International law firm Simmons & Simmons has acted on the restructuring of the Sturgeon Central Asia Fund to enable it to be one of the first funds to invest in Iran.
Although the repeal of pre-existing sanctions is good news for those wanting to do business with Iran, restrictions still apply. As a practical matter, banks and financial institutions have been nervous about committing themselves to support transactions with Iran, whether as service providers, financiers or simply moving money.
While many more transactions can now be undertaken with Iran, there are still obstacles to be overcome in facilitating investment and capital flows in what is, for foreign investors, very much an emerging and high-risk market, wrote British magazine the Hedge Fund Journal, a monthly publication focusing on the European hedge fund industry.
Since the announcement last year that sanctions were likely to be lifted, Simmons & Simmons has been advising clients on how to position themselves for the removal of sanctions and what business can be done in Iran prior to their being lifted, using Simmons & Simmons’ sanctions team and the dedicated capability of its overseas network, particularly in the Middle East.
The restructuring of the Sturgeon Central Asia Fund allowed Simmons & Simmons’ client, Sturgeon Capital, to commence investment in Iran in a manner that complied with pre-existing sanctions, giving it a head-start and positioning it for liberalization, Financial Tribune reported.
Commenting on the launch of the fund, partner Dale Gabbert said, “We are pleased to have helped Sturgeon Capital launch an Iran-focused fund product immediately prior to the lifting of sanctions, so that they are amongst the first to benefit from the growth story as that market opens.”
Taco Sieburgh Sjoerdsma, compliance director of Sturgeon Capital, continued: “Simmons & Simmons’ help has been invaluable in constructing a comprehensive sanctions policy for our firm and complying with regulations in multiple jurisdictions. They have proven themselves to be a strong partner in what was and remains a complex legislative framework with a myriad of unforeseen implementation problems”
The Simmons & Simmons team was led by funds partner Dale Gabbert with assistance from funds associate, Claire Barnes, along with partner and sanctions specialist, Stephen Gentle.