David M. Cohen focuses his practice on matters related to fiduciary responsibility, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and qualified plans.

Prior to joining SRZ, David held positions in both the private sector (as vice president and assistant general counsel of a major investment firm) and government service (with the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Divisions of Regulatory Coordination and Exemptions). He speaks and writes widely on ERISA and benefit fund-related issues, including authoring ERISA compliance guides for broker-dealers for Practising Law Institute and presenting on “Handling ERISA Issues When Managing a Plan Asset Look-Through Fund” for a Financial Research Associates Hedge Fund Tax, Accounting and Administration Master Class and on “Fund Formation Issues,” “Current Topics in Private Equity and Alternative Investments” and “Current Fiduciary Issues” for recent Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments and ERISA Plans in the Financial Markets conferences. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers, a listing of outstanding attorneys in the New York metro-area, Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America. David is a 1981 graduate of The George Washington University Law School and a 1978 graduate of Columbia University.

Publications

“DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule Officially Dead,” SRZ Client Alert, July 5, 2018 (co-author)

“DOL Fiduciary Rule: Update for Fund Managers,” SRZ Client Alert, Feb. 9, 2017 (co-author)

“United States Fundraising,” The Private Equity Review (Law Business Research Ltd.), 2014-2017 (contributor) 

Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press), 2013-2014 (co-author)

“ERISA Compliance Guide for Broker-Dealers,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2005: Confronting Today’s Issues (co-author)

“Selected ERISA Issues Affecting Broker-Dealers,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2004: Confronting Today’s Issues (co-author)

“Broker-Dealer Developments: ERISA Implications of Various Developments in the Securities Industry,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2002: Confronting Today’s Issues (co-author)

“An Overview of ERISA Concerns for Investment Advisers,” ERISA and Benefits Law Journal (co-author)

Speaking Engagements

“FAQ — Managing ERISA Funds,” SRZ London Investment Management Hot Topics, July 2018

“Current Plan Investment Issues,” PLI Pension Plan Investments 2018: Current Perspectives, New York, May 2018

UBS Premier Hedge Fund Conference, New York, April 2018

“Commingled Investment Vehicles - VCOC/REOC/Hedge Funds/REITs,” Practising Law Institute ERISA Plan Investments in Financial Markets 2018: The Fundamentals, New York, March 2018

“Regulatory Compliance 2018,” SRZ 27th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2018

SRZ Employment & Employee Benefits Luncheon for Investment Managers, New York, October 2017

“Erring on the Side of Caution: An ERISA Toolkit,” Goldman Sachs Seventh Annual European Hedge Fund Leadership Conference, Paris, March 2017

SRZ Employment & Employee Benefits Luncheon for Investment Managers, New York, November 2016

“Current Topics in Private Equity and Alternative Investments,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2016: Current Perspectives, New York, March 2016

“Fund Formation Issues,” Practising Law Institute ERISA Plans in the Financial Markets Seminar, New York, February 2016

“Trading Compliance: Managing Regulatory Risk,” SRZ 25th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2016

“Pension Market Developments and Its Demands of Investment Products,” International Bar Association 26th Annual Conference on Globalisation of Investment Funds, Paris, June 2015

“Current Topics in Private Equity and Alternative Investments,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2015: Current Perspectives, New York, March 2015

SRZ Advanced ERISA Luncheon: An In-Depth Look at Its Impact on Private Equity and Hedge Funds, New York, March 2015

“ERISA: From No Plan Assets to Managing Plan Assets,” SRZ 24th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2015

“What You Need to Know When ERISA Plans Come Knocking,” SRZ London Breakfast Briefing, May 2014

“Current Fiduciary Issues,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments 2014: Current Perspectives, New York, April 2014

“Marketing and Working with Investors in the Current Environment,” Ambrose Connects, New York, May 2013

“The Plan Perspective,” Practising Law Institute ERISA Fiduciary Investment Basics Seminar, New York, February 2013

“Compliance Spotlight,” SRZ 22nd Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2013

“Distribution Requirements and Taxation,” Practising Law Institute ERISA: The Evolving World Seminar, New York, August 2012

“The Legal Structure of Consultant Arrangements,” International Foundation Investments Institute, White Sulphur Springs, WV, April 2012

“Structuring a Plan Asset Hedge Fund and Other Current Investment Fund Issues,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments Seminar, New York, April 2012

“Compliance Spotlight” and “Relationships With Institutional Investors,” SRZ 21st Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2012

“Handling ERISA Issues When Managing a Plan Asset Look-Through Fund,” Financial Research Associates 13th Annual Effective Hedge Fund Tax Practices Conference, New York, November 2011

“The Nuts & Bolts of Managing ERISA Plan Assets,” SRZ Investment Management Hot Topics, New York, June 2011

“Update on Current Core Issues for Financial Institutions,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments: Current Perspectives, April 2011

“Compliance Spotlight,” SRZ 20th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, January 2011

“Legal Issues Concerning Alternative Investments: Focus on Hedge Funds,” International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans 56th U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference, November 2010

“Update on Current Core Issues for Financial Institutions,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments: Current Perspectives, April 2010

“Spotlight on Compliance: Key Issues for 2010,” SRZ 19th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, January 2010

“Handling ERISA Issues When Managing a Plan Asset Look-Through Fund,” Financial Research Associates Hedge Fund Tax, Accounting and Administration Master Class, May 2009

“Current Issues Relating to Hedge Funds and Private Equity,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments: Current Perspectives, April 2009

“Spotlight on Compliance: Key Issues for 2009,” SRZ 18th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, January 2009

“Unrelated Business Taxable Income and Plan Assets – What Every Fund Manager Should Know,” Financial Research Associates 10th Annual Effective Hedge Fund Tax Practices Seminar, November 2008

“ERISA Compliance Update,” SRZ Investment Management Hot Topics, November 2008

“Department of Labor Focus on ERISA Reporting and Disclosures,” SRZ Greenwich Private Investment Funds Seminar, September, 2008

“Tax and ERISA Planning: U.K. and U.S. Perspectives,” SRZ 17th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, January 2008

“ERISA Law Changes” and “How to Handle ERISA Issues When Managing a Plan Asset Look-Through Fund,” SRZ International Sixth Annual Hedge Funds Hot Topics Seminar, October 2007

“Revenue Sharing Arrangements in 401(k) Plans,” Practising Law Institute Pension Plan Investments: Current Perspectives, May 2007

“Update on Hedge Funds and Their Interaction with ERISA,” Institute for International Research Hedge Fund Regulation & Compliance Conference, April 2007

Financial Research Associates’ Eighth Annual Hedge Fund Regulation & Compliance Forum, November 2006

“ERISA Requirements: How to Avoid or Comply with Rules Governing Pension Funds,” American Conference Institute Fourth National Legal and Compliance Forum, November 2006

“ERISA Law Changes with Respect to the Hedge Fund Industry,” Investment Management Hot Topics Series Session 1: Major Law Changes/Rules for Registration & ERISA, September 2006

“ERISA Developments,” Greenwich Private Investment Seminar, May 2006

“ERISA Implications of Soft Dollar and Directed Brokerage Arrangement,” Institute for International Research Conference

“Mutual Funds in Crisis: A Prudent Fiduciary Response,” American Bar Association Section of Business Law Committee on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Fall 2004

“ERISA Compliance,” National Society of Compliance Professionals Inc.’s National Membership Meeting, 2004

“Selected ERISA Issues Affecting Broker-Dealers,” Practising Law Institute, June 2004

“Managing ERISA Money,” SRZ's Transatlantic View of Emerging Hedge Fund Issues, October 2003

“Directed Brokerage and Recapture of Commissions,” Soft Dollars Directed Brokerage and Other Commission Recapture Practices, July 2003

“Running a Plan Asset Fund,” SRZ Private Investment Funds: Current Issues & Trends Seminar, January 2003

“Understanding How Hedge Funds Fit within ERISA Context,” INFOVEST 21, January 2003

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section 

Distinctions

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2009–2019
  • Chambers USA
  • New York Super Lawyers, 2006–2018

Prior Experience

  • Rosenman & Colin 
    • Partner
  • Prudential Securities Inc.
    • Vice President and Assistant General Counsel
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
    • Division of Regulatory Coordination 
    • Divison of Exemptions