Corporate Governance

High quality, independent directors are increasingly considered “value added” not just by investors but also by regulators, prime brokers, service providers and tax consultants, all of whom expect the Board of Directors to provide substantive and meaningful oversight and guidance.

Directors You Can Trust

The philosophy that underpins everything we do is based on putting reputation ahead of earnings:  we limit our relationship numbers such that we are able to perform all key functions personally, and are always available to our clients.  As a result, there are natural limits to the number of directorships that HighWater principals can take on. Our focus is on maintaining a manageable portfolio of high quality clients where we can be actively engaged, build mutual trust, add value to the process, represent investor interests and manage our own risk effectively.

HighWater has a straightforward, asset-based fee structure whereby director services are provided at an annual fixed fee based on assets at the start of the year and with no incremental fees for meetings, calls, time to travel or ad hoc written resolutions taken between board meetings.

The alternative investment industry is experiencing:

  • Increased regulatory and investor emphasis on corporate governance
  • A more thorough assessment of actual and perceived conflicts of interests including the independence of directors from other service providers of the fund
  • An enhanced focus on the capacity of directors and their ability to commit to the fund, especially in times of stress
  • A rising expectation that directors  will be actively engaged with the fund, holding regular board meetings and interactng with the investment manager and service providers of the fund
  • A growing focus on the relevant background, experience, independence, availability and commitment of directors
  • Increased use of complex structures requiring deeper understanding and technical experience
  • A tsunami of regulations, increasingly complex liquidations and industry-changing litigation

Appointing credible, knowledgeable and engaged directors is an important decision for a fund and its manager.  Taking on the important responsibilities of a director is not a commodity service and not all directors are the same.

HighWater directors are in a class of their own.