Prerequisites: The co- or pre- requisite is either a course in corporate law (at Harvard or elsewhere) or employment experience related to alternative investment forms, which need not have been specifically legal. If you have not taken the HLS course, you must contact the instructor for permission to waive the prerequisite.
Exam: No Exam
Students will be asked to submit reaction memos on most weeks.
The course will examine the relationship between institutional investors and each of the principal forms of alternative investment: private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds. The course will compare the legal forms of alternative investment in these areas and review the role of alternative investments in the portfolios of institutional investors. It will also address trends in investment forms initiated by both institutional investors and the PE, VC, or Hedge Fund general partners. These include changes to the terms of limited partnerships that serve as investment vehicles, the phenomenon of "evergreen" funds without fixed terms, and the difficulty of contracting over heterogeneous forms of investment. Examples include co-investing and other special arrangements with favored investors. The course will address recent regulatory and enforcement initiatives for the protection of investors in these alternative forms. Finally, it will touch on the problems of assessing the financial performance of alternative investment vehicle relative conventional investments in the public equity markets.