Experience & Clients
Our clients include the advisers and independent directors of many of the largest and best-known funds in the world. We represent more than 2,000 mutual funds, and investment firms ranging from start-up ventures to those with hundreds of billions under management.
Experience with such a large cross-section of the industry—as well as with hedge funds and private equity funds—gives us a depth of knowledge to provide the most authoritative and current advice in an ever-changing investment and regulatory environment.
Our vast experience providing counsel on all areas of the investment management business includes:
We regularly represent funds, their directors and investment advisers in designing and launching innovative products. Recent representations include:
- Allianz Funds in launching several new open-end funds, including the Allianz RCM Redwood Fund, a fund investing primarily in in-the-money buy-writes (long equity positions paired with writing in-the-money call options).
- Natixis Global Asset Management, L.P., Loomis Sayles & Company, L.P. and Alpha Simplex Group LLC in the design, launch and operation of two open-end mutual funds which use complex derivative strategies to pursue their investment objectives. (Loomis Sayles Multi-Asset Real Return Fund and ASG Managed Futures Strategy Fund.)
- Artisan Funds in the establishment, registration and operation of Artisan Global Equity Fund, which invests in a global portfolio of growth-oriented securities.
- RS Investments and RS Funds in the organization of RS Greater China Fund, RS Global Growth Fund and RS Capital Appreciation Fund.
- Pax World Mutual Funds in connection with the launch of ESG Shares, the first family of ETFs devoted exclusively to sustainable investing.
In addition to advising our clients with respect to ongoing regulatory and compliance matters, we frequently assist funds, their directors and investment advisers in a variety of strategic initiatives. Recent representations include:
- Putnam Funds and their independent trustees in implementation of Putnam’s strategic pricing initiative, an innovative and fundamental redesign of mutual fund management fee pricing
- The independent trustees of the Schwab Funds and the Laudus Funds in connection with the consolidation of their previously separate boards into a single board
Mergers & Acquisitions
Acquisition transactions in the investment management business are fast-paced and complicated, and we have the experience to achieve timely, successful results for clients. Recent representations include:
- Columbia Funds in the acquisition of the long-term asset management business of Columbia Management from Bank of America for approximately $1 billion in cash.
- Sterling Capital Funds and Sterling Capital Variable Insurance Trust in a change of control of the Trusts’ investment adviser, BB&T Asset Management, Inc., which merged with and into Sterling Capital Management LLC.
- Highland Capital Management in its purchase of GE Asset Management Inc.'s retail mutual fund business.
- Ashmore Investment Management Ltd. in the acquisition of Emerging Markets Management, LLC, one of the world's pioneering investment firms specializing in the management of emerging market equities.
- Managers Funds and Managers Investment Group, LLC, in the reorganization of several Allianz Funds sub-advised by Cadence Capital Management into newly organized funds on the Managers Funds platform.
Our seasoned litigators have set the gold standard in defense of the investment management industry. Recent matters include representing:
- Harris Associates in the U.S. Supreme Court case (Jones v. Harris Associates L.P.) that set the standard for determining "excessive fee" claims against mutual fund advisers under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
- State Street, in multiple federal actions, including ERISA and securities class actions, stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis. In re State Street Bank & Trust Co. Fixed Income Funds Litigation (MDL S.D.N.Y. 2008) includes a putative class action on behalf of mutual fund shareholders in one of State Street's "ultra-short" bond funds. Plaintiffs allege that the funds' prospectuses were misleading because they failed to disclose the full risks to shareholders from the funds' exposure to subprime mortgage-backed securities. On March 31, 2011, Judge Holwell of the Southern District of New York dismissed the complaint with prejudice finding that “no connection between the alleged material misstatement and a diminution in the security's value has been or could be alleged.”
Ropes & Gray represents a variety of United States-based investment management firms, ranging from some of the nation’s largest firms, with hundreds of billions of dollars under management, to start-up ventures. We also counsel non-U.S. investment firms and other financial institutions with respect to their U.S. activities and operations. Our clients include:
- Allianz Global Investors
- Baillie Gifford Overseas Ltd.
- Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
- DoubleLine Funds
- Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., LLC
- Harris Associates
- Independent Trustees of VanEck Vectors ETF Trust
- Independent Trustees of Nationwide Mutual Funds
- Independent Trustees of Schwab Funds and Laudus Funds
- Martin Currie Inc.
- Natixis Global Asset Management
- Pacific Investment Management Company LLC
- Putnam Funds
- State Street Bank and Trust Co.