New York, New York

  • Written by Philip Graham | Harneys
  • Published in Legal

It has been a real pleasure to spend a lot of time recently in New York, one of my favourite cities in the world. This is undoubtedly the best time of year to see it as well as the leaves start to change colour, the festive lights start to twinkle and it is impossible to resist getting the running trainers on and heading out for a plod around the majestic Central Park.

Until you get up there and realise that the entire city runs faster than you.

The first call to arms was a true honour; our global funds team had been shortlisted for the Offshore Law Firm of the Year in the very prestigious HFM Week Awards and so Oliver Bell and I trooped up to firstly buy something to wear (it was decided that “Hurricane Chic” was not the right look) and then secondly to attend the awards at the fantastic Cipriani on 42nd Street.

As the ridiculously cheesy photo probably denotes, we somehow had the joy of stepping up on that stage for the second year running and handing out as many high fives as we could. There’s nothing that makes me prouder than the blood, sweat and tears that our team put in every single day be recognised and rewarded and the fact that this blog was part of the decision making process is even better.

I then jumped into speaking on a couple of panels at some excellent conferences, all of which were squarely focused on the emerging manager and trying to give them a steer on what we are all seeing in the market at the moment, the new and perilous pitfalls and how the barriers for entry to just simply get off the ground and then stay afloat are still growing every year.

As the photos show, I was joined on these panels by some really esteemed colleagues in the industry and it was thoroughly enjoyable to share some ideas that I think we all hope might make a difference to any manager trying to get onto the next rung in the ladder.

The best aspect of these types of “Boot Camps” is that they are fully interactive and so we had to cater to a very wide variety of queries from the audience. These included questions on:

  • what to do if a large cheque comes along but asks you to run with a zero per cent management fee;
  • how to deal with the intricacies that the new asset class of cryptocurrencies brings, including custody and AML issues;
  • how you find quality service providers who are willing to take flexible fee arrangements from the outset so as not to strangle the business before it gets started;
  • what the advantages are to US managers, who started with a standalone domestic entity, to bolt on an offshore vehicle (to create the “mini-master”) and begin to chase institutional or foreign money;
  • how you can wind down a fund vehicle in the most cost-effective way possible;
  • which geographical regions we are seeing as significant “hot-spots” (and why) and which regions are currently running cold (and why);
  • with every single allocator demanding absolutely transparency from a manager they are considering seeding, how does this match the current rise of the algo funds once again; and
  • what really should be in that thirty second elevator pitch and then the slide deck you hand over?

If any of these topics particularly grab you as something you might find of interest as well, please do get in touch and I’d be delighted to discuss them further. Preferably over a beer, but willing to use the telephone as well.

Finally, I handed over the microphone to Oliver who did a superb job of moderating an extremely tough panel at the “Gaining the Edge” Conference. As the photo shows, it was an incredibly well attended event with over 600 industry professionals in the audience and it was absolutely splendid to see him navigate the room through the fascinating topic of “Which Hedge Fund Strategies Look the Most Attractive Over the Next 24 Months?”, whilst successfully avoiding abuse for Brexit when discussing the Macro outlook as well.

So all in all, a great start for us in Q4 and with our teams in both the BVI and Cayman looking busier than ever for the year-end run-in, it’s definitely time to get back to the day job…

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