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

Breaking down the Tesla obsession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is the company of the moment — the prime exemplar of just about any big and important trend that you might care about.

Why it matters: Almost every reader of finance and business news will have at least one strongly-held opinion about Tesla. What you might not realize is just how widely those opinions range, and the degree to which they map onto much broader views of the world.

Gallup: Party preference swings dramatically in favor of Democrats

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Americans' political party preferences have swung sharply from a 2-point Republican advantage in January to an 11-point Democratic advantage in July, according to Gallup's monthly averages of telephone polls in 2020.

The big picture: The dramatic shift is more a product of fewer people identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (down 8% since January) than gains among those who identify as Democratic or Democratic-leaning (up 5%).

Nancy Pelosi: "I yearn for other Republican presidents"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, but at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."