Funds - APAC

The CMS APAC funds team offers expert advice at every stage of the fund lifecycle – from licensing, planning and launch through governance, ops, restructuring and exit.

We work with both GPs and LPs on fund launches, investments and closings. We also advise on day-to-day operational matters and stand-alone transactions, co-investments and JVs. Our funds clients include global asset managers, institutional investors, funds of funds, first time fund managers, family offices and entrepreneurs. 

The funds industry is changing at unprecedented speed. The impact of technology, AI and the blockchain are challenging some of the until-now universally acknowledged truths of the fund management sector, creating both challenges and opportunities for market participants. We actively engage with our clients to help them embrace the opportunities and navigate the challenges. 
 
Similarly, Environmental, Social and Governance issues have leapt to the forefront of investors’ and managers’ minds in recent years, with the APAC region presenting particular challenges as the three pillars of ESG are adopted and embraced at varying speeds across the region. We are well-placed to take lessons learned from Europe and elsewhere and apply them to our clients’ businesses through an APAC lens.
 
We combine deep experience in the region with the commitment to learn, adapt and innovate with our clients. Whether you are a manager or an investor, a seasoned operator or are new to the market, the CMS Funds team in APAC can provide the support that you need, however you are involved in the funds sector. 

The CMS Global Funds Team comprises over 130 specialist funds lawyers, including sizeable teams in the following jurisdictions:

Other jurisdictions we are active in: Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Romania, Ukraine, US regulatory.

Find the latest CMS funds updates on LinkedIN

You can find relevant #CMSFunds LinkedIn content here.

Market recognition

"They have been mentors to us as well as legal advisers. Their advice is very pragmatic, they are easy to get in touch with and they are very hands-on."

Chambers

"In real estate in particular their fund work is very strong; they really tailor their work to their clients (…) there are no cookie-cutter solutions; they have the capability to work for clients who are doing something unique and unusual."

Chambers

"Matthew Nortcliff is 'a standout partner who delivers an excellent level of client service while being commercially sensitive to the wider transaction (…) Balancing efficiency, client focus, pragmatism and sound advice is often difficult, but Matthew does it exceptionally well.'"

Chambers
Singa­pore Vari­able Cap­it­al Com­pany (VCC) Guide
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CMS Ex­pert Guide to private place­ment of funds rules and law
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Im­pact of AI & Tech­no­logy on the Funds sec­tor
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01/06/2022
CMS Next
What’s next? In a world of ever-ac­cel­er­at­ing change, stay­ing ahead of the curve and know­ing what’s next for your busi­ness or sec­tor is es­sen­tial.At CMS, we see ourselves not only as your leg­al ad­visers but also as your busi­ness part­ners. We work to­geth­er with you to not only re­solve cur­rent is­sues but to an­ti­cip­ate fu­ture chal­lenges and in­nov­ate to meet them.With our latest pub­lic­a­tion, CMS Next, our ex­perts will reg­u­larly of­fer you in­sights in­to and fresh per­spect­ives on a range of is­sues that busi­nesses have to deal with – from ESG agen­das to re­struc­tur­ing after the pan­dem­ic or fa­cing the di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. We will also share with you more about the work that we are do­ing for our cli­ents, help­ing them in­nov­ate, grow and mit­ig­ate risk.To be able to provide you with the best sup­port, we im­merse ourselves in your world to un­der­stand your leg­al needs and chal­lenges. However, it is equally im­port­ant that you know who we are and how we can work with you. So, we in­vite you to meet our ex­perts and catch a glimpse of what is hap­pen­ing in­side CMS.En­joy read­ing this pub­lic­a­tion, which we will up­date reg­u­larly with new con­tent.CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
05/04/2022
Back to Ba­sics brief­ings
CMS Funds Group Back to Ba­sics brief­ings in­tend to provide high level in­sights re­gard­ing funds fun­da­ment­als, funds vehicles and op­er­a­tion­al con­sid­er­a­tions New brief­ings are pub­lished on a reg­u­lar basis, cov­er­ing a spe­cif­ic jur­is­dic­tion or top­ic, and provid­ing ba­sic es­sen­tial tech­nic­al ex­plan­a­tions.
25/01/2022
In­vest­ing in Web3: The fu­ture of VC funds?
This art­icle is pro­duced by CMS Hol­born Asia, a Form­al Law Al­li­ance between CMS Singa­pore and Hol­born Law LLC. What is Web3? Those fa­mil­i­ar with the ad­vent and de­vel­op­ment of de­cent­ral­ised ledger tech­no­logy...
10/01/2022
Tech­no­logy: a uni­fy­ing force
Com­pan­ies of­ten talk about the scourge of the silo, the farm­ing stor­age meta­phor that has come to rep­res­ent teams or de­part­ments that op­er­ate on their own. However, with tech­no­logy trans­form­ing vir­tu­ally every in­dustry on the plan­et, col­lab­or­a­tion across sec­tors has be­come es­sen­tial. Ad­di­tion­ally, the COV­ID-19 crisis has high­lighted the cru­cial role tech­no­logy, spe­cific­ally con­nectiv­ity, plays as the back­bone of our busi­ness world across all sec­tors, and once COV­ID-19 is brought un­der con­trol or even erad­ic­ated, it will prove es­sen­tial for so­cial and eco­nom­ic prosper­ity. For­ging links in di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects Jonath­an Dames, a part­ner at CMS in Lon­don, says that his team’s prac­tice tra­di­tion­ally centred on so­cial and eco­nom­ic in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy fin­ance, but is in­creas­ingly shift­ing to­wards di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects, in­clud­ing fibre net­works and data centres.He says that these kinds of pro­jects re­quire close col­lab­or­a­tion between tra­di­tion­al pro­jects and pro­ject fin­ance law­yers and their col­leagues in Tech­no­logy, Me­dia & Com­mu­nic­a­tions (TMC), “We al­ways had cros­sov­er, and en­joyed great col­lab­or­a­tion with both the In­fra­struc­ture & Pro­jects and En­ergy Sec­tor Groups, for ex­ample, but now we are work­ing with the TMC Sec­tor Group much more closely be­cause we are fa­cing reg­u­lat­ory is­sues and re­gimes that we have nev­er faced be­fore such as Code Powers, the re­quire­ments of the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Act and re­lated le­gis­la­tion.“CMS has ex­tens­ive in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy and tele­coms ex­pert­ise and is able to bring it all to­geth­er to cre­ate the skill set re­quired to de­liv­er long-term pro­ject fin­an­cing to tech­no­logy-based in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.”Ad­di­tion­ally, the fund­ing of di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects, such as the 10,000km El­laLink sub­sea cable between Brazil and Por­tugal, de­mands more com­plic­ated fin­an­cing struc­tures to cov­er the re­lated risks and cre­ate the op­tim­al cap­it­al stack to get the best all-in pri­cing. This has in­volved us­ing mezzan­ine fin­ance and vendor fin­an­cing for con­struc­tion, with a view to at­tract­ing cheap­er op­er­a­tion­al peri­od fin­an­cing in the me­di­um term. A sub­sea cable, cross­ing in­ter­na­tion­al wa­ters and land­ing in mul­tiple leg­al jur­is­dic­tions, is not, un­der­stand­ably, ex­posed to the same po­ten­tial threats and per­ils as a hos­pit­al or a con­ven­tion­al power sta­tion or a wind farm on a single site. So, not all the usu­al rules, mar­ket norms, leg­al con­structs and stand­ard mit­ig­ants ne­ces­sar­ily fit for a fin­an­cing of this type of as­set. Rise of the ma­chines The CMS In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty (IP) Group has un­sur­pris­ingly been at the fore­front of tech­no­lo­gic­al in­nov­a­tion, sup­port­ing cli­ents in the iden­ti­fic­a­tion, pro­tec­tion and com­mer­cial­isa­tion of their IP as­sets. Tom Scourfield, Co-Head of the group, is based in Lon­don and Warsaw, two cit­ies well-known for their tech­no­logy in­cub­a­tion. He ob­serves, “We are not only see­ing an in­crease in the use of tech­no­logy in col­lab­or­a­tion, but much more fre­quently, col­lab­or­a­tion with tech­no­logy it­self.”Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) is a grow­ing area of fo­cus. Pat­ent ap­plic­a­tions for AI tech­no­lo­gies have in­creased by 170,000 since 2013, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by the World In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice (WIPO). In the field of AI pat­ents, there is cur­rently a fas­cin­at­ing de­bate around the ques­tion of pat­entab­il­ity of in­ven­tions cre­ated by AI ma­chines them­selves. Ac­cord­ing to Tom Scourfield, “Bey­ond pat­ents, we are also see­ing an in­creased use of AI in de­tect­ing and mon­it­or­ing coun­ter­feits and oth­er on­line brand harms. AI is also be­ing used to sup­ple­ment and sup­port the ana­lys­is of sim­il­ar­it­ies between com­pet­ing brands, wheth­er in terms of brand clear­ance or in­fringe­ment scen­ari­os.”Whatever de­vel­op­ments AI and oth­er in­nov­a­tion may bring, he thinks that one thing is cer­tain, “As IP law­yers, we al­ways have to be for­ward-think­ing, look­ing to pro­tect and se­cure com­pet­it­ive ad­vant­ages for our cli­ents in mar­kets and op­por­tun­it­ies that are not even fully es­tab­lished yet.” Pi­on­eer­ing new products Lon­don Funds part­ner Chris­toph­er Luck sees a real ap­pet­ite for new types of as­sets from the funds com­munity. He says that di­git­al tech­no­lo­gies are trans­form­ing the back-of­fices of as­set man­agers and are im­prov­ing the cus­tom­er ex­per­i­ence. Fund man­agers are be­com­ing bet­ter at stor­ing and har­ness­ing data, us­ing block­chain tech­no­lo­gies and plat­forms to make on­board­ing of know your cus­tom­er (KYC) in­form­a­tion and data pro­tec­tion a more stream­lined pro­cess. The use of smart con­tracts is also be­com­ing more pre­val­ent. Chris­toph­er Luck notes that the ad­vent of token­isa­tion, the pro­cess of con­vert­ing real as­sets in­to di­git­al rep­res­ent­a­tions (tokens) on a block­chain, has opened up the in­vest­ment mar­ket to a broad­er range of in­sti­tu­tion­al and re­tail in­vestors. “By demo­crat­ising or cre­at­ing more op­por­tun­it­ies for in­vestors, this is provid­ing ad­di­tion­al li­quid­ity in­to a num­ber of sec­tors, most not­ably real es­tate.” He says, “We are see­ing tokens at their most ad­vanced in the United States and Asia, and grow­ing in the UK and Europe.”  Un­der­stand­ing new en­vir­on­ments  In oth­er more tra­di­tion­al sec­tors, law­yers are in­creas­ingly be­ing ex­pec­ted to provide ad­vice on how to deal with the chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies that tech­no­logy provides.Mark Ziek­man, Co-Head of the CMS Con­sumer Products Group, says, “In the con­sumer goods sec­tor, block­chain is mak­ing an im­pact, provid­ing the sup­ply chain and cus­tom­ers with a great­er de­gree of con­fid­ence in the proven­ance of a product and wheth­er it meets key sus­tain­ab­il­ity cri­ter­ia.”Cus­tom­ers, par­tic­u­larly mil­len­ni­als, are in­creas­ingly de­mand­ing in­form­a­tion around trace­ab­il­ity and audit­ab­il­ity to have con­fid­ence in FM­CG com­pan­ies, lo­gist­ics com­pan­ies and re­tail­ers.Fur­ther­more, Mark Ziek­man be­lieves that tech­no­logy in gen­er­al has played a pivotal role in ad­dress­ing wide­spread busi­ness dis­rup­tion caused by COV­ID-19, en­abling com­pan­ies to trans­form their busi­ness mod­els. Good ex­amples are res­taur­ants which al­most in­stant­an­eously changed their busi­ness mod­el to provide takeaways and food de­liv­er­ies. Shops shif­ted their fo­cus to selling on­line. These changes will not dis­ap­pear in the af­ter­math of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic. Shift­ing reg­u­lat­ory land­scapes Reg­u­lat­ors con­tin­ue to face the on­go­ing chal­lenge of keep­ing pace with in­nov­a­tion and the new mar­ket dy­nam­ics it cre­ates. ESG factors have come to the fore in the minds of reg­u­lat­ors as well and this think­ing is only go­ing to in­tensi­fy. Cristina Reich­mann, a Bucharest based part­ner in the CMS Bank­ing & Fin­ance Group, says that reg­u­lat­ors are al­ways hav­ing to re­spond to new eco­nom­ic mod­els and pub­lic sen­ti­ments. She has seen fast dis­rup­tion in the bank­ing sec­tor CEE, “Ro­mania, for ex­ample, has a his­tory of in­nov­a­tion, pre­vi­ously emer­ging as a ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­al out­sourcing hub and then be­com­ing a fintech centre with a num­ber of uni­corns.” She points to agile bank­ing and fintech, which are provid­ing great­er ac­cess and a broad­er suite of ser­vices to cus­tom­ers, and with this comes reg­u­lat­ory chal­lenges. She says, “There are a lot of com­pli­ance as­pects to be met and solved.”
21/09/2021
Singa­pore and UK strengthen co­oper­a­tion in fin­an­cial ser­vices
In­tro­duc­tion On 30 June 2021, Singa­pore and the UK entered in­to a land­mark part­ner­ship for co­oper­a­tion on fin­an­cial ser­vices (Fin­an­cial Part­ner­ship) at the sixth UK-Singa­pore Fin­an­cial Dia­logue (Fin­an­cial...
20/09/2021
Singa­pore VCC Guide
The Singa­pore Vari­able Cap­it­al Com­pany (VCC) is a new cor­por­ate struc­ture for in­vest­ment funds con­sti­tuted un­der the Vari­able Cap­it­al Com­pan­ies Act, which took ef­fect in Janu­ary 2020. It is the first fund-spe­cif­ic en­tity to be launched in Singa­pore and it is in­ten­ded to strengthen Singa­pore’s po­s­i­tion as a lead­ing Asi­an fund man­age­ment centre.Over the past 20+ months the CMS Singa­pore funds team have taken the time to un­der­stand the leg­al and op­er­a­tion­al prac­tic­al­it­ies of launch­ing, clos­ing and op­er­at­ing a VCC fund, which go far bey­ond the VCC Act it­self. As such, this guide re­flects our team’s col­lect­ive hands-on ex­per­i­ence of the VCC gained over mul­tiple VCC fund form­a­tion man­dates.The pur­pose of this guide is there­fore to provide an over­view of the VCC and its key fea­tures, as well as of the VCC es­tab­lish­ment pro­cess. It also ad­dresses some of the VCC ques­tions that have been fre­quently asked of us by both man­agers and in­vestors alike.
23/08/2021
Re­mov­ing a fund’s man­ager: what in­vestors can learn from a PE Fund in Tur­moil
This art­icle is pro­duced by CMS Hol­born Asia, a Form­al Law Al­li­ance between CMS Singa­pore and Hol­born Law LLC. It is ex­tremely rare for in­vestors in a private in­vest­ment fund to ter­min­ate the fund man­ager...
02/08/2021
Tail­winds and Head­winds for Singa­pore’s Growth as an As­set Man­age­ment Hub
This art­icle is pro­duced by CMS Hol­born Asia, a Form­al Law Al­li­ance between CMS Singa­pore and Hol­born Law LLC. Des­pite the on­set of a glob­al pan­dem­ic, 2020 was a good year for Singa­pore’s as­set man­age­ment...
22/06/2021
Shift­ing the Dial: The move to­wards Sus­tain­able In­vest­ing in Singa­pore
This art­icle is pro­duced by CMS Hol­born Asia, a Form­al Law Al­li­ance between CMS Singa­pore and Hol­born Law LLC. The Mon­et­ary Au­thor­ity of Singa­pore (MAS) re­cently an­nounced that it would de­ploy US$1.8...
01/06/2021
Some leaks can­'t be fixed
“Con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion is like an ice cube... give it to the party who has no re­fri­ger­at­or or will not agree to keep it in one, and by the time of the tri­al you have just a pool of wa­ter.” This...
01/03/2021
The Glob­al Sul­phur Ban – One Year On
Since 1 March 2020 all mar­ine ves­sels have been sub­ject to a ban from car­ry­ing on board high sul­phur mar­ine fuel oil (“HSFO”) with sul­phur con­tent great­er than 0.50% un­less they have a ‘scrub­ber’...
18/02/2021
In­done­sia turns to new pos­it­ive in­vest­ment list amidst need to fur­ther...
This art­icle is pro­duced by CMS Hol­born Asia, a Form­al Law Al­li­ance between CMS Singa­pore and Hol­born Law LLC. In­tro­duc­tion In­done­sia’s for­eign in­vest­ment frame­work is set to be sub­stan­tially re­formed...