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ERISA Retirement Plans: Mitigating Liability Risks for Hedge and Private Equity Fund Alternative Investments

Exercising Due Diligence to Avoid Investment Landmines for Investors and Fund Managers

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, June 20, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide ERISA and asset management counsel with a review of due diligence practices for fund managers, trustees and plan administrators. The panel will offer best practices to mitigate regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits by plan participants.


ERISA’s fiduciary rules and heightened attention on compliance means ERISA plans are subject to enhanced scrutiny, including with respect to plan investments. Plans that invest in alternatives, such as hedge funds and private equity funds, must focus on vetting asset managers, doing sufficient due diligence, and negotiating appropriate protections with asset managers. Otherwise, plan fiduciaries risk claims of breach of their ERISA fiduciary duties, including with respect to poor governance and excessive risk-taking in their plans’ investments.

In order to attract and retain ERISA plan investment capital, it is vitally important that asset managers fully understand their ERISA obligations in operating hedge funds, private equity funds, and other alternative investment funds. Consequently, counsel to these investment managers must fully grasp and guide their clients on full compliance with the duties of ERISA fiduciaries to plans and their participants.

Listen as our experienced panel of ERISA counsel provides guidance on the legal and investment framework and risks that must be considered by alternative asset managers.



  1. ERISA fiduciary duties for institutional investors and asset managers
    1. Hedge funds and private equity funds compared to traditional investments
    2. “Plan assets” status
    3. ERISA fiduciary duties
    4. Prohibited transaction considerations and exemption strategies
    5. Specific issues
      1. Fee arrangements
      2. Valuation
      3. Indemnification
      4. Liquidity
      5. Disclosure
  2. Liability
  3. Due diligence planning


The panel will review these and other relevant questions:

  • What are the regulatory concerns for ERISA plans that allocate assets to hedge funds and private equity funds?
  • What are the potential consequences for alternative asset managers that fail to comply with their ERISA fiduciary obligations?
  • How should alternative asset managers prepare to comply with their fiduciary standards?


Ryan, Alexander
Alexander P. Ryan

Partner, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Mr. Ryan is a partner in the Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Department, specializing in ERISA Title I...  |  Read More

Santos, Tiffany
Tiffany N. Santos

Trucker Huss

Ms. Santos counsels employers and multiemployer trusts on all aspects of their employee benefit plans, including...  |  Read More

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