Hogan Lovells has added a corporate partner to its New York office. Paul Downs joins the firm from Jones Day, where he has worked since 2008, and brings knowledge of sovereign wealth funds and government pension plans to Hogan Lovells.

At Jones Day, Downs was an M&A partner and served as co-head of the sovereign investor practice representing sovereign investors in cross-border transactions, such as government employee pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and social security systems. In an interview with IFLR1000, Downs reflected on shifts in strategy for many sovereign investor groups and explained why the regulatory focus of Hogan Lovells was important to his practice.

“Historically, these [sovereign investor] organisations entrusted their funds to managers and simply oversaw them from headquarters. There’s a fundamental change now which is that increasingly the leaders in the area are bringing more management in-house and at the same time opening and staffing up branch offices in major financial centres,” he said.

Downs was, in part, motivated to move to Hogan Lovells because of his confidence in the firm’s ability to handle the regulatory challenges that result from such a shift in strategy. “If you’re a fund based somewhere in Asia, for example, you’ll have a lot of assets here in the US. Increasingly they’re doing direct investments. In order to do that, you need to have people on the ground. Once you have people on the ground, it becomes a whole different regulatory picture, and that’s why the regulatory capabilities in the world’s financial centres are so important to our practice,” he said.