Last month I joined several of my Cayman colleagues in the
bright lights of New York for the Funds Finance Association's
snappily named 6th Annual Global Funds Finance Symposium. And
yes – we did remember to pack our thermals!
The Funds Finance Association mainly concentrates on
subscription finance – lending against the uncalled
commitments of the investors (for more details please see
my previous blog. But it also covers other parts of lending to
funds. The event was attended by all the major players in the
industry, including Harneys, who was one of the sponsors of the
Judging by the number of banks and pension companies that were
attending for the first time, it looks like the subscription
finance market will continue to go from strength to strength. It
has certainly come a long way since its infancy and there are now
over US$200 billion in global lender commitments. I remember the
utter confusion from the lawyers acting on one of the first
subscription financings from 2005/06, when they were told that the
bank didn't need to look at the details of the purchase being
financed as it would not be taking security over the purchased
assets. And that was in the laissez-faire days before the credit
The pick of the panel discussions was the "General Partner
and Management Loans" which covered how banks are lending to
managers and GPs. That panel was closely followed by the
"Structuring Panel" which our own
Matt Taber was a panelist on, and, I am told, was
Thoughts from the floor on market trends for 2016 were mixed,
but a popular view was that the market was swinging away from the
larger fund managers and preferring managers with proven track
records and transparency. A lot of predictions revolved around the
upcoming US elections. As the symposium's keynote speaker
observed, the expression "may you live in interesting
times" seems very appropriate with the field of US
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