Master Feeder Fund Structures,  either onshore or offshore are a popular option for fund managers seeking to increase assets under management quickly and effectively, by attracting a broad range of investors in the most tax efficient method.   

Offshore Feeder Structure: (Cayman Islands, BVI, Bermuda)

A master fund structure which is designed to accumulate funds raised from US investors, US tax-exempt investors and non-US investors into one centralised vehicle - namely the Master Fund.   The Master Fund is ultimately an 'AIF' as a standalone SPC/fund, which the sub-funds would ultimately feed into; hence master 'feeder' fund.  

Onshore Master Feeder Structure: (UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta) 

A number of European jurisdictions operate both UCITS and AIF master fund solutions for fund managers, often referred to as 'Entity Pooling' in Luxembourg.  Fund managers seeking a regulated fund structure may opt for UCITS master feeder funds, as these funds would typically included various retail investments (either direct or through pension funds).   Where the investments being held are Private Equity, Real Estate or closed ended - Master Feeder structures can be created onshore allowing the general partner to create sub-funds for each individual investment(s).  

Benefits of a Master Feeder Fund Structure: 

Simply put, economies of scale. It is far more cost effective to create a master fund with critical mass as it becomes cost effective to manage and increases operational efficiencies rather than manage various smaller size funds.   Also, master feeder fund structures allow fund managers to raise capital tax efficiently from investors globally.

Advantages of a Master-Feeder Structure
Marketing, including investor preference Feeder structures allow investors access to markets through recognised and often tax efficient vehicles and the benefit of reduced costs and improved efficiency. This is a key consideration in marketing a product in a jurisdiction with specific local investor needs and expectations.
Heritage & Track Record Master-feeder structures, which are also referred to as “hubs", have a long history and are familiar to investors around the world, particularly in Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
Product Offering & Innovation Master-feeder structures can be designed with bespoke features to meet the needs of different types of investors. Distributors can thus promote their own brand by offering feeder vehicles that invest in masters run by larger fund managers with expertise and track record. This allows distributors to white-label the fund, without incurring the costs associated with creating the investment products.
Legal Segregation Feeders are permitted to invest in assets other than the master fund and may hold certain allocations of assets in cash/derivatives for hedging purposes.
Efficiency & Cost Effectiveness Pooling fund assets with similar investment strategies into master vehicles should result in economies of scale, cost efficiency and increased liquidity. This also allows consistency in overall fund strategy and returns as the master fund would be managed centrally, compared to a network of fund managers mirroring the fund strategy through smaller funds.
A typical Cayman Master Feeder Structure
Luxembourg European Master Feeder Structure

Why a Master Feeder Fund: 

The biggest advantage for US, Asian and European fund managers to is raised capital through a broad network of investors, who would otherwise be put off by investing into the fund as it may complicate the investors' tax position in the US (or non-US investors having to pay tax in the US).  

Also, by creating a 'Master Fund', this eliminates performance discrepancies between smaller funds, as the assets would be pooled together and further by having one (or sometimes joint) investment manager(s) makes the processing more efficient and transparent for all parties concerned.

Ultimately, Master Feeder Funds are a flexible and traditional method for small/medium sized fund managers to gain critical mass quickly and effectively by attracting investors in a tax efficient method.  Naturally, the bigger the fund, the more cost effective its management and performance fees; which then reciprocates back to the investors by way of return on capital.  

If you are a US, Asian or European fund manager seeking to grow your assets under management, contact us and see how Vantage Ventures and our partners can assist with our fund hosting solutions for Master Feeder Fund structures.

Entity / Activity Description & Works Carried Out
Cayman Master Feeder Fund Standalone Cayman Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC structure)
Cayman Sub Fund Sub Fund established off the back off the Master Feeder Fund to cater for non-US investors
Delaware LLP entity Established in Delaware, for US based investors only
Fund Administrator TBC
Investment Manager & AIFM to Master Fund TBC
Minimum AUM at launch $20m USD
Standardised IM Fees 45-55 basis points of AUM (variable)

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