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Donald S. Weiss

Of Counsel
Fax +1.312.827.8183

Donald S. Weiss focuses on the investment management industry and alternative investments serving investment firms, hedge fund managers, commodity pool operators, private equity advisers and institutional investors. He concentrates his practice on the business, corporate and regulatory needs of the investment management community and represents a variety of professional participants in the financial markets including investment advisers, commodity trading advisors, broker—dealers, introducing brokers, futures commission merchants and proprietary trading firms.

For more than 25 years working in the investment management area, Mr. Weiss has worked with clients on: 

  • Organization, registration and development of business structures and compliance programs for investment advisers and broker—dealers
  • Structure, operation, offering, placement and distribution of interests in collective investment vehicles both in domestic and offshore markets 
  • Design of stand-alone, side-by-side, master-feeder, umbrella, joint back office and other hedge fund structures as well as the operational, compliance and reporting needs of hedge fund managers 
  • Design of organizational and regulatory structures for multi-faceted financial institutions
  • Mergers, sales and acquisitions for market participants and regulated entities
  • Major purchases, sales and reorganizations of investment advisers, brokerage firms, funds-of-funds and offshore funds

Experienced in all aspects of regulatory compliance, Mr. Weiss handles a wide variety of matters for market participants, including:  

  • Registration
  • Customer agreement and related documentation
  • Development of new products 
  • Marketing initiatives 
  • Compliance policies and procedures
  • Compensation structures
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Corporate governance 
  • Internal management and risk controls
  • Financial responsibility compliance 
  • Soft-dollar policies 
  • Supervisory procedures
  • Portfolio management issues
  • Communications with the public
  • Derivatives documentation
  • Anti-money laundering policies and procedures and related compliance matters 

Mr. Weiss has obtained exemptive and no-action relief from various regulatory requirements before government regulatory agencies to facilitate a registrant's business plans or enable it to develop a novel fund structure or investment product or service.

Mr. Weiss also represents regulated entities and other market participants in disciplinary and enforcement matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, National Futures Association, exchanges and state agencies.

Professional Background

Mr. Weiss started his career as an enforcement attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission, followed by a senior enforcement position with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He draws upon his government experience to provide strategic representation to clients in investigations, civil enforcement and criminal matters related to federal and state securities laws, commodity regulation and self-regulatory organizations. He has served as an expert witness in legal matters involving industry disputes and the workings of the financial markets.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Compliance and Legal Society)
  • American Bar Association (Section on Corporate, Banking and Business Law)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Investment Company Subcommittee; Securities Law Committee)
  • Hedge Fund Association
  • National Futures Association (Arbitrator)