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Representing Ireland’s Funds Industry to Some of the World’s Largest Asset Managers
Tara Doyle is a partner in the asset management and investment funds group of Matheson. She divides her time between Matheson’s Dublin and London office where she is focused on the firm’s London-based clients, as well as supervising Matheson lawyers on secondment in London. The new regime for loan origination funds, as well as difficulties for Cayman-based hedge funds managers in using the private placement regime post -AIFMD, are two of the present opportunities for growing Matheson’s London-based client list.
6.45am: Wake up and get ready for work. I am living in an apartment near St Paul’s in the City of London. It’s just a 20 minute walk to our offices on Bishopsgate, which means that crucially the Tube is not part of my daily commute.
7:15am: Stop off on my way in to work for a blow dry in a hair salon 5 minutes from the apartment. I have an event to attend this evening and have convinced myself that spending 30 minutes having someone else do my hair while I catch up on news and emails is actually an efficient use of my time.
8:00am: Meet a client for breakfast in a restaurant on the 40th floor of our building. Our London offices are at 110 Bishopsgate which, while not quite as iconic as the nearby Gherkin or the Shard, has spectacular views and so it is not difficult to persuade clients to come to our offices for meetings.
This client is one of our larger London based clients and we are meeting to discuss their request for a secondee. We have a policy of regularly sending secondees to our clients to strengthen those relationships and to deepen our lawyers’ understanding of our clients’ businesses. Currently we have three lawyers on secondment in London and part of my role in our London office is to supervise their work and be a local source of advice for them.
9:00am: Arrive at my desk on the slightly less spectacular 16th floor. We have a trainingfocussed policy of office-sharing in Matheson with all offices in our Dublin and London offices designed to accommodate two lawyers. I am currently sharing with Rebecca Cotter, an associate in the group who relocated to London following a client secondment last year.
9:30am: I have a daily catch up call with a London-based client who is establishing their first UCITS in Dublin. We are scheduled to file with the Central Bank this week, so the purpose of this call is to make sure that the comments received from the directors are reflected in the prospectus and business plan. Afterwards I call Frank Farrell, a newly qualified solicitor in our Dublin office who is working with me on this project to let him know how the call went and ensure that we are on track for the filing. Frank is one of six newly qualified lawyers who joined our group this year and is my office mate when I am back in Dublin.
10:00am: Dial into client team meeting. The group is currently comprised of 10 partners and over 50 lawyers and legal executives and acts for approximately 27% of Irish domiciled investment funds (by AUM). The client team meetings are an opportunity to update other team members on the work we are doing for the client and ensure that any relevant regulatory developments that impact on the client are considered. At this team meeting we finalise plans for a client seminar on the new regime for loan originating funds which was recently announced by the Central Bank and which is of particular interest to the client. We will deliver the seminar at the client’s London office and the other client team partner Dualta Counihan and other Dublin based members of the team will fly over for the day.
11:00am: Shay Lydon, another of the partners in the group is in London for a couple of days to meet with his London based clients. While I am in London every week each of the other partners in the group regularly travels over for meetings with clients and potential clients. Shay and I have a meeting in Mayfair to pitch to a potential new hedge fund client. This client has a range of funds in Cayman, but is finding post-AIFMD that private placement of those funds is becoming increasingly challenging. They have decided to establish a regulated fund so that they can avail of the AIFMD passport to raise capital in Europe. Mayfair is an hour’s walk from our offices and I can’t persuade Shay that it would be time well spent, so we take the Tube and get there in 30 minutes. After the meeting we take the prospective client to lunch in Corrigan’s in a bid to subliminally continue the 'Irish excellence' message.
3:00pm: I have a call with Aiden Kelly, our New York resident asset management partner. I am participating in an IFIA roadshow to California next month and Aiden and I are planning some client meetings as part of the trip. Aiden has been in New York for over three years and has built strong connections with the asset management industry in all the major US cities. Making sense of the European regulatory framework is particularly challenging for US managers and having someone as knowledgeable as Aiden on the ground and in their time zone is invaluable.
4:00pm: Dial into the group’s fortnightly education session. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the asset management industry since the financial crisis has been the burden of new regulation. It is imperative that we are able to advise clients on the rules that are in place and any new regulations that are coming down the track. We have a dedicated knowledge management team which is led by one of our partners Liz Grace. Liz and her team organise regular training for lawyers at all levels in the group and a fortnightly meeting to update the entire group on key regulatory developments. Thankfully today’s education session is about a positive development; Michael Jackson, our group head, is presenting to the team on the impending iCAV legislation. Michael has worked very closely with other industry firms and the Irish Department of Finance to establish the legislative framework for the iCAV which was a key initiative in the Irish Government’s IFSC Strategy 2011-2016.
5:00pm: Review the revised drafts of the new UCITS documents which Frank has emailed over to me and confirm with the client that we are good to make the first round filing with the Central Bank in the morning.
6:30pm: Leave the office to co-host our Foreign Lawyers’ event at Devonshire Terrace. This is an annual event for our colleagues in foreign law firms with London offices. We also invite our alumni who are working in London and it is a great opportunity to catch up with former colleagues who are now working as in-house counsel in various asset management firms in London. As it is a firm-wide event many of the Dublin based partners from our Tax, Litigation, Banking and Corporate departments are in town and it promises to be a late night. Just as well I have nothing in the diary early tomorrow.
This piece was first published in the November 2014 issue of Finance Dublin.