Encompassing the alternative asset classes and institutional investors, our private capital industry group brings together private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, infrastructure funds, hedge funds and family offices.
Convergence across the asset classes continues irrespective of the uncertainty presented by an evolving geopolitical and regulatory landscape. From the impact of oil prices on sovereign wealth funds to increased legal and regulatory scrutiny across alternative asset classes and a highly competitive marketplace in all areas, investors continue to seek opportunities. By casting their nets wider in search of untapped potential – be it new sectors or regions – and diversifying their strategies and sources of capital for transactions, the private capital segment continues to change as it engages in increasingly complex and sophisticated transactions.
Working with our clients across the sector, Shearman & Sterling's global, multidisciplinary team has deep knowledge and experience in advising the funds and investors which comprise the private capital industry. Our integrated global platform is uniquely positioned to assist our clients with formation, compliance, transactional, regulatory and tax matters worldwide, including complex cross-border matters.
We are qualified to provide advice under U.S., U.K. and EU legal regulatory regimes, as well as the laws of France, Germany and Hong Kong, and can guide you through the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly evolving and highly complex private capital industry. We are focused on providing our clients with solutions-oriented and practical advice to accomplish their required objectives on time.
With more than a century of experience in the investment space and a presence in the world’s major financial centers of New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, São Paulo, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi and Washington, DC, we have helped clients pursue investments in all major asset classes and in locations around the globe.
Shearman & Sterling is a leading international law firm with substantial experience advising single- and multi- family offices, private clients and family-run businesses on all their legal, regulatory, compliance and general business needs across the globe. Our interdisciplinary team of lawyers is attuned to the complexity and the challenges — legal, business and personal — involved in owning and running a family business as well as other family interests.
Recognizing that no two family businesses are the same, we make it a priority to get to know our clients and understand their culture and goals to allow us to create customized solutions aligned with their objectives. We guide families and their investment teams as they navigate decisions related to their investment portfolios, real estate holdings, estate and tax planning, employee compensation matters and multi-generational issues. Serving as trusted advisors to our clients, we offer a highly responsive and comprehensive service, while always maintaining an exceptional degree of privacy and discretion.
For a number of years, the hedge fund industry has seen rapid global growth with an unprecedented amount of assets currently under management. While the North American market maintains its position as the geographical industry hub, developments — both business and geopolitical — across Europe, Asia and increasingly the emerging markets mean that the industry must continuously evolve.
With regulatory and compliance issues impacting the industry, hedge funds and their investors need highly skilled advisors, who provide both excellent legal technical advice combined with a practical and solutions-oriented perspective to assist clients in achieving their objectives. Shearman & Sterling is a long-time trusted counsel to many of the world's largest and most successful hedge fund firms, an array of emerging managers and numerous other market participants that have played pivotal roles in shaping the hedge fund industry. We know how to navigate the various challenges presented to the industry and how to field the right teams to address the required multi-disciplinary solutions required to address them.
Private debt capital has grown exponentially during the past decade, and in particular over the last five years. As banks have continued to face increasing regulatory and other market pressures, new opportunities have arisen for private debt capital to provide debt capital for borrowers who cannot otherwise access the syndicated loan markets. With a strong track record of delivering stable returns throughout market cycles; relatively superior protections when compared with traditional bonds and competitive returns, private debt capital with its key components — mezzanine financings, distressed debt and direct lending — is an established aspect of institutional portfolios.
While the majority of private debt funds and investors are located in North America or Europe, the exposure to private debt by investors in Asia and the rest of the world is steadily rising. Leveraging Shearman & Sterling's highly-regarded global finance group and working in tandem with both funds and investors at every stage of the capital structure, we are well suited to deliver solution for our private debt capital clients.
In today's market, the Private Equity industry is faced with an ever changing and highly competitive landscape. Operating within an evolving regulatory framework, facing ever increasing calls for transparency and set against the backdrop of a fluctuating global economy private equity requires a nimble, practical and multidisciplinary approach. Likewise, competition for assets in certain industries is intense and valuations remain high. Nonetheless, there are record levels of dry powder in circulation, investor sentiment for the asset class is positive and the industry has repeatedly proved that it can withstand multiple challenges and business cycles.
Shearman & Sterling has a strong record of working with private equity funds, portfolio companies and investors. From fund inception to exit strategies, deal execution and financing to portfolio company management, we are actively involved in all aspects of the private equity life cycle. Our global footprint combined with our tightly-knit partnership, allows us to help clients achieve their objectives on time and to pursue assets under highly competitive auctions or other challenging circumstances. We focus on providing excellent legal services together with practical and solutions-oriented advice to accomplish our clients' objectives.
From sizeable real estate investments and major infrastructure projects, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors — notably pension funds and infrastructure funds — have typically followed a traditional approach to their investment strategies. Yet recent geopolitical uncertainty and the continued stagnation of oil prices means mounting pressure to reconsider the approach for allocating investments and managing risks. Diversification, co-investments and careful industry and regional allocation is now key in a bid to preserve wealth for future generations and returns for beneficiaries.
As a trusted partner to a range of investment funds, Shearman & Sterling understands your preferred investment strategies, working hand-in-hand with you on your most complex and significant deals. As markets shift and you look to diversify, draw on the skills and experience of global teams for innovative approaches to a new world of challenges.