Public Fund
Operational Due Diligence

COVERING: Hedge Funds, 40 Act, UCITS, Insurance-linked funds

17 Modules (10h:02m)

This course focuses on mastering the skills and knowledge the institutional investor, fund managers, and service providers need to effectively conduct comprehensive due diligence on the non-investment risks associated with public funds.

A certificate of completion can be downloaded upon successful completion of the course

Course Registration


$995 One Year Access
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More Information

Curriculum Expand

Welcome, Introductions and Class Overview

  • Introduction of facilitator and background
  • Class structure and expectations


  • Alternative Investments
  • Process to success
  • Sources of Industry Knowledge

Basics of ODD what we need to find out

  • What is due diligence
  • Types of due diligence
  • Important components of a target organization
  • What to look for
  • Definitions and scope of reviews
  • Objectives
  • ODD Hierarchy of Needs

Basic Level Issues of due diligence – Investment styles and their unique challenges

  • Evaluation of the firm
  • Liquid Investment strategies
  • Less liquid investment strategies
  • Document request discussion
  • Items that SHOULD be requested

The Structure of a Hedge Fund

  • Key Parties and Roles
  • Key Terms
  • Key Structure Drivers

Fund Structuring Considerations

  • Legal
  • Tax
  • Operational
  • Investor Considerations
  • Exit Considerations
  • Manager Considerations
  • Understanding the Investment Strategy
  • Domicile

Operational Basics

  • Operational Risk of Hedge Fund Investment
  • Hedge Fund Operations
  • Operational Risk Control Framework
  • Control integration
  • Trade Processing
  • Technology Roadmap
  • Organizational Chart

Fraud Detection

  • Regulatory Evaluation of the firm
  • Asset Verification

Key Controls and Processes

  • Valuation Policies and procedures
  • Organizational Expenses
  • Organization Ownership and profitability
  • Alignment of interests
  • Evaluation of fund policies and procedures
  • Critical Internal Controls
  • Compliance policies and procedures

Key Controls and Processes – Regulatory Compliance

  • SEC

Counterparties & Service providers

  • Fees and Expense Analysis
  • Service Providers
  • Counterparties & Counterparties Risk
  • Auditors
  • Audit Opinions

IT/BCP and Cyber Security


What you’ll learn Expand

Desk-Ready Skills

  • Identify relevant materials needed to prepare for Operational Due Diligence.
  • Review and prepare materials for Operational Due Diligence.
  • Synthesize obtained materials and create agenda for Due Diligence Review.
  • Identify exceptions or areas to review to be included for review.
  • Evaluate key operational processes of the fund.
  • Evaluate key components of the investment management firm.
  • Evaluate human capital of the fund.
  • Evaluate third party service providers of the fund.
  • Evaluate counterparties affiliated with the fund.
  • Evaluate compliance program and the regulatory environment.
  • Evaluate the fund vehicle structure and terms.
  • Evaluate the fund technology infrastructure.
  • Synthesize findings and make operational recommendations.
  • Identify deficiencies and develop mitigation plan.
  • Develop monitoring plan including scope, frequency, and technique.
Who Should take this Expand

Recommended for:

  • Investment professionals from asset managers, such as pension funds, endowments, family offices, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, investment and development banks
  • Private Equity fund professionals interested in gaining a thorough understanding of the institutional investor’s perspective
  • Policy makers and government officials who are responsible for regulating the financial sector
  • Advisors working with private equity fund clients, including accountants, lawyers, bankers, consultants and financial advisors
Prerequisite knowledge Expand

Participants should have an understanding of Private Equity Due Diligence at the fundamentals level before taking this Master level course, including:

    • A deep and thorough background in the financial markets and securities
    • A complete understanding of financial products including; hedge funds, private equity and separate account platforms
    • Strong knowledge and experience working with financial statements
    • Knowledge and understanding of investment strategies

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Your instructor

John Ward
Managing Director
Alternative Asset Advisory group
Duff & Phelps John Ward

John specializes in the valuation of operational risks for hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, and fund of funds. He has performed operational risk assessments on some of the largest and most complex hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, and industry counterparties and service providers. John has extensive experience in a wide variety of investment strategies, and in both large institutional investment advisors and emerging managers.

John also works with endowments, foundations, pensions, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices to develop best practices in investment due diligence, and support their efforts to implement institutional best practices throughout their organizations.