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