Debbie is a partner in the Investment Management group who focuses on providing practical and results-oriented legal and regulatory advice. She works with sponsors and managers of various private investment funds and other pooled investment vehicles, including hedge funds, private equity funds, funds of funds, commodity pools, co-investment vehicles and various “hybrid” funds. In particular, Debbie focuses on fund formation and structuring, the offering of interests by private investment funds, and the negotiation and documentation of such investments. Debbie has experience in organizing both domestic and offshore partnerships and other investment vehicles, including separately managed accounts established for institutional investors. She has significant experience advising clients regarding regulatory and compliance matters, including the availability of exemptions from registration for both U.S. and non-U.S. investment advisers, the development of compliance policies and procedures, the completion of regulatory filings, and assistance with regulatory examinations. Debbie also represents investment advisers in connection with seed-capital investments and side letters and represents funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investments in private funds. She has also assisted clients with the completion of non-U.S. regulatory filings, including those required in connection with AIFMD.

Debbie was instrumental in the formation of the Firm’s ESG practice, spearheading a task force dedicated to staying at the forefront of the ESG issues affecting investment managers. Debbie also completed a Sustainable Capitalism & ESG course through UC Berkeley School of Law in Spring 2021.

Debbie was recognized as a key lawyer in The Legal 500 2023 “Investment Fund Formation and Management, Private Equity Funds (including Venture Capital)” category for Seward & Kissel – “Debra Franzese has rapidly become a go-to figure in the market for a host of the firm’s high-profile funds.” Debbie was also recognized by IFLR 1000 as Highly Regarded in the practice areas of Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds.

Debbie received a B.A. from Stockton University, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, magna cum laude.