Emerging trends in offshore subscription finance deals

By Deborah Poole

The fund-raising market continues to be challenging for alternative investment funds. With the withdrawal of many high-net-worth investors following the financial downturn and the scarcity of traditional bank financing, sponsors have had to look for alternative sources of capital to bridge the funding gap. At the same time, the alternative fund landscape has experienced (or is in the process of experiencing) significant regulatory change and uncertainty, particularly in North America and Europe.

However, the subscription finance market is thriving. This is not surprising as it has experienced few defaults historically, and is therefore attractive to lenders. There is also evidence that pension funds, endowments, public investors and sovereign wealth fund investors are increasing their investments into actively managed alternative funds to access opportunities in their struggle to find returns. After all, global equities have been underwater since 2007 and are not expected to recover from their financial crisis losses before 2015 (having halved in value not once, but twice in a decade), real interest rates are negative in some parts of the world and government-guaranteed investments are no longer seen as risk free.

Our various offices have been actively involved in structuring and providing advice to numerous subscription finance deals and have identified some recent and emerging trends…

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