How Pa.'s Investment Management Practice Shrank

, The Legal Intelligencer

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So, can a firm like McCarter & English, which has nine lawyers in its firmwide investment management practice but only three in its Philadelphia office, establish an investment management presence in Philadelphia?

Howard Kailes, who leads the firm's corporate, securities and financial institutions practice, said it would be wrong to assume that any one firm has a stranglehold on the investment management practice in the city.

"No firm is going to establish a monopoly in that area as much as they think they'd like to," Kailes said.

Plus, Kailes said, McCarter & English is not necessarily looking to compete with the largest firms for investment management work.

"We have all the multidisciplinary expertise of a corporate law firm," Kailes said. "On the other hand, we don't hold ourselves out as a Wall Street-type law firm; we're a middle-market law firm."

And while Southeastern Pennsylvania is home to several major investment management companies, including the Vanguard Group, Delaware Investments, Hirtle Callaghan and SEI Investments, D'Amore said the location of an investment management practice is no longer as important as it once was because technology has made it easier than ever for lawyers to have a national practice.

Corsell agreed.

"I think investment management is one of those practices that's almost by definition national," Corsell said.

If the competition and geographic scope of the investment management practice has changed over the past six years, the nature of the work has also shifted during that time, attorneys told The Legal.

O'Hare said the recession has spurred more investment management companies to create new products and utilize alternative investment strategies designed to protect investors in the event of another downturn.

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