Partner Profiles

Sam Kay

Sam joined Travers Smith as a trainee in 1998 and he became a partner in 2008 (after a short interlude to pursue a dream of climbing Mount Everest - summiting on 20 May 2007). Sam heads up the Investment Funds group and specialises in fund formation work for a wide range of private funds.

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Head of Investment Funds:
Sam Kay

Private Funds

Our Private Funds practice covers a wide range of alternative investment fund structures with particular focus on private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt funds.

We advise on all aspects of fund formation, including: advice to determine the most appropriate structure (including offshore options) that will best fit the investment strategy, investor base and requirements of the management team; the FCA authorisation process for UK-based sponsors or investment advisers; AIFMD considerations, including relating to operational requirements and marketing in the EU; regulatory capital requirements; and negotiating fund terms with investors.

We also act for a large number of institutional investors participating in funds.  The experience of acting for GPs/managers and investors gives a 360° perspective, ensuring we have a comprehensive understanding of market trends and an ability to focus on key investor protection issues.  Other core work for the Private Funds practice includes advice on executive co-investment and carry arrangements, acting for secondary funds and funds of funds, acting on secondary direct transactions and advising on direct co-investments for LPs.

Our involvement does not stop when a fund is launched.  In fact, our experience is distinguishable from many in this sector in that we have specialist strength beyond the formation of a new fund.

  • We have significant experience working on internal restructurings, such as LLP conversions, succession planning or management spin-outs
  • Increasingly, regulatory advice is a vital requirement for Private Fund clients.  For a number of years, we have been at the forefront of understanding the European Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and its implications for the industry.  Our flagship regulatory practice provides advice on a wide range of matters, from day-to-day issues to complex aspects of investment and trading (with particular specialism in advising hedge fund managers on the market abuse regime and shareholder activism)
  • Our finance group advises GPs and lenders on fund finance transactions such as limited partner bridge facilities
  • We are one of the leading firms on advisory work for hedge funds.  We provide wide-ranging advice, including on proposed public takeovers, merger arbitrage advice, short-selling issues and activist matters
  • Our regulatory investigations group provides advice on FCA investigations and wider litigation strategy

We aim to be a trusted adviser, building long-term relationships, assisting with day-to-day issues as well as standing alongside clients through crisis management.

Highlights of our recent work includes advising:

  • Abris Capital Partners, a private equity group focused on Central and Eastern Europe, on the €450m fundraising of Abris CEE Mid-Market Fund II LP
  • Benson Elliot on the successful fundraising of Benson Elliot Real Estate
    Partners III LP, with commitments in excess of €500m
  • Aberdeen Asset Managers on the merger of four Cayman Islands funds of hedge
    funds with combined assets under management in excess of US$600m and the
    formation of the new vehicle, Aberdeen International Multi-Strategy Fund
    Limited
  • Elysian Capital on its establishment as a new UK-based private equity firm and
    the formation of its debut fund, Elysian Capital I LP, with commitments of
    £130m
  • Kester Capital on the formation of its second private equity fund, with commitments of approximately £87 million, and an associated restructuring of its first fund
  • Njord Partners, a special situations investment manager with a focus on European lower mid-market companies, on the formation of Njord Partners SMA-Seal LP, a bespoke structure to facilitate investment be a significant European investor in credit opportunities at all seniority levels within the capital structure
  • London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) on its £500m joint venture with Greater Manchester Pension Fund to invest in a range of infrastructure assets
  • The Hermes Infrastructure team on the successful fundraising of the £1bn Hermes GPE Infrastructure Fund
  • Renshaw Bay, an independent asset manager focussing on investment opportunities resulting from dislocations and structural changes in the global credit markets, on the formation of Renshaw Bay Real Estate Finance Fund, a fund focussed on commercial real estate lending in Western Europe with commitments of £356m, and on the formation of Renshaw Bay Structured Finance Opportunities Fund
  • Kings Park Capital, the UK-based private equity group focused on the leisure sector, on the successful fundraising of Kings Park Capital Fund II LP, including a dedicated co-investment programme for certain investors
  • Establishment of the social impact fund manager, Social and Sustainable Capital LLP and the launch of its first two funds, the Community Investment Fund and the Third Sector Loan Fund
  • Advising CEE Equity Partners on the launch of the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Co-operation Fund with commitments of $500m
  • Institutional investors, such as Hermes GPE, Aberdeen Asset Managers, BAE Systems Pension Fund and LPFA on their participation in a wide range of funds