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William P. Wade

Of Counsel
Fax +1.310.552.5001
Mr. Wade concentrates his practice in investment management, ERISA, fiduciary, regulatory, and related securities and tax matters for financial institutions.

Professional Background

Mr. Wade has assisted banks, trust companies, investment advisers, and other financial institutions in planning for, and creating, collective investment funds, proprietary mutual funds, and other investment management vehicles, products, and services for individual and institutional investors, including employee benefit plans subject to ERISA. He has also assisted these institutions in addressing legal problems arising under ERISA and other fiduciary laws and applicable banking regulations. Mr. Wade was a member of the Office of General Counsel of a large banking and financial institution for more than ten years, where his responsibilities included advising the bank's trust and investment management departments and affiliates.

Mr. Wade focuses a large portion of his practice on bank-sponsored collective investment funds (“CIT”). He recently authored the first CIT reference book published by the American Bankers Association titled “Bank Sponsored Collective Investment Funds: Multi-Dimensional Regulation”, where he explores federal banking, securities, and tax laws, as well as federal standards of fiduciary responsibility under ERISA that regulate typical collective investment fund structures and day-to-day operations. He is also the author of the Business Lawyer article entitled “Bank-Sponsored Collective Investment Funds: An Analysis of Applicable Federal Banking and Securities Laws,” one of the first and few comprehensive analyses of the subject, which has been cited by at least one federal Circuit Court of Appeals and by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in its comprehensive Investment Company Act study “Protecting Investors: A Half Century of Investment Company Regulation,” among other authorities.

Mr. Wade obtained one of the first rulings permitting national banks to maintain “closed end” collective trust funds. In addition, Mr. Wade obtained one of the first prohibited transaction exemptions under ERISA permitting the “conversion of bank collective trust funds into proprietary mutual finds” and one of the first exemptions permitting “in-kind redemptions” of proprietary mutual fund shares by the bank’s in-house plan.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, Committee on Investments by Fiduciaries (Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law) -- former member
  • American Bar Association, Committee on Fiduciary Responsibility Under ERISA (Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law) – past chair
  • American Bar Association, Subcommittee on Securities Activities of Banks and Fiduciaries (Business Law Section, Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities) -- former member
  • American Bar Association, Subcommittee on Trust and Investment Services (Business Law Section, Banking Law Committee) – past chair
  • American Bankers Association, Trust Counsel Committee (Trust & Investment Management Division) – former member
  • California Bankers Association, Trust Federal Governmental Affairs Committee (Trust Financial Services Group) – former member
  • The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel - Fellow

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Wade speaks frequently on various investment management, ERISA, and fiduciary issues.
  • Obtained initial prohibited transaction exemptions from the U.S. Department of Labor for collective trust fund-mutual "conversions" and in-kind redemptions by in-house plans
  • Obtained first OCC ruling authorizing national banks to operate closed-end collective investment funds
  • Designed, documented, reorganized, terminated common and collective trust funds of national and state banks and trust companies and group trust funds sponsored by non-bank investment advisers
  • Structured "plan-asset" hedge funds for compliance with ERISA or to avoid "plan-asset" status