How Rated Note Structures Enable Fund Managers to Raise Funds From Insurers in the U.S. and Beyond

With trillions of dollars available for investing, insurance capital is a deep pool in which many fund managers would like to take a long swim; however, that pool often requires special equipment before a fund manager can dip its toes. The private funds industry has pursued several types of solution to the problem, the latest of which is the launch of rated note funds with bifurcated equity and debt components. That approach has numerous merits and is widely embraced by the industry, but its adoption depends on final approval by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In a guest article, Dechert partners Christopher P. Duerden and Lindsay J. Trapp provide insights on that evolving niche of the market and the current state of play as insurers and fund managers pursue a workable solution. Specifically, this article addresses the features that make insurers unique investors, options fund managers can offer insurers, potential impediments to rated note funds as the solution, key regulatory considerations at play and a potential timeline for NAIC’s ruling on the structure’s viability. For coverage of other unique fund structures, see “Merits of the Pledge Fund Model and Attendant Fund Formation Issues to Consider (Part One of Two)” (Jun. 16, 2020); and “Closed‑End Funds of PE Funds: Relative Merits of Registration Options and an Infinite‑Life Structure (Part One of Two)” (Jun. 2, 2020).

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