Structuring and operating investment funds

Structuring and operating investment funds, collective investment schemes and their associated investment managers has become a complex business. To provide effective legal advice to investment managers, asset managers, funds and investors, lawyers must have an in-depth knowledge of the legal issues involved, a savvy commercial sense and the ability to deal with more intricate commercial, tax and regulatory issues.

Managing these diverse issues in a comprehensive and holistic fashion requires a specialist commercial service that few law firms can offer. It is no longer sufficient to utilise lawyers who have dabbled in the fund space as an aside to their primary practices. Hence, we recruited internationally to establish one of the first dedicated teams dealing exclusively with investment issues.

Whether the underlying assets are private equity investments, listed securities, infrastructure projects, property, an art or wine and whether you are establishing, investing in or operating a fund as an investment manager, advisor, the Investment Funds Team will manage the tax, structural, financial, regulatory and commercial issues that arise. We also have a specialist funds litigation service dealing with the increasing frequency of litigation queries.

In addition to dealing with South African funds and management companies, the Investment Funds Team is routinely involved in the structuring, setting up and assisting in the operation of funds and management companies in a variety of jurisdictions. Members of the team are admitted in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the Eastern Caribbean and have advised funds, investors and service providers in all major jurisdictions including Mauritius, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey and Malta.

Our services extend from advising on South African based businesses on making foreign investments to guiding foreign funds and managers through establishing a presence in South Africa and the rest of Africa. Werksmans has established relationships with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the South African industry regulator.

Werksmans is a firm of African attorneys. Through LEX Africa, the oldest network of law firms in Africa, our Investment Funds Team offers a single entry point to dozens of African jurisdictions. Werksmans has also established alliances with firms in Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia.

Werksmans has been ranked in tier 2 for its excellence in Investment Funds.  “Industry knowledge surpasses all other firms”, according to a client. “Shayne Krige, Co-head of our team, is outstanding in local as well as offshore structuring and regulatory issues.”

Investment Funds services:

  • Structuring, setting up and operating open and closed-ended funds in South Africa and offshore
  • Setting up private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds with a special focus on funds investing into Africa
  • Setting up hedge funds, umbrella funds, funds of funds, feeder funds, derivative and mezzanine funds
  • Structuring individual investment managers’ holdings in investment management and advisory businesses
  • Advising pension funds on operational issues
  • Advising investors on investments in funds across the globe
  • Advising on licensing and regulation of investment funds, investment management companies and advisors, including liquidity and investor management issues
  • Advising on financial services legislation affecting funds, investment management companies and advisors, including distribution and marketing issues
  • Negotiating and drafting final agreements, investment advisory and management mandates, custody agreements, administration agreements, prime brokerage agreements, co-investment agreements and rebate agreements
  • Listing investment funds and conducting due diligence
  • Fund migrations and funds litigation services, including pension funds litigation, FCPA and Bribery Act issues
  • Creating structured products such as guaranteed funds investing in fund products or appointing managers to manage accounts
  • General matters of relevance to investment management businesses including employment issues, acquisitions, outsourcing, tax, legal due diligence, immovable property, intellectual property, black economic empowerment related issues, compliance with South African and international (particularly, United Kingdom and the United States) anti-bribery legislation and other related corporate commercial issues

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