Managing Conflicts of Interest in Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds

illustration of private equity fundsSince the Securities and Exchange Commission has recently taken an increasingly closer look at the activities of private equity and venture capital fund managers, it is more important than ever for fund managers to understand when conflicts of interest are likely to arise and how to manage them properly. The SEC has expressed concern about conflicts of interest inherent in the private equity business model and has brought several enforcement actions against private equity fund managers in the last couple of years that mostly focus on direct and indirect compensation to managers or advisers that were not properly disclosed to the fund’s investors. Since the SEC takes the position that fund managers and advisers owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to act in the fund’s best interest, fund managers must keep a close eye on potential conflicts of interest and employ best practices like consulting advisory committees whenever possible conflicts arise. [Read more…]

Pre-Money Valuation vs. Post-Money Valuation

The concept of pre-money valuation vs. post-money valuation can be a confusing one at first for many startup founders. Pre-money valuation refers to the valuation of the company prior to the investment whereas post-money valuation refers to the value after an investment has been made.

Most founders, when they think of the concept of valuation are referring to pre-money valuation. But calculating pre-money valuation is not intuitive or straightforward. [Read more…]

Negotiating a Convertible Note Financing

convertible note financing A convertible note is a hybrid of debt and equity, and it’s a popular form of financing for two main reasons. First, convertible notes are generally easy and cost-effective, because they require little negotiation and paperwork. Second, they allow the parties to put off valuation until a later time, which is useful, because accurately valuing a new company from the outset can be difficult.

Before you venture into a convertible note financing, it’s important to have a strong grasp of the terms of the note and how it will convert to equity.

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Guide to Starting a Hedge Fund

starting a hedge fundAs an investment manager looking into starting a hedge fund, you know that a successful launch is critical to standing out in the increasingly competitive investment management business. If you want to attract capital from the right investors, you must put in place the right team and structure for your new fund. Discounting the legal and regulatory complexity involved with forming a hedge fund or trying to wear too many hats could lead to early mistakes that stifle momentum and are expensive to fix. This post describes some key considerations for aspiring hedge fund managers who are contemplating the formation of a new fund.

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Understanding the Common Investment Structures for a Seed or Angel Round

businessman selling growthI’ve previously written about the steps that startups and emerging companies need to take to prepare for an angel or seed round, one of which is becoming familiar with the popular investment structures that are available. With the variety of funding options out there, it’s easy to feel confused or overwhelmed when deciding how to go about raising funds. In this post, I’ll explain more about the most common investment structures, to help you develop a customized funding strategy that works for your particular business. [Read more…]