Pastore Wins Jury Trial for Hedge Fund Executives in Multimillion-dollar Securities Fraud Case Brought by Billionaire Family Office

Pastore & Dailey successfully concluded a contentious, multi-year litigation, defeating claims of fraudulent inducement and securities fraud brought against two hedge fund executives by a billionaire family office special purpose investment vehicle. The billionaire family office, the heirs to and founders of a well-known apparel store, had invested in the fund’s General Partner limited liability company.

In 2018, The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut granted a summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The summary judgment was subsequently appealed up to the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, before being remanded back to, and concluding with, a jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven, Connecticut. Pastore & Dailey was hired for the trial. After two weeks of evidence and 7 hours of jury deliberation, Pastore & Dailey was able to secure a favorable jury verdict for the clients.

FINRA Fine and Suspension for Former CEO Dismissed

Pastore attorneys successfully represented the former CEO of a broker dealer in a regulatory dispute with FINRA. When Pastore was retained, FINRA was seeking a multi-month suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, and was days away from serving a complaint.  In the space of a few months, Pastore convinced FINRA to close the case without levying a dollar in fines or a single day of suspension.

Pastore Managing Partner Receives AV Preeminent Rating for the Year 2020

Pastore LLC is proud to announce that Managing Partner, Joseph M. Pastore, III has been named by Martindale-Avvo to receive the AV Preeminent Rating for the year 2020. This rating is the highest possible rating in both legal ability & ethical standards for practicing attorneys. Mr. Pastore received this honor for his exemplary devotion to judicial standards and ethics practices as an attorney. Mr. Pastore has been a recipient of this honor for the past 10 consecutive years. In addition, Corporate Counsel & The American Lawyer magazines have named Mr. Pastore as a Top-Rated Litigator for the year 2020.

Pastore Managing Partner Named a Top-Rated Lawyer in Connecticut 2021 by Lawyers of Distinction

Pastore LLC is proud to announce that Managing Partner, Joseph M. Pastore III, has been named by Lawyers of Distinction as a Top Rated Lawyer for Connecticut in 2021. Mr. Pastore was awarded this rating for overall excellence in law. In addition to this award, Mr. Pastore has been named a Top Attorney in the New York Metro Area 2020.

Pastore Managing Partner Receives AV Preeminent Rating for the Year 2021

Pastore LLC is proud to announce that Partner, Joseph M. Pastore III has been named by Martindale-Avvo to receive the AV Preeminent Rating for the year 2021. This rating is the highest possible rating in both legal ability & ethical standards for practicing attorneys. Mr. Pastore received this honor for his exemplary devotion to judicial standards and ethics practices as an attorney. Mr. Pastore has been a recipient of this honor for the past 11 consecutive years.

Pastore Successfully Obtains a Dismissal of a Large Investment Bank Case in Delaware District Court

Pastore & Dailey won a complex securities and M&A action in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware arising from a derivative rights holder agreement and related investment banking engagement agreements. This is the latest iteration in the saga between the Defendant, Pastore & Dailey’s client, and the Plaintiff, a representative of the shareholders to a company seeking to invalidate investment banking fees owed following a series of complex insurance corporate mergers.

After Pastore & Dailey successfully defended its client in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska and then successfully defended its client in the appeal before the Eight Circuit that followed the District of Nebraska decision, its Motion to Dismiss was granted in the District of Delaware. In its Memorandum Opinion, the District Court agreed that Plaintiff’s claims were batted by the doctrine of res judicata and that the Plaintiff lacked standing to assert its claims.

Pastore & Dailey attorneys have vast experience arguing and defending matters in various federal courts across the country and are well-situated to handle similar claims involving complex contractual and investment banking issues.

Pastore Obtains an Injunction Requiring Return of PPP Funds in National Matter

Pastore & Dailey successfully represented its client, a Registered Investment Adviser, in a preliminary injunction hearing against a national bank on an issue regarding a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan. The hearing was held virtually in the Supreme Court of New York. The bank had taken out PPP loan money from Pastore & Dailey’s client’s account and provided default notices to the client. Pastore & Dailey filed for injunction on behalf of its client and the Court agreed with Pastore & Dailey that the bank had interfered with its client’s ability to apply for forgiveness. The Court directed the bank to put the money in an escrow account and allow the client’s application for forgiveness to proceed through the proper channels. If the loan is forgiven, the money will be released to its client.

Pastore Defeats Another Billionaire Motion to Dismiss

Pastore & Dailey successfully defeated a Motion to Dismiss in a case against a billionaire and an AM Law 200 firm in a case in front of the Complex Litigation Docket in Stamford. The case involves complex direct and derivative shareholder claims in which the claim for damages is more than $65 million. Pastore & Dailey’s client is one of the shareholders of a two-shareholder company and defendant billionaire is the other shareholder. The Motion to Dismiss sought to dismiss certain counts of the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court, however, agreed with Pastore & Dailey’s contention that a shareholder in a two-shareholder action can bring a derivative action against the other shareholder and denied the Motion to Dismiss.

Regulatory Assets Under Management Are Not Always All Assets Under Management

A daunting question that Registered Investment Advisers face in formulating their amended and annual form ADV 1 and ADV 2 (Brochure) submissions as required under the Investment Advisors act of 1940 is determining what the components of regulatory assets under management (“RAUM”) are, and providing adequate disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as to how and why the RAUM of some investment advisors is much less than the actual value of monies or investment vehicles managed.

Assets under management, or AUM, is a general term used throughout the financial industry that can be defined by many standards. AUM represents “investors’ equity” (like shareholders’ equity) and is an accurate representation of investors’ capital at risk (i.e., the amount of money that investors have invested in a manager’s fund(s))[1].  RAUM specifically refers to Regulatory AUM, which the SEC’s standard form of AUM[2].  The SEC developed this metric to have a consistent internal measurement, implementing a mandatory tiered registration of private investment advisers[3].  RAUM is the sum of the market value for all the investments managed by a fund or family of funds that a venture capital firm, brokerage company, or an individual registered investment advisor or portfolio manager manages on behalf of its clients[4].

In determining RAUM, the SEC specifically states that “In determining the amount of your regulatory assets under management, include the securities portfolios for which you provide continuous and regular supervisory or management services as of the date of filing the Form ADV[5].”  An account that a client maintains with a registered investment advisor is considered a securities portfolio if at least 50% of the total value of the assets held in the account consists of securities[6]. For purposes of this test, an investment advisor may treat cash and cash equivalents (i.e., bank deposits, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, and similar instruments) as securities[7].  The SEC also requires that you must include securities portfolios that are family or proprietary accounts, accounts for which no compensation for services is received, and accounts of clients who are not United States persons[8].

The SEC notes that “[f]or purposes of this definition, treat all of the assets of a private fund as a securities portfolio, regardless of the nature of such assets[9].”  The SEC does advise, however, that assets either the under management by another person or entity or assets that consists of real estate or businesses whose operations you “manage” on behalf of a client but not as an investment are excluded from the RAUM calculation[10].

RAUM also requires that supervision of these accounts be “continuous and regular.”  This term is defined by the SEC in two ways.  The advisor must have either discretionary authority over investments and provide on-going supervisory or management services, or, if they do not have discretionary authority over the account, they must have on-going responsibility to select or make recommendations based upon the needs of the client, as to specific securities or other investments the account may purchase and sell[11].  If such recommendations are accepted by the client, then the adviser is responsible for arranging or effecting the purchase or sale and satisfies the definition of “continuous and regular[12]”.

The SEC also uses three separate factors to determine whether supervision of assets is “continuous and regular.” The first factor is whether there was an advisory contract in place between the parties.   If the investment advisor agrees in an advisory contract to provide ongoing management services, this suggests that you provide these services for the account[13]. Other provisions in the contract, or the actual management practices, however, may suggest otherwise.  The second factor is the form of compensation received[14]. If the advisor is compensated based on the average value of the client’s assets managed over a specified period, this suggests that the advisor provides continuous and regular supervisory or management services for the account[15].  The third factor is the extent to which the assets are actively managed or whether advice is regularly provided to the client[16]. Note that no single factor is determinative, and the specific circumstances should be viewed in their entirety[17].

In summation, AUM is a method used to compute the total market value of investments that are managed by registered investment advisors on behalf of clients. RAUM is the SEC’s regulatory from of AUM. RAUM consists of the accounts that are made up of 50% or more of securities that are continuously and regularly managed by the registered investment advisor overseeing the facilitation and management of the client’s accounts.

[1] “Assets Under Management,” Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/aum.asp, accessed February 5, 2021.
[2] Form ADV Instructions, https://www.sec.gov/about/forms/formadv-instructions.pdf, accessed February 5, 2021.
[3] Id.
[4] “Assets Under Management,” Investopedia, accessed February 5, 2021.
[5] Form ADV Instructions, accessed February 5, 2021.
[6] Id.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.
[10] Id.
[11] Calculating Regulatory Assets Under Management – Wagner Law Group, https://www.wagnerlawgroup.com/resources/investment/calculating-regulatory-assets-under-management, accessed February 5, 2021.
[12] Id.
[13] Form ADV Instructions, accessed February 5, 2021.
[14] Id.
[15] Id.
[16] Id.
[17] Id.