financial services

Global Distribution of Funds

Helping asset managers expand offerings to new investors around the globe

Many of the largest global asset managers count on Dechert to help them grow and distribute their retail fund businesses strategically across borders. We navigate regulatory complexities, serve as a resource for global distribution, and deliver an integrated solution for global registration and private placement compliance.

A group of industry-leading lawyers –part of the firm’s international financial services practice –handles global distribution of managed accounts and investment funds, including European undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), U.S. mutual funds, closed-end investment funds, private equity funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and structured notes, among others.

Clients gain an advantage from our global resources –including financial services lawyers in Luxembourg, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Dublin, London, Hong Kong, Boston, New York, Orange County and Washington, D.C. – as well as our extensive network of preferred legal providers.

Promoters and distributors marketing funds on a private placement basis look to us to navigate the global regulatory landscape, including with respect to investment adviser, broker-dealer, commodity pool, benefit plan, foreign exchange control, tax and other securities law issues. We advise on privately and/or publicly placing interests in open-and closed-end funds and products for offer and sale in more than 90 jurisdictions.

We regularly address fund selection, traditional and alternative distribution channels, global disclosure obligations of funds and advisers, as well as the licensing issues that arise in the global marketing of advisory services. We also assist investment advisers with performance advertising issues and specific compliance matters, including those relating to global website compliance, anti-money laundering laws compliance and global beneficial share ownership reporting.

Innovation and industry-leading technology

We are pacesetters in the area of alternative investment fund products: we created the first master feeder structures offered in the non-U.S. market, and now leading the development of novel structures in the rapidly growing credit and debt sector.

Our team has created two web-based resources for clients: “World Compass” offers investment firms 24/7 access to detailed information on marketing funds and separate accounts in over 100 jurisdictions, as well as details on beneficial ownership reporting requirements. Meanwhile, our “World Passport” service offers investment firms a global registration, passport, marketing and compliance solution for UCITS and AIFs.

Fund Distribution

Our global team of lawyers assists clients by:

  • Managing the application process with the Central Bank, CSSF and other regulators around the globe (e.g., SFC in Hong Kong, FINMA in Switzerland, CCR in Chile, MAS in Singapore, CSRC in China, FSA in Japan and SFB in Taiwan).
  • Obtaining listings on stock exchanges worldwide, including the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Irish Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse, and exchanges in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Japan.
  • Accessing a database of third-party distribution contracts, referral agreements and placement agreements for the past 20 years to allow clients to achieve most favored terms in contract negotiation.
  • Providing “best practice” distribution intelligence and periodic review and updating of form agreements.
  • Offering concise, practical guidance on the operation of global websites and ensuring compliance with individual country-by-country micro-sites for both institutional and retail use.
  • Providing a global resource for review of marketing materials, including fund facts sheet, pitch books and market commentary.
  • Engaging, if necessary, a Dechert team that focuses on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-bribery related matters, privacy and anti-money laundering issues.
  • Offering out-sourced, know-your-distributor oversight services, including the use of World Check and Vision net.
Third Party Distribution

Dechert helps clients to structure and coordinate global distribution of funds by assisting with third-party distribution agreements –involving broker-dealers, banks, platforms and the non-resident alien (NRA) market –as well as anti-money laundering issues and structuring global websites to be compliant across various jurisdictions. Our team provides help in complying with U.S. registration requirements and local laws, as well guiding clients who use licensed broker-dealers or licensed representatives for distribution. We also counsel on tax and suitability matters.

Distribution Strategies: World Compass Service

Dechert’s World Compass is a web-based subscription service that offers investment firms 24/7 access to concise global marketing and distribution guidance in approximately 100 jurisdictions worldwide as well as beneficial ownership reporting requirements in key jurisdictions. This marketing compliance resource provides up-to-date and user-friendly information on marketing UCITS, AIFs and managed accounts. World Compass is updated in real time and provides high quality information which is actively reviewed and updated by a dedicated internal team of paralegals and lawyers (including local counsel).

Qualification and Compliance: World Passport Service

Our team of lawyers and paralegals helps clients coordinate the qualification of newly established and existing funds for public offer and sale with the aid of World Passport – our UCITS and AIF registration, marketing and compliance system. World Passport assists clients with ongoing UCITS and AIF registration and reporting obligations in all key jurisdictions of distribution, allowing them to minimize the risks of regulatory exposure. Whether a client is seeking to gain market entry, ensure compliance with local regulation or get advice on global marketing requirements, World Passport provides the tools to distribute funds on a cross-border basis, through passporting, registration or private placement, and to comply efficiently with regulations in targeted jurisdictions.