Generating returns through better relationships: How managed custody accounts benefit managers and investors

Author(s): 
Thomas A. Hickey III, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP et al

Abstract: Institutional investors are under significant pressure to maximise returns. To that end they have focused on reducing fees and consolidating their portfolios according to the best ideas of their best managers. A few pioneering US public pension plans and public university endowments have been early adopters of Managed Custody Accounts (MCAs) in efforts to maximise their ability to participate in the best new products and control costs and fees. An MCA creates a platform through which an investor can quickly and nimbly invest across any of an investment manager’s funds, products and strategies. Because fees and expenses are negotiated at the platform level on an aggregate-assets-under-management basis, parties are able to create an efficient investment process with a fee structure that motivates the manager and investment team, encourages investors to consider all of the manager’s products, and has the effect of maximising the investor’s investment levels with a manager. This efficiency also allows public investors to react quickly to managers’ new products as other legal terms are built into the MCA agreement at the onset of the investment relationship. This paper will discuss the typical investment process of public investors, from manager selection to funding of new traditional products, contrasting it to the MCA process, and highlighting the benefits that MCAs provide to managers and investors alike.

 

Keywords: managed accounts, pension plan, alternative investments, expenses, returns, endowments, university

 

Thomas A. Hickey III, as Chair of Foley & Lardner, LLP Fund Formation & Investment Management Group, leads a dedicated team of lawyers who advise clients on the structuring, formation and ongoing management of various private investment funds, including venture capital funds, private equity funds, fixed income funds and hedge funds, and their management companies.

 

Stuart E. Fross is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he concentrates his practice on securities laws and regulations (including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD)), as part of the Private Equity & Venture Capital, Transactional & Securities and International Practices.

 

Gustavo Resendiz is a senior counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP focusing on the formation of private investment funds. Mr Resendiz advises fund managers and sponsors and institutional investors, including university endowments, public employee pension plans and ERISA plans in connection with private fund and other alternative investments.

 

Kenneth C. Nee is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Private Equity & Venture Capital Practice and regularly advises institutional investors including public employee pension plans and endowment plans in connection with investments in private equity funds, real estate funds and various alternative investments.

 

 

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