Isabel K.R. Dische
Asset management partner Isabel Dische co-leads Ropes & Gray’s institutional investors team. Ranked nationwide by Chambers USA for investment funds, she primarily focuses on advising asset managers and institutional investors on matters that span alternative asset classes. Among the clients she counsels are nine of the top 15 secondary buyers and sovereign wealth funds across the globe, including Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, and South Korea.
Isabel is especially skilled at structuring legally complex transactions and is known for “thinking creatively,” being “commercially smart,” and providing “incredibly thoughtful” advice, as clients have told Chambers. With experience as both a funds lawyer and a deal lawyer, Isabel is able to offer a unique perspective when advising clients.
Isabel’s keen sense of the market is grounded in her representation of both fund sponsors and investors, and in the sheer volume of her practice. Her team was named the number one legal adviser by global secondaries deal count and volume in 2020, according to Secondaries Investor. In 2020, the team advised on 225 secondary transactions worth over $72 billion, including fund recapitalizations, preferred equity deals, single-asset recapitalizations, spinouts and classic secondaries transactions, and over 250 co-investment transactions.
In addition to her work with institutional investors, Isabel advises hedge funds and other private funds and their sponsors on fund formation, legal and risk management questions, and firm ownership and operations. She started her career as an associate at Atlas Venture, which one client notes “adds to her insight of how [funds] operate.” She also counsels investment advisers and institutional investors on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and responsible investing.
- Advises various European, Asian and Canadian sovereign investors on their primary, co-investment and secondaries programs.
- Represented a Southeast Asian sovereign investor in two secondary sales of large portfolios of interests with deal sizes of approximately $1.7 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.
- Represented an Asian sovereign investor on the negotiations of a $1+ billion fund-of-one arrangement with a leading credit fund manager.
- Represented a Southeast Asia sovereign wealth fund and a U.K. pension fund on their provision of approximately $500 million warehouse facility for an energy opportunities fund being launched by one of the world’s largest global alternative asset managers. In addition to structuring, the credit facility and negotiating the underlying credit documentation (including a related subscription finance facility), Ropes & Gray advised with respect to underlying derivatives regulatory issues stemming from the structure and negotiated the terms of the fund structure that held the warehoused assets. In tandem, we also advised our clients with respect to co-investments into several of the underlying oil and gas assets being warehoused for the new fund and a related PIPE transaction.
- Represented an asset manager on their sale of nearly 100 fund interests in connection with the liquidation of several fund-of-fund vehicles.
- Represented the lead buyer consortium in a $1.4 billion fund recapitalization transaction involving several different vintages sponsored by a North American private equity sponsor.
- Negotiation of seed capital investments in and on behalf of fund sponsors.
- Represents a U.S. investment adviser with respect to the launch and operation of its over 30 distinct hedge fund strategies, including equity, fixed income, currency, asset allocation and special situation strategies.
- Represents a credit fund manager on their co-investment platform and various SMA/fund-of-one arrangements.
- Represented a U.S. investment manager in connection with a bespoke Brazilian total return swap arrangement in connection with their investment in a portfolio of receivables.
- Represented The Hanover Insurance Group in connection with a $250 million accelerated stock repurchase program.
- Regularly advises “buy side” clients on the negotiation of ISDA master agreements, triparty agreements for collateral posted under ISDA master agreements, securities lending arrangements, Master Repurchase Agreements, Global Master Repurchase Agreements, tri-party custodial undertakings, prime brokerage arrangements, term commitments and securities lending arrangements.
- Regularly advises clients on the implications of Commodity Futures Trading Commission rulemaking, including the rescission of registration exemptions, changes in position limits and aggregation, and the inclusion of swaps in the definitions of commodity pool, commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor.
- Quoted, “Keeping Up With The Evolving PE Secondaries Market,” Law360 (August 30, 2021)
- Quoted, “The value of mentoring in private markets,” Private Equity International (August 23, 2021)
- Featured, “Women of Influence: Secondaries,” Secondaries Investor (July 21, 2021)
- Quoted, “Secondaries Investor Law Firm Survey 2021: GP-leds dominate as firms capitalise on pandemic year,” Secondaries Investor (May 27, 2021)
- Quoted, “The debt-hungry sovereigns taking a steer from fund managers,” Private Debt Investor (May 3, 2021)
- Co-author, “Adapting RWI to Secondary Transactions: Mechanics of the Insurance Policies and Obstacles Posed by Secondaries (Part One of Two),” Private Equity Law Report (April 13, 2021)
- Quoted, “How to ensure a fair secondaries auction,” Private Equity International (February 28, 2021)
- Co-author, “Single Asset Fund Recapitalizations: Key Considerations for Sponsors and Investors,” LexisNexis (February 23, 2021)
- Quoted, “How The Pandemic Could Turbocharge ESG Investing,” Law360 (September 18, 2020)
- Quoted, “Swaps Losses Are Next Worry With Asset-Value Reports Coming Due,” Bloomberg Law (March 19, 2020)
- Quoted, “Market Volatility Threatens to Stymie Secondary Market Boom,” WSJ Pro Private Equity (March 12, 2020)
- Quoted, “Secondaries market in 2020: Big deals and bold predictions,” Private Equity International (March 5, 2020)
- Quoted, “How Fund Managers Can Identify and Mitigate Risks From the SEC’s Increased Focus on ESG Investing (Part Two of Two),” The Private Equity Law Report (January 28, 2020)
- Quoted, “OCIE’s Targeting of ESG Investing Practices in Recent Examinations and What It Means Going Forward (Part One of Two),” The Private Equity Law Report (January 21, 2020)
- Featured, “VIDEO: What’s in store for the secondaries market in 2020?,” Secondaries Investor (January 21, 2020
- Quoted, “Secondary Buyers Get Pickier as Deal Bonanza Continues,” WSJ Pro Private Equity (January 14, 2020)
- Quoted, “Deep Dive: How ESG will become a CFO issue,” Private Funds CFO (December 2, 2019)
- Quoted, “Diversification, Volume and Performance Power Secondary Fundraising Boom,” WSJ Pro Private Equity (May 2019)
- Quoted, “Evolving deal structures ramp up in law firms’ secondaries work,” Secondaries Investor (April 29, 2019)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 4,” Law360 (March 29, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 3,” Law360 (March 28, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 2,” Law360 (March 27, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 1,” Law360 (March 26, 2018)
- Quoted, “Large Tax Bill Looms for Hedge Fund Managers,” FundFire (June 7, 2017)
- Quoted, “How Hedge Fund Managers Can Design an ESG Investing Policy (Part Two of Two),” The Hedge Fund Law Report (November 17, 2016)
- Quoted, “The Past, Present and Future of ESG Investing in the Hedge Fund Industry (Part One of Two),” The Hedge Fund Law Report (November 10, 2016)
- Quoted, “Swap Margin Segregation Decision Awaits IAs,” Compliance Intelligence (April 17, 2014)
- Co-author, “Segregation of Initial Margin Posted in Connection with Uncleared Swaps,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (April 19, 2014)
- Panelist, “Acting in Concert,” PRI in Person (September 11, 2019)
- Moderator, Keynote Panel, “Alternative Investment Outlook,” Private Equity Europe Forum (September 5, 2019)
- Panelist, “LP Capital in Commitment Limbo,” Kayo Women’s Real Estate Summit (June 24, 2019)
- Panelist, “ESG Investing in Private Equity,” ILPA Legal Issues Symposium (April 2, 2019)
- Panelist, “Investor Perspectives,” International Bar Association’s 20th Annual International Conference on Private Investment Funds (March 11, 2019)
- Moderator, “Trends in Secondaries,” Kayo Private Equity Summit (October 3, 2018)
- Panelist, “2017 In Review: The Hedge Funds Industry,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (January 10, 2018)
- Panelist, “Socially Responsible Investing for Asset Managers,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (October 26, 2017)
- Panelist, “Navigating the Regulatory Landscape in Private Equity,” Kayo Women’s Private Markets Summit (October 2, 2017)
- Panelist, “The next 10 years of responsible investment: Signatories’ perspectives,” A Blueprint for Responsible Investment – New York (June 27, 2017)
- Panelist, “A View from Washington: The First 100 Days,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (April 24, 2017)
- Host, Responsible Investments for Institutional Investors in Hedge Funds (November 3, 2016)
- Event Chairperson, iGlobal Forum’s Co-Investment Summit (March 2, 2016)
- Moderator, “Closing The Deal: Case Study In A Successful Co-Investment,” iGlobal Forum’s Co-Investment Summit (March 2, 2016)
- JD, Yale Law School, 2004
- AM (Chemistry), Harvard University, 2000
- AB (Chemistry), summa cum laude, Harvard College, 1998; Goldwater Scholar; Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- New York, 2008
- Massachusetts, 2004
- Texas, 2020
- IFLR1000 (2022)
- Private Equity International - Women of Influence in Private Markets: Cross Asset Class (2021)
- Legal 500 (2020)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2020-2021)
- Chambers Global (2021)
- New York Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2014-2015)