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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.

Go deeper

50 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.