The vast majority of private companies raising capital use Rule 506 of Regulation D, which, if complied with, ensures the securities being sold are exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because the offering of these securities does not involve “any public offering.” One of the primary advantages of a Rule 506 offering is that it is considered an offering of “covered securities,” which means that individual states cannot require issuers who meet the conditions of Rule 506 to register their offerings at the state level. By granting covered security status to Rule 506 offerings, Congress greatly reduced the compliance costs of companies raising private capital who would otherwise have to comply with the unique registration or exemption requirements of each state where one of their investors happened to live.[Read more…]
Private Equity and Hedge Funds
A private equity fund is an investment entity formed by an investment adviser (often also referred to as a fund manager or sponsor), that raises capital from investors to make investments in private companies under a specified investment strategy. Typically, the investors commit to investing a certain amount of capital over time, in one or more capital calls made over the course of the private equity fund’s life cycle. The investors are passive and do not participate in the management of the fund or the selection of its investments. The fund manager is responsible for investing the assets pursuant to the fund’s investment strategy. Additionally, private equity funds are often “blind” (in that the investor does not know in advance what their money will be invested in) and anonymous (in that no investor knows the identities of the other investors). [Read more…]
At some point while raising capital for a private fund, you will likely be asked by one or more potential investors to enter into a side letter. A side letter is an agreement between the fund and one particular investor to vary the terms of the limited partnership agreement with respect to that particular investor (almost always to the benefit of the investor).
The process of starting a new hedge fund or private equity fund involves choosing whether the fund will be structured as a “3(c)(1) fund” or a “3(c)(7) fund.” Many new fund managers are confused by the difference between the two, which refer to two different exemptions from the requirements imposed on “investment companies” under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”). [Read more…]
Private funds, such as hedge funds, private equity funds, and venture capital funds, are governed by a host of intersecting federal laws that impact who can invest in these fund, including the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Investment Company Act of 1940. This post provides prospective and existing private fund managers with a basic understanding of the primary categories of investors and why understanding these categories is essential in structuring and marketing a fund.