The SEC on Thursday fined private equity giant TPG Capital for not explicitly disclosing its use of accelerated management fees, related to funds raised nearly a decade ago. The wrist-slap penalty is $13 million, which is below what some rival firms have been forced to pony up.

Accelerated monitoring fees are when a private equity fund signs a long-term "monitoring" agreement with a portfolio company (e..g, 10 years), but is allowed to receive all 10 years of payment even if it sells the company before the term expires. Many firms have been found to have not adequately disclosed (let alone shared) those fees with their limited partners.

  • Such fees have largely disappeared from private equity fund docs, in part due to greater SEC scrutiny. But it's worth noting that The Choice Act, a partial Dodd-Frank rollback that Gary Cohn told Axios is on the 2018 agenda, would remove a requirement that most buyout firms submit the very investor communications that the SEC has used to spot such improprieties.
  • TPG statement: "TPG is firmly committed to upholding the highest governance and transparency standards. The SEC matter at hand relates to the absence of express disclosure in marketing documents, eight or more years ago, about the possible acceleration of monitoring fees, a then-common industry practice. As the SEC order acknowledges, TPG disclosed its receipt of these fees. As we move forward, in conjunction with this resolution, we remain dedicated to continually enhancing our practices on behalf of our fund investors and portfolio companies."
  • The SEC yesterday also announced that yet another senior regulator — Gerald Hodgkins, an associate director of enforcement with more than 20 years of experience — is leaving at year-end to enter private practice.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.