law firm which provides fund formation, business and compliance services to fund managers.  Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Investment Adviser and IA Representative Registration Renewal 2012

If your firm is registered as an investment adviser (IA) then you may have received notice from FINRA to renew your firm’s registration for 2012. If you have not received the notice or have not paid the renewal fees, the following provides an overview of the process.


IA firms and IA representatives (RA) should be aware that registrations expire annually on December 31. In order for an IA firm to maintain their active registrations and/or notice filing statuses and for RAs to maintain active registration statuses, the IA firms must pay applicable renewal fees annually. The IARD Renewal Program facilitates the annual renewal process. A Preliminary Renewal Statement which is made available on the IARD system, will include an amount that must be paid to FINRA by December 12, 2011. Remember to allow sufficient time for payments made by check and sent through the postal service. Online payments made via E-Pay should be made by December 8, 2011 in order for the funds to be posted by December 12, 2011.

Submitting Payment

This year, the preliminary renewal statement will be made available on November 14, 2011. IA firms can access this statement via IARD by following these steps:

  1. Log onto IARD at (
  2. Enter your firm’s ID and password.
  3. Review and accept the terms and conditions.
  4. Under the “Accounting” tab at the top of the page, select “Renewal Account.”
  5. One the left column, select “Renewal Statement.”

The bottom of the page provides an itemized list of all applicable fees.

Payment by Check

If you choose to submit payment by check, print the statement and mail it, along with the check to the following address:

U.S. Mail:

P.O. Box 7777-W8705
Philadelphia, PA 19175-8705

(Note: this P.O. Box address will not accept courier or overnight deliveries.)

Express Delivery:

Attn: 8705
500 Ross Street 154-0455
Pittsburgh, PA 15262


The check should be made payable to: FINRA. Be sure to write your CRD Number and the word “Renewal” on the face of the check. Be sure to also include the first page of the Renewal Statement.

Payment via CRD/IARD E-Pay

Payment can also be submitted online via CRD/IARD E-Pay. To do so, follow these instructions:

Go to the E-Pay website.

  1. Enter your login and password.
  2. On the left column under “Payments,” click “Pay my accounts.”
  3. Select the account and click “Continue.”
  4. Enter the total Payment Amount and check “Renewal” under Account Type. Then enter the payment method and click “continue.”
  5. Review the information and click “Make Payment.”
  6. Log out and the money should post within about 2 days.

Automatic Daily Account-to-Renewal Account Transfer

If your firms has sufficient funds in the Daily Account to cover the total renewal amount, FINRA will automatically process the renewal payment by the payment deadline.

Other Payment Methods

Wire payments sent by 2 p.m. (ET), should post the next business day. Wire payments sent after 2 p.m., ET, may take up to 2 business days to post. Instructions for initiating a wire can be found here.

Confirming Payment

After payment is submitted, you will be able to retrieve your firm’s online Final Renewal Statement on IARD on or after January 3, 2012. These statements will reflect the final registration status of the IA firm and RAs. To do so, follow the instructions above to log onto IARD. Under the “Renewal Statement” link in the “Accounting” section, you can retrieve the Final Renewal Statement, which will state “Paid in Full” or “Amount Due.” If an amount is due, the balance must be paid by February 3, 2012.

It is important to make sure payment is made by the deadline, otherwise the registration may be terminated. The firm will then have to contact each regulator to request re-registration instructions.

More information about the Renewal Program can be found on the IARD website. FINRA has also posted a bulletin on the 2012 IARD Renewal Program, available here.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a boutique hedge fund law firm and provides investment adviser registration and renewal services. Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Reminder to CPOs re: Quarterly Rule 2-46 Filing

Quarterly CPO Filing Due by November 14

For those commodity pool operators who are registered with the NFA, there is a quarterly reporting requirement under Rule 2-46.  This filing must be submitted to the NFA by November 14 through the NFA’s EasyFile system.  Today the NFA sent the following reminder email to those managers who have not yet completed this filing.  If you have questions on the filing, please feel free to contact us.


November 7, 2011

Reminder to CPOs regarding upcoming due date for quarterly pool report

This is a reminder that the September 30th quarterly pool report required by NFA Compliance Rule 2-46 is due to NFA on November 14, 2011. You are receiving this message because NFA’s records indicate that you have not yet completed the filing requirement for one or more of your pools. Please note that each Member CPO is required to file a quarterly report for each active pool that it operates as long as the pool has a reporting requirement under CFTC Regulation 4.22.

The report itself covers the three-month calendar quarter ending September 30, 2011 and it must be filed electronically through NFA’s EasyFile System. You can view a list of your pools and the applicable report due dates by logging onto EasyFile using this link: PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE A QUALIFYING POOL THAT DID NOT OPERATE BEFORE OR DURING THE QUARTER ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2011, YOU MUST STILL ACCESS THE EASYFILE SYSTEM AND DELETE THE POOL’S QUARTERLY STATEMENT CALL USING THE DELETE ICON ON THE MAIN POOL INDEX LISTING.

Please ensure that the September quarterly reports are filed by the due date. Failure to file this report, and/or previous quarterly reports timely, is an apparent violation of NFA Rules, that could subject your firm to disciplinary action. Questions concerning the reporting requirements should be directed to NFA’s Information Center at 312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570.***


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a boutique law firm focused on the investment management industry.  The firm provides legal advice to CPOs and CTAs.  Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Is there SIPC Insurance for Futures Accounts?

SIPC Does Not Cover Futures Accounts at MF Global

The MF Global bankruptcy is creating a number of problems for managers with accounts at the firm. One question we have received from some managers is whether their client accounts are insured either through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) or through some sort of similar company.  Unfortunately there is no SIPC coverage for futures accounts and it is currently unclear how and when clients will find out whether they wil be made whole.  It is curious that there is no insurance for futures accounts given the Refco collapse in 2005, but with this bankruptcy, we are probably more likely to see calls for the creation some sort of SIPC-like insurance.

SIPC & What Losses are Insured

The following is a description of the SIPC from FINRA:

SIPC is a non-profit organization created in 1970 under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) that provides limited coverage to investors on their brokerage accounts if their brokerage firm becomes insolvent. All brokerage firms that do business with the investing public are required to be members of SIPC. SIPC protection is limited. It covers the replacement of missing stocks and other securities up to $500,000, including $250,000 in cash claims. However, it does so only when a firm shuts down due to financial circumstances in which customer assets are missing—because of theft, conversion, or unauthorized trading—or are otherwise at risk because of the firm’s failure.

SIPC does not cover the following:

  • Ordinary market loss;
  • Investments in commodity futures, fixed annuities, currency, hedge funds or investment contracts (such as limited partnerships) that are not registered with the SEC; and
  • Accounts of partners, directors, officers or anyone with a significant beneficial ownership in the failed firm.

SIPC Moves Quickly & Makes Statement

The following was posted on the SIPC website on Monday:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 31, 2011 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, announced today that it is initiating the liquidation of MF Global Inc., under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA).

SIPC today filed an application with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for a declaration that the customers of MF Global Inc. are in need of the protections available under the SIPA.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the application and appointed James W. Giddens as trustee for the liquidation, and further appointed the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed as counsel to Mr. Giddens.

Orlan Johnson, board chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), said: “When the customers of a failed SIPC member brokerage firm have left their securities in the custody of that firm, SIPC acts as quickly as possible to protect those customers. In this case, SIPC initiated the liquidation proceeding within hours of being notified by the SEC that a SIPC case was necessary to protect the investing public.”

While the SIPC is not insuring the accounts, they are involved with helping investors.  The following press release discusses the SIPC’s involvement in helping investors to transfer accounts:

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn approved a request to allow the transfer of certain segregated customer commodity positions from MF Global Inc. to one or more futures commission merchants (FCMs). The request was made by the trustee appointed by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation and oversee- ing the liquidation of MF Global Inc.

This action will allow for the transfer of approximately 50,000 client accounts, the substantial majority of which were cleared through the Chicago Mercantile Ex- change (CME). These transfers will unfreeze commodity positions with a notional value of $100 billion and represent a substantial position of all existing commod- ity accounts at MF Global Inc.

The notice above can be found on MF Global’s regulatory notices webpage.

Next Moves & Conclusion

Commodity pool operators who advise funds with accounts at MF Global should have already alerted investors in such funds.  For more information on this please see our post on the NFA Guidance re: MF Global.

Other persons who are interested in receiving more information about the liquidation and account transfer process should find the following websites helpful:

We will continue to provide updates on MF Global which we think will be helpful to our readers.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to send us questions and we will do our best to provide appropriate information through the blog.  As we mentioned above, we think that there is likely to some sort of regulatory fall-out from this and we believe that law makers will call for insurance for customer accounts.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon provides legal advice to FCMs, IBs, CTAs and CPOs.  Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

NFA Provides Guidance re: MF Global

CPOs Must Provide Information to Fund Investors

Below is guidance just provided by the NFA regarding MF Global.  Commodity Pool Operators must provide investors with a disclosure regarding the fund’s assets held at MF Global.  Additionally, if the CPO is soliciting new investors for the fund, the CPO will need to amend their disclosure document and have the disclosure document reviewed by the NFA prior to first use.

Please contact us if you need help with respect to any of the items discussed in the NFA memo below.


November 1, 2011

Proposed Guidance for CPOs with Pool Funds Held at MF Global, Inc.

NFA recognizes the need for our CPO Members to keep their pool participants informed as to what has occurred with MF Global, Inc. (MF Global) and how it may affect future operations. In this regard, NFA, in consultation with the CFTC, is providing guidance on disclosures that CPO Members with pool funds held at MF Global must make to their participants. At a minimum, CPO Members must provide their pool participants with a disclosure statement that includes the disclosures summarized below. Members are also encouraged to provide any additional disclosures that are necessary given their specific business operations.

If you are a Member operating a pool that has pool funds held at MF Global, you must make the following disclosures:

  • On October 31, 2011, MF Global reported to the SEC and CFTC possible deficiencies in customer segregated accounts held at the firm. As a result, the SEC and CFTC determined that a SIPC-led bankruptcy proceeding would be the safest and most prudent course of action to protect customer accounts and assets, and SIPC initiated the liquidation of MF Global under the Securities Investor Protection Act.
  • As of (insert date) approximately $XXX of (Name of Pool)’s assets were on deposit in an account(s) at MF Global. These assets represent XX% of the (Name of Pool)’s net asset value of $XXX.
  • The General Partner does/does not believe that these actions will have a material impact upon the operations of (Name of Pool) and its ability to:
    • Satisfy redemptions requests;
    • Adequately value redemption requests and the manner in which they will be handled;
    • Accept new subscriptions in (Name of Pool) and properly value the net asset value for new subscribers; and
    • Provide for accurate valuation in the (Name of Pool)’s account statements provided to participants.
  • Participants are cautioned that there can be no assurances:
    • That (Name of Pool) will have immediate access to any or all of its assets in accounts held at MF Global; and
    • As to the amount or value of those assets in the context of the bankruptcy.
  • Participants should also be aware that future actions involving MF Global may impact (Name of Pool)’s ability to value the portion of its assets held at MF Global and/or delay the payment of a participant’s pro-rata share of such assets upon redemption.

The above disclosures must be provided to current pool participants through a separate written communication. In addition, Members who have a current disclosure document and plan to solicit new participants must ensure that they have updated their disclosure document to include these disclosures. In this regard, please remember that all amended disclosure documents must be submitted to NFA for review prior to use.

Further, with respect to the valuation of pool assets and redemptions, each Member is urged to consult with its CPA to ensure these items are reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or international financial reporting standards, as applicable.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the following individuals:

Mary McHenry at (312)781-1420 or at [email protected]

Tracey Hunt at (312)781-1284 or [email protected]

Todd Maines at (312)781-1560 or at [email protected]


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is an investment management law firm which provides CPO registration and compliance services.  Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Announcing Alternative Mutual Funds Practice


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is pleased to announce the addition of an alternative mutual funds practice led by new partner Aisha Hunt.  Below is our press release announcing Aisha’s affiliation as well as the new practice area.  We all look forward to continuing to provide top-tier legal services to the investment management industry.

– Karl Cole-Frieman & Bart Mallon



Aisha Hunt, former in-house counsel at Wells Fargo and Dodge & Cox joins as Partner to run the practice

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 1, 2011 – Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, a leading boutique investment management law firm, is proud to announce the addition of Aisha Hunt as a Partner to head the firm’s growing Alternative Mutual Fund Practice in San Francisco. Ms. Hunt has represented some of the most prominent investment managers and mutual fund families in the United States, including the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and the Dodge & Cox Funds.

By bringing on Ms. Hunt, the firm now offers clients a broader suite of investment management legal services, including a ’40 Act practice focused on alternative mutual funds. She has extensive legal experience counseling emerging and established investment managers to separate accounts, hedge funds, UCITS funds and mutual funds. Ms. Hunt holds a B.S. in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

“We are very excited that Aisha has joined the firm to launch our new Alternative Mutual Fund Practice,” said Karl Cole-Frieman. “Our clients will greatly benefit from her wide-ranging mutual fund knowledge, as well as her experience advising hedge fund managers.”

“Few law firms with hedge fund practices have the necessary ’40 Act expertise to advise on the unique regulatory and structural requirements of alternative mutual funds,” said Darren Day, Managing Director at Concept Capital Markets, LLC, a prime brokerage firm which services alternative mutual funds. “With the addition of a ’40 Act practice, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is well positioned to help investment managers meet the growing demand for alternative mutual funds.”

Cole-Frieman & Mallon Partner, Bart Mallon, added “Launching an alternative mutual fund is complex and requires highly specialized legal counsel to help navigate the regulatory landscape. Our Alternative Mutual Fund Practice is specifically tailored to help investment managers meet the growing demand and opportunities for these new products.”

“One of the best things about Aisha is that she understands investment managers must contain costs yet receive a premier value-added service. It is impressive that she can help managers analyze the cost-benefit ratio to raising assets on an alternative mutual fund platform,” said Nancy Kazdan, Managing Partner at Market Share International.

About Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP

Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a premier boutique investment management law firm, providing top-tier, responsive and cost-effective legal solutions for financial services matters. Headquartered in San Francisco, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP has an international practice that services both start-up investment managers, as well as multi-billion dollar firms. The firm provides a full suite of legal services to the investment management community, including: hedge fund, private equity fund, venture capital fund, mutual fund and UCITS fund formation, adviser registration, counterparty documentation, SEC, CFTC, NFA and FINRA matters, seed deals, hedge fund due diligence, employment and compensation matters, and routine business matters. The firm also publishes the prominent Hedge Fund Law Blog (, which focuses on legal issues that impact the hedge fund community. For more information please visit us at:


Cole-Frieman & Mallon provides legal services to the investment management community and has an alternative mutual funds practice.

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

Kartl Cole-Frieman can be reached at 415-762-2841.

Aisha Hunt can be reached at 415-762-2854.