Legal market overview in United States

Private equity fundraising continues to boom, with firms reporting a robust and competitive market in which prominent managers are able to raise large funds very quickly. Real estate, infrastructure and technology are key sectors of interest in the private equity space.

For hedge funds, the technology sector presents some of the most attractive opportunities. 2018 saw continued interest in quant funds, and artificial intelligence remains an attractive asset class, with some crossovers into the healthcare field. In spite of the 2017/18 crypto-crash, firms report that managers continue to view cryptocurrencies and other digital assets as potential investment areas.

The ETF space remains a buoyant market, as investors’ interest in passive, rather than active management continues to thrive. Interval funds, which allow investors more freedom to invest in illiquid assets, are another developing area of interest, as their structure allows for more stability in uncertain times.

Further, there has been a hint of consolidation in the private equity market, with manager M&A work on the rise, while in the hedge funds space, there is an increased willingness on the part of managers to use a more creative approach to traditional hedge fund structures, for example, setting up hedge fund structures using private equity strategies, in order to diversify and be able to compete in a challenging market.

Jay Clayton, formerly a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, has come to the end of his second year as SEC chairman.