Nicole M. Runyan is an investment funds partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and heads the Firm’s registered funds practice. Nicole has over two decades of experience advising clients on the formation, registration, operation and oversight of nearly every type of registered fund as well as business development companies (BDCs).

Nicole has a broad background representing mutual funds, ETFs, listed closed-end funds and other traditional registered funds investing across a variety of asset classes and strategies, including: public and private U.S., developed and emerging market equities; private credit, structured credit, high-yield, preferred securities, directly originated and broadly syndicated loans and other income-producing strategies; real estate and infrastructure assets; and commodities and natural resource assets, including managed futures strategies.

She also commits significant time to counseling clients on the design and offering of alternative investment products, such as BDCs, funds of funds, interval funds and tender offer funds, that offer access for retail and high net worth investors to a variety of traditional “private market” asset classes, such as private credit and private equity, including on a primary, secondary, direct or co-investment basis.

Additionally, Nicole advises clients on the full range of issues facing registered funds, their independent directors and investment advisers. These include regulatory and compliance matters, SEC exemptive relief applications and compliance, trading and conflict issues, registration and disclosure matters, seed capital and other funding transactions, financing arrangements, and extraordinary events such as restructurings, acquisitions and activist matters.

Clients value Nicole’s practice advice and experience. Chambers USA reports that clients say she is an “incredibly strong and experienced funds lawyer” and is “thoughtful, thorough and of real value to us.”

Nicole’s representative clients include Alger, Apollo, Ares, Bain Capital, BDT & MSD Partners, Blue Owl, Crescent Capital, Fortress, Neuberger Berman, Polen Capital, Vista Equity Partners and 5C Investment Partners.


Thought Leadership


Panelist, “Unlocking New Pools of Liquidity: Attracting Retail and HNW Investors Into Private Equity,” SuperReturn North America, November 2023

Panelist, “Vying for Retail Dollars: What Does It Take To Successfully Raise Capital From Individual Investors?,” Women's Private Capital Summit 2023, November 2023

Panelist, “Alternative Investments,” IDC Fund Directors Conference, October 2023

Speaker, “Beyond Private Funds: Introduction to Registered Fund Products,” Kirkland & Ellis 2022 Registered Adviser Seminar & CCO Summit, November 2022

Moderator, “Making Private Markets Accessible to the Retail Investor,” Women's Private Capital Summit, November 17, 2022

Panelist, “An In-Depth Review of Unlisted Closed-End Funds,” Investment Company Institute Closed-End Fund Conference, November 17, 2022


“SEC Proposes Pair of Long-Awaited ESG Rules; Non-ESG Funds Swept Up as Well,” Kirkland Alert, June 3, 2022


Chambers Global, USA: Investment Funds: Registered Funds, 2020–2022 & 2024

Chambers USA, Nationwide: Investment Funds: Registered Funds, 2018–2023

The Legal 500 United States, Mutual/Registered Funds/Exchange-Traded Funds, 2018–2022

New York Super Lawyers "Rising Stars," 2012–2017

Memberships & Affiliations

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Investment Management Regulation Committee (2018–2022)

The American Bar Association

Executive Board Member, Women's Investment Management Forum


Admissions & Qualifications

  • New York


  • Boston University School of LawJ.D.cum laude
  • Wake Forest UniversityB.A.cum laude