STRAIT Expands Presence into Houston With Key Compliance Hire

DALLAS, MAY 19, 2020 – Dallas headquartered Strait Fund Services (“STRAIT”) announced the expansion of the firm’s presence with the addition of a strategic hire in Houston, Texas. With almost 20 years of financial services experience in creating and implementing compliance programs at institutional asset management firms, Michael Barakat will be instrumental in broadening the firm’s compliance offering and providing senior-led solutions for STRAIT’s nationwide hedge fund and private equity clients.

Michael will be responsible for growing awareness of STRAIT’s compliance services and designing and executing compliance programs for the firm’s existing and new clients. Michael joins STRAIT after leading teams and implementing compliance initiatives at AIG Retirement Services. At AIG, Michael was responsible for driving the firm’s compliance with FINRA, the SEC, and other regulators by conducting risk assessments, developing monitoring programs to review firm activities, and coordinating timely responses to government and regulatory bodies.

“As regulations continue to increase in complexity, alternative investment managers must ensure they have robust processes and controls in place to reduce overall risk,” shared Daryoush Niknejad, Compliance Director and General Counsel. “Michael’s experience will provide STRAIT’s diverse client base with comprehensive compliance solutions that will streamline processes, tighten controls, and educate teams while ensuring thorough record keeping and timely reporting to regulators utilizing our proprietary Compliance Control Framework.”

Michael’s previous experience also includes senior roles at TIAA Endowment and Philanthropic Services, EIG, and Invesco, managing compliance teams as Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Compliance Manager.

“As a solutions-centered partner, we provide our clients with the tools to run their businesses effectively,” commented Stacey J. Relton, Managing Partner. “Michael’s experience will bring additional depth to our compliance offering, helping clients realize operational efficiency while increasing transparency and reducing risk. Being located in Houston, Michael will be able to conduct in-person meetings with the firm’s large Houston and Austin client base, providing the high touch service our clients can expect.”


Dallas-headquartered STRAIT is an independently, minority-owned fund solutions provider to the alternative investments industry. The firm utilizes best-in-class technology to provide tailored fund solutions to private equity firms, hedge funds, family offices, and alternative asset management firms. STRAIT offers a wide range of services, including full hedge and private equity fund administration, middle office solutions, outsourced CFO services, management company accounting, investor services, regulatory compliance services, and performance and risk reporting to the alternative investments industry. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.