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Mourant Ozannes in Hedgeweek USA Awards 2013

Jim MunsellThe Hedgeweek USA Awards 2013 presented earlier this month in New York City brought together the leading names in the US hedge funds industry to celebrate the achievements of the best performing managers and service providers in 2012.

Delivering the opening remarks at the Awards, Jim Munsell, Partner, Sidley Austin, LLP, highlighted a number of significant business and regulatory developments for alternative investment funds and their managers. He concluded, “Most of the recent developments have served to increase barriers to entry, increase costs, and compress operating margins. Nevertheless, this remains a great business to be in, with tremendous opportunities for wealth creation for those with sufficient capital and a willingness to embrace the new realities of the post-crisis alternative asset management world.”

With the much-anticipated liberalisation of hedge fund marketing regulations, managers at the event agreed the challenge for hedge funds in the USA this year is to maintain performance in the face of significant competition from other investment sectors.

To ensure that nominees for the fund manager awards were selected not just for their performance and size, but also for sound qualitative reasons, Hedgeweek commissioned Marianne Scordel of Bougeville Consulting to research the top three performers in each of the hedge fund strategies during 2012. The list of nominees was then sent to Hedgeweek’s readers, who were asked to nominate the top manager in each strategy (see list of winners below).

The winners were determined by the votes of Hedgeweek’s 41,000 readers, who include institutional investors, wealth managers, fund managers and other industry professionals at firms including fund administrators, prime brokers, custodians, law firms and advisers.

Bougeville Consulting’s overview and analysis, along with the complete list of top three managers in each strategy follows.


Hedgeweek 2013 USA Awards Winners List

Best Macro Manager                                                 Swiss Seagull AG

Best Event driven Activist Manager                        Jana Partners LLC

Best Event driven Merger Arbitrage Manager      Paulson Investment Company Inc

Best Event driven distressed Manager                   HG Vora Capital Management

Best Event driven Multi-Strategy Manager           Numen Capital LLP

Best Relative Value convertible Bond Arbitrage Manager           HFR Asset Management LLC

Best Relative Value Volatility Arbitrage Manager LJM Partners Ltd

Best Relative Value Multi-Strategy Funds Manager          Barnegat Fund

Management Inc

Best Equity Short Bias Manager      Silvercreek Management Inc

Best Equity Market Neutral Manager         Bayou City Capital LP

Best North American Index Provider         Hedge Fund Research Inc

Best North American Hedge Fund Administrator Admiral Administration (US) LLC Highly commended North American Fund Administrator  Opus Fund Services

Best Offshore Hedge Fund Administrator Meridian         Fund Services (USA) LLC

Best Prime Broker                             Concept Capital Markets LLC

Best North American Hedge Fund Research Provider      BTIG LLC

Best Managed Accounts Platform   Lyxor Asset Management Inc

Best Seeding Platform          Tiger Management

Best Risk Management Software Provider                         CurAlea Associates LLC

Best Fund Accounting and Reporting Systems Firm         SunGard VPM LLP

Best Managed Account Platform Technology Firm           Eze Castle Integration

Best North American trading Venue           Liquidnet Inc

Best North American Accounting Firm       Anchin Block & Anchin LLP

Best North American regulatory Advisory firm     Turnkey Trading Partners

Best North American Public relations Firm            Walek & Associates

Best North American Law Firm                   Sidley Austin LLP

Best Offshore Law Firm                            Mourant Ozannes

Best North American third Party Marketing Firm            Agecroft Partners LLC

Mourant Ozannes – Best Offshore Law Firm

From Mourant Ozannes

We believe that our investment funds group in Cayman has made great strides in the last few years. We’ve recruited some excellent people and have also been joined by some outstanding lateral hires,” comments Neal Lomax (pictured), managing partner of Mourant Ozannes’ Cayman Islands Office and co-head of its investment funds practice.

Mourant Ozannes is the largest offshore law firm in Jersey and Guernsey, and is the market leader in both jurisdictions. Last year saw the firm open up offices in Hong Kong and BVI, and move into state of the art new premises at the Camana Bay development in Cayman.

“The intention has always been to replicate that quality of our offering in the Channel Islands in Cayman, and I think we’ve made very good progress towards achieving that goal,” says Lomax.

“To grab market share we have focused intensely on the client service aspect of the business. A lot of clients and onshore counsel have been looking for an alternative Cayman law firm to deal with, so that’s been good for us,” adds James Wauchope, co-head of the investment funds practice with Lomax.

Currently, the Cayman office boasts a team of approximately 70 staff.  Mourant Ozannes is one of the largest offshore law firms with approximately 450 staff.

“A key differentiator for Mourant Ozannes is the level of focus we bring to client service.” The legal advice provided, says Lomax, is both “pragmatic and commercial. Partner accessibility and involvement helps set us apart from some of our competitors.”

This mindset applies to funds of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups through to large investment managers. No matter who the client, they all benefit from partner accessibility and oversight.

“Our partners don’t disappear after the initial engagement. We remain actively involved. Our partners have extensive experience in setting up Cayman hedge funds. That translates into being able to get to the nub of issues right away. And it’s something our clients really appreciate.”

The Mourant Ozannes’ Cayman Islands investment funds practice is now regarded by an increasing number of onshore counsel as one of the highest quality offerings in the Cayman Islands, and by clients as a trusted and dependable extension of their own legal and compliance teams.

Mourant Ozannes has continued to increase US market share over the past year. Wauchope comments: “We are working on a number of fund launches for new hedge fund managers at the moment so the market seems quite positive. Numbers are certainly up on what they were 18 months ago.” Lomax agrees that compared to a year ago, the capital raising opportunities for start-ups seems to have improved.

Wauchope says that Cayman remains the domicile of choice for funds set up for Hong Kong based managers. “Cayman is also a popular jurisdiction for investors in the Middle East and Latin America. Last year, for example, we set up a number of funds for Brazilian investors both for large institutional managers and for smaller managers.”

To further underscore the firm’s growing reputation in the Cayman Islands, Mourant Ozannes was a platinum sponsor with Deutsche Bank AG and Paladyne at the inaugural Cayman Alternative Investment Summit held in November 2012. Lomax chaired the second day of the Summit and Wauchope also spoke in addition to keynote speakers that included former US president George W. Bush and Sir Richard Branson.




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