Pooled Trust Funds

 

What is a Pooled Trust Fund?

Pooled Trust Funds are a better way to manage investments for your high net worth clients. In the past, Investment Managers would offer hedge funds and private equity funds using a complicated and expensive LLC or LP structure. Pooled Trust Funds are Reg D offerings, which means they are exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Pooled Trust Funds are subject to the same Reg D requirements as hedge funds and private equity funds but instead of being a partnership vehicle they are trusts. The result is an offering where Investment Managers and investors feel safer and more secure knowing that there is a trustee behind them.

Why Pooled Trust Funds?

  • Turnkey setup, administration and compliance
  • Checks and balances between the Investment Manager and the Trustee provide peace of mind to investors
  • Efficient way to manage client assets
  • Multiple tax treatment options
  • Accommodates specialized investment offerings
  • Flexibility to design an investment offering with one or more of the following:  
    • Minimum Investment Threshold
    • Management and Performance Fees
    • Traditional or Alternative Investments
    • Lock Up Periods
    • Share Classes
  • Exempt from SEC registration
  • Expand client list and gather more assets

Who Can Sponsor a Pooled Trust Fund?

  • Registered Investment Advisers
  • Family Offices
  • Hedge Fund or Managers
  • Private Equity Fund Managers
  • Real Estate Developers
  • Non Profit Organizations
  • Companies or Corporations
  • Individual Entrepreneurs
  • Foundations
  • Endowments

Investment Opportunities

Unlike a registered mutual fund there are no restrictions when it comes to investments. You may consider a Pooled Trust Fund for the following types of investment strategies:

  • Equities
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives (ie. Options, Swaps, Futures)
  • Real Estate
  • Private Equity
  • Oil & Gas
  • Other Hedge Funds
  • Insurance Products
  • Currencies
  • Loans & Mortgages
  • Other Private Equity Funds

Eligible Investors & Account Types

Pooled Trust Funds are typically limited to Accredited Investors which are investors with a $1 million net worth (excluding their primary residence) or an annual income of over $200,000 annually. As long as an investor is accredited then any account type owned by that investor may be used to fund the subscription. Below are some examples:

  • IRA
  • Trust Account
  • Individual Account
  • Joint Account
  • Corporate Account
  • Defined Benefit Plan
  • Foundation
  • Endowment
 

Pooled Trust Funds FAQ


What is the difference between an Alta Trust pooled trust fund and a limited partnership or LLC? 

Pooled Trust Funds are subject to the Reg D rules like an LLC or LP. The main difference is that the vehicle is a trust and not a partnership or limited liability company. The trust structure gives the Sponsor and the investors more protections and more exibility. For instance an Alta Trust Pooled Trust Fund:

• Provides for checks and balances by having a trustee (Alta Trust) in addition to the Sponsor

• Gives the option of having the Pooled Trust Fund pay the taxes internally or pass through taxes to the investors

• Is a turnkey solution
• Is considerably more cost effective than establishing a partnership

• Provides a structure in which an RIA never takes custody 


What types of investments can make up a Pooled Trust Fund? 

Virtually any type of security or investment can be held in a Pooled Trust Fund. This includes equities, xed income, mutual funds, ETFs, international securities, options, futures, private equity, hedge funds, real estate and so forth. 


What types of investors or accounts can invest in a Pooled Trust Fund? 

An investor must be an accredited investor ($1 million of net worth excluding personal residence or $200,000 in annual income) or a qualified purchaser ($5 million in investments) at the time of investment. As long as an investor meets one of these criteria, they can use virtually any account type to fund the investment. 


Is there a limit to the number of investors? 

To the extent that a Pooled Trust Fund relies on the 3(c)1 exemption (accredited investors) the number of investors is capped at 100. A Pooled Trust Fund relying on the 3(c)7 exemption (quali ed purchasers) is capped at 1,999 investors.


Are there restrictions on fund subscriptions and redemptions?

There typically are but those restrictions are determined by the Sponsor. Subscriptions and redemptions must coincide with a valuation date, which is typically monthly or quarterly.  


Can a Sponsor charge performance fees or invest in other offerings that charge performance fees? 

Yes. If the Sponsor is a registered investment adviser (RIA), it can establish its preference for fees as long as the investors are all “quali ed clients,” which is an intermediate quali cation between accredited investors and quali ed purchasers. Non-RIAs can charge performance fees without meeting the quali ed client rule. 


What is the Sponsor’s role?

The Sponsor is equivalent to the managing member of a limited liability company or general partner of a limited partnership and is responsible for 1) implementing and overseeing the investment strategy, 2) directing the trustee 3) and gathering assets into the Pooled Trust Fund.  


What are the typical cost savings? 

The savings on the set up costs may be as high as 50% in some cases. The ongoing administration cost depends on a variety of factors but is typically 25% less than the average hedge fund administration cost. When other services such as compliance, custody, and performance reporting are considered, the value is much greater. 


Can differing fees be charged to investors? 

Yes, this is accomplished by issuing different share classes. 


I have multiple investment strategies that I would like to offer in a pooled trust fund. Can you do that efficiently? 

Yes, we do that by creating a series offering for the Sponsor, which means there are a series of separate funds that are all governed by the same master trust document.  


Is it permissible to advertise the Pooled Trust Fund? 

Yes, under recent laws as long as certain guidelines are followed. 


Who does the Pooled Trust Fund partnership accounting and the fund valuation? 

Alta Trust handles all of the accounting and fund administration. 


Is an annual audit required? 

No, but it may be in the fund’s best interest to have one. Alta Trust will take the primary role in coordinating with the independent audit rm and supporting the audit.  


Do the same blue sky rules (state reporting and notification requirements) apply to Pooled Trust Funds as they do to partnerships? 

Yes, Alta Trust handles all necessary state lings. 


Who handles the Pooled Trust Fund compliance? 

Alta Trust’s compliance department will provide assistance with the compliance and oversight of the Pooled Trust Fund, subject to the Sponsor’s approval.  


What are the reporting requirements to the investors? 

Alta Trust is responsible for the statements, which are usually sent to the investors monthly or quarterly. 


Can the Pooled Trust Fund pay a commission for new assets? 

Yes, as long as the recipient of the commission is registered with a broker/dealer. 


Do I have to be a registered investment advisor to sponsor a Pooled Trust Fund? 

No, many types of investment professionals, companies, or entities may sponsor a Pooled Trust Fund.