Nicole M. Kalajian

Nicole Kuchera


Nicole represents securities and commodities professionals in a variety of regulatory, compliance and corporate matters. She has extensive experience with respect to hedge funds, commodity pools, private equity funds, cryptocurrency funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, fund of funds and socially responsible investment vehicles. Nicole provides legal and compliance guidance to registered and exempt investment advisers, commodity pool operators (CPOs), commodity trading advisors (CTAs), introducing brokers (IBs), forex (FX) firms, proprietary trading firms, futures commission merchants (FCMs)  and broker-dealers (BDs). Nicole provides legal and compliance guidance concerning the launch of securities token offerings (STOs), i.e., compliant initial coin offerings (ICOs). She also serves as counsel to boards, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Representative Matters

  • assisted international investment adviser with registration of its billion-dollar private fund real estate/hospitality investment complex with the SEC, restructuring of the managers, preparation of compliance materials and revising relevant fund offering materials
  • represented various international investment advisers with SEC and CFTC registration and revision of international compliance materials to comply with U.S. laws and regulations
  • assisted various private equity, hedge fund, venture capital, cryptocurrency, commodity pool, real estate and alternative asset vehicle launches, registrations, regulatory, compliance and new product initiatives
  • advised on cryptocurrency regulations and initiatives
  • advised large family offices on various ongoing regulatory and investment considerations
  • advised major securities industry organization in connection with cryptocurrency initiative
  • advised major securities industry organization in connection with response to CFTC request for industry comment
  • evaluated commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor status of financial services clients; identification of available exemptions; CFTC and NFA registration and compliance
  • developed tailored compliance programs in response to new regulations and product initiatives
  • assisted with registration and compliance of robo-advisers platforms
  • assisted with due diligence in connection with acquisitions and sales of leading investment firms
  • assisted institutional investors in analyzing investment opportunities in various types of private fund and other investment vehicles, as well as in negotiating side letters
  • assisted with industry comment letters and requests for no action relief
  • assisted with SEC and NFA examinations and investigations
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Bar Admissions
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • LL.M., Chicago-Kent School of Law
  • J.D., Chicago-Kent School of Law
  • B.S., DePaul University
  • Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® (IACCP®)

  • Founder, Investment Network
  • Founder, Digital Assets Working Group 
  • Director, Washington DC Compliance Round Table
  • Chicago Bar Association: Futures & Derivatives Law Committee, Financial & Investment Services and Securities Law Committee
  • Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD)
  • 100 Women in Finance
  • Hedge Fund Cares
  • Investment Advisers Association
  • Association for Corporate Growth
  • The Saints
  • The Art Institute of Chicago Evening Associates
  • International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance (ITWPA)


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Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, Washington DC Compliance Round Table Webinar with National Futures Association
  • Panelist, “Investor Perspectives: Regulation and Oversight,” Sudrania Fund Services Corp. Cryptocurrency Summit
  • Panelist, “SEC Rule 17h: Risk Assessment and Recordkeeping Requirements Update for Broker-Dealers,” Washington DC Compliance Round Table
  • Co-instructor, “Mandates Beyond the Advisers Act: Anti-Money Laundering, ERISA Compliance and ’34 Act Section 13 Reporting for Investment Advisers,” NRS
  • Speaker, “Trading Compliance: Best Execution, Soft Dollars & Directed Brokerage,” Virtual Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® Program Symposium
  • Moderator, Web Event with Peter Haggerty of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, Washington DC Compliance Round Table
  • Panelist, "Private Fund Considerations in Light of COVID-19," Chicago Bar Association Business Law Drafting and Negotiating Subcommittee Webinar
  • Speaker, “Coronavirus Considerations for SEC and CFTC Registrants,” Washington DC Compliance Round Table Webinar
  • Speaker, “Advisers Act Anti-Fraud Rules: Custody, Political Contributions, Solicitors, and Proxy Voting Requirements Marketing,” National Regulatory Services
  • Speaker, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Digital Currency Law Webinar, Rossdale
  • Speaker, CBA Investment Management Sub-Committee Meeting, Chicago Bar Association
  • Speaker, Fireside Chat with Amy Kabaria of Blockress, International Blockchain Congress
  • Presenter, “Books and Records Requirements for Investment Advisers,” Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® Seminar
  • Presenter, “The Proposed Advertising and Solicitation Rules – Game Changers for Advisers,” Celesq® AttorneysEd Center
  • Presenter, “Unpacking the SEC’s Proposed Amendments to the Advertising Rule and Solicitation Rule,” Washington DC Compliance Round Table
  • Presenter, Chicago Crypto Association and Digital Assets Working Group Meeting
  • Speaker, Chicago Compliance Group Meeting
  • Speaker, 2019 Investment Management Regulatory Update Seminar, Stradley Ronon
  • Speaker, “Regulation BI,” Washington DC Compliance Round Table
  • Speaker, ”Introduction to Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain,” Cohen Client Conference
  • Panelist, “Private Fund Advertising and Distribution,” National Regulatory Services Fall Compliance Conference
  • Speaker, “Hot Topics – Summer/Fall Edition, Episode #3: Digital Assets,” Financial Poise
  • Speaker, Chicago Bar Association Investment Management Subcommittee meeting, Form CRS and Adviser Conduct Standards
  • Panelist, “Form ADV Part 1: Annual Updating Amendment and More,” National Regulatory Service’s Investment Adviser Compliance Symposium
  • Speaker, “CFTC Cryptocurrency Considerations,” Investment Management’s Digital Assets Working Group: Cryptocurrency Legal Roundup - Securities, Derivatives, Enforcement & Litigation Updates
  • Panelist, “Current Issues Impacting Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors,” Chicago Bar Association’s Futures & Derivatives Law Committee
  • Speaker, Enterprise Blockchain Innovation - Reinventing Business Methodology and Implications for Transforming the Practice of Law, The Masters Conference
  • Presenter, “Mastering Bitcoin, Digital Currency and Blockchain Law,” The Rossdale Group Webinar
  • Guest Lecturer, Chicago-Kent: Cryptocurrencies Derivative Regulation
  • Speaker, Lunch Presentation, Stradley Ronon: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Securities Litigation, Regulatory and Enforcement Issues and Implications for the Future
  • Speaker, CBA IMG Subcommittee Lunch Presentation: NFA’s Guidance on CPO Internal Controls Systems
  • Speaker, Washington DC Compliance Round Table, SEC OCIE Examination Priorities Webinar
  • Speaker, Stradley Ronon’s Investment Management Regulatory Update Annual Seminar
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  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Star – ranked consecutively for six years
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In The Community

Nicole is active in the Chicago community and is a member of The Saints, a not-for-profit organization that supports arts and theater organizations in Chicago and nearby communities through volunteer and charitable services. She is also a Member of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Evening Associates and the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance (ITWPA).

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