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Funds and Asset Management

The asset management industry is a rapidly evolving sector in Korea and changes in its regulatory regime have been mainly policy-driven. We understand the asset management industry and the needs of a wide and diverse range of clients. It is this understanding that allows us to customize and deliver our advice to meet our clients’ specific needs in Korea.

This understanding and our strong relationships with regulators of the Korean asset management sector serve as the backbone of our funds and asset management practice. Our attorneys and consultants include former government officials who recently served at various government bodies including the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service. The asset management industry in Korea is expected to continue on a path of rapid growth and transformation in a regulatory environment that is frequently reviewed and amended for policy reasons. Our Funds and Asset Management Practice members are in contact with the major authorities on a daily basis in connection with our licensing, regulatory and consulting work in order to get the job done for our clients in the context of often complex government regulatory mechanisms .

Our Funds and Asset Management Practice has extensive experience and expertise in the following areas:

Licensing
We assist in obtaining all types of asset management licenses under the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (FSCMA) including comprehensive and specialized asset management licenses and both local and cross-border discretionary investment management and investment advisory licenses as well as the new hedge fund license (and advising on the new prime brokerage license). Our team help clients with all phases of the licensing process including initial advice on the appropriate license and their qualification requirements, preparing and filing application documents, consulting with regulators and assisting with on-going requirements. We also assist clients in setting up representative or liaison offices as well as contractual joint ventures with Korean partners.

Fund Establishment and Registration
We assist in establishing and registering all types of onshore and offshore funds in Korea. We were the first law firm to assist in registering privately placed offshore funds under the new fund registration regime in Korea. We also advised clients in establishing the first corporate restructuring REIT in Korea that is wholly owned by a foreign manager and are also uniquely placed to advise on structuring and establishing Korean private equity funds (including overseas resources PEFs) as well as exchange traded funds. We advise almost daily on marketing and sales of offshore funds in Korea including hedge funds and private equity funds and regarding their investment activities in Korea including disclosure rules, Korea Exchange (KRX) rules, direct market access and insider trading issues. We also regularly advise clients on regulatory and tax issues related to the establishment, liquidation or investment in offshore funds by Korean investors.

Compliance
Compliance is a significant part of our practice. We focus on providing practical, pro-active advice to our domestic as well as foreign clients not only in connection with routine, day-to-day compliance issues, but also in connection with devising strategies for implementing responses to new regulatory initiatives and on- and off-site examinations. Our attorneys and professionals understand the decision-making processes of the various government agencies and offices. We also understand the compliance issues that affect our foreign financial services clients and their investment management businesses in Korea such as product marketing and sales issues but also global compliance, data privacy and business delegation issues.

Dispute Resolution
We advise our clients on the resolution of disputes arising among the various interested parties, such as the collective investment schemes, asset management companies, trustees, and beneficiaries. Some of the major dispute resolutions that we have been involved in include (a) lawsuits in connection with alleged mis-selling of fund products, (b) claims for damages brought by beneficiaries alleging violations of fiduciary duties by asset management companies, (c) lawsuits with respect to the legality and validity of redemption of beneficiary certificates, (d) disputes related to the collection of assets invested in non-performing funds and liquidation of such funds, (e) disputes arising with respect to investment in overseas securities, such as Russian government bond and the SEMB note and (f) tax suits seeking revocation of securities transaction tax imposed on foreign beneficiary funds on behalf of asset management companies.

Legislative Consulting
Our legislative consulting practice in this area includes monitoring and providing advice and in-depth analyses of proposed legislation and regulatory changes. We advise clients of pending legislative and regulatory developments, as well as proposed policy initiatives, and assist clients in planning their business strategies to achieve “key” objectives. We regularly appear before the government agencies in obtaining regulatory rulings and interpretations and licenses and in the context of investigations and enforcement actions. We maintain cooperative working relationships with these government agencies and offices and regularly provide them with advice on legal interpretations of the current, proposed and pending legislation. The firm is privileged to draw on its strong professional standing with the government offices and agencies in the representation of our clients. Our support on recent amendments and legislations includes amendment of the Indirect Investment Asset Management Business Act, enactment of the FSCMA, introduction of SPAC system, overall reform of private fund regime, and reform of underwriting-related regulatory environment.

Acquisitions
We have an unparalleled track record of representing both seller and buyers on M&A deals involving Korean investment management companies. We draw on our strong M&A and asset management experience to advise our clients on structuring, due diligence, documentation, negotiations and regulatory approvals. We are also especially experienced in assisting our foreign clients to integrate their Korean business to their global business.
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