Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Approved Manager, what is it and how do I set one up?

It is nearly three years since the BVI launched its Approved Manager Regime. The introduction of the Approved Manager Regime at the end of 2012 was the jurisdiction’s first step towards putting together a complete package focused on the smaller and emerging manager and it has been a great success.

My Cayman colleagues will probably jump up and down when I say this; but it is such a success that we now see Cayman funds being set up with BVI Approved Managers, given that the Approved Manager out-performs the Cayman equivalent, the Cayman Islands Securities and Investment Business Law (SIBL) Exempted Manager, both on cost (establishment and ongoing) and because it has the stamp of being a regulated product, which the Cayman equivalent does not. In addition, the Approved Manager offers greater flexibility, as a Cayman Exempted Manager is limited to only acting for funds whose investors fall within the definitions of a “sophisticated investor” or “high net worth person” under SIBL, whilst the Approved Manager has no such limitation.

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Postcard from the Alternative Asset Summit 2015, Las Vegas

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it….

Lewis Chong (left) and friends take a break for a photo from a discussion on the impact of the Common Reporting Standard on offshore funds.

Lewis Chong (left) and other summit attendees engaged in an intense discussion on the impact of the Common Reporting Standard on offshore funds.

Harneys was recently offered a fantastic speaking and sponsorship opportunity by the organisers of the 2015 Alternative Asset Summit in Las Vegas.  Although I was perfectly happy to spend my time huddled at a desk in the damp cold, climes of Vancouver, I was strong-armed by my partners into attending.  It’s a rough life – last week I was forced to head to sunny Las Vegas, stay at the Wynn hotel and sip cocktails at the poolside cabanas with esteemed colleagues in the alternative assets industry.

Before you get the mistaken impression that these Las Vegas conferences are a complete boondoggle, let me assure everyone (especially my partners) that plenty of high level discussions took place.  I was honoured to be invited to be a panellist at the Hedge Fund Boot Camp the day before the Summit started.  I joined some leading industry experts on panels focused on all aspects of starting and building a successful hedge fund.  Start-up funds are a core part of our funds formation practice and this was an excellent opportunity to assist a number of people interested in starting a fund.

I was also fortunate enough to be asked to host a small Q&A lunchtime session on starting up an offshore fund.  It was a great chance to answer some of the more detailed offshore fund questions that people may not have felt comfortable asking at the Boot Camp.

Although there were plenty of fascinating panels at the Summit, one subject that particularly interested me was the increased focus, from both an external (regulator) perspective and an internal (industry) perspective, on cyber security.  This reflects my personal experience as well – I am sure I am not alone in saying that I now receive requests from clients on a regular basis to confirm the security policies and procedures of our law firm.  This focus on cyber security is being driven by investors in our clients’ funds as part of their due diligence process and by our clients themselves.  We are also seeing hedge fund focussed cyber security start ups enter the space as well.  This is very much a live issue heading into 2016.

BVI shaping up to compete with the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands may offer sleek Ferrari style products but the BVI has packed on some muscle recently and, like the Mustang GT in this YouTube clip, is giving Cayman some competition.

Philip Graham comments on Thalius Hecksher's recent guest blog and explains why he thinks the British Virgin Islands is like a Mustang GT. 

It was with great excitement in the blog headquarters (think Dr Evil’s underground lair with far more lawyers and far less sharks with laser beams on their heads) that we posted our first guest blog this week that was written by Thalius Hecksher of Trident Fund Services. I would hope you agree that Thalius demonstrates some tremendous insight regarding the trends in the global funds industry right now and we very much thank him for taking the time to set it out so clearly and concisely.

He makes a number of fascinating points, but the key stand out for us in the BVI office was the statement that “Cayman is definitely still number one, but BVI is in its rear view mirror.

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