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Robert Smith at a Morehouse College gala. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Vista Equity continues to work toward getting its house in order, following last Thursday's stunning admissions of personal tax fraud by founder and CEO Robert Smith.

Why it matters: Smith has settled with the Justice Department and the IRS, but the story isn't over yet.

Three updates:

  1. There has not yet been any resolution to the conflict between Smith and firm president Brian Sheth.
  2. Vista recently removed Sheth from the board of Datto, a data protection software company that last night raised nearly $600 million in its IPO (at an initial market cap of $4.25 billion). Multiple sources say Sheth is credited with selling the original buyout to Datto founder and former CEO Austin McChord, after the pair connected at a Morgan Stanley tech event. He had been listed on Datto's original IPO paperwork, filed on Sept. 29.
  3. Vista isn't sitting on its hands while all of this plays out. Axios has learned that the firm quietly agreed to buy a 50% stake in SmartBear, a Somerville, Mass.-based software development and testing company, for around $1.7 billion from Francisco Partners (which retains the other half).

The bottom line: The tension isn't just between two top execs at one of private equity's largest firms. It's also between the appearance of stability and the reality of volatility.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

Robert Smith's image rehab

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Robert Smith on Wednesday made his first public appearance since copping to tax fraud, and agreeing to pay $140 million in back taxes and penalties, appearing on a "Race and Corporate America" panel at the New York Times DealBook Summit.

Why it matters: Smith didn't just get a pass, he got image rehab from his fellow panelists.

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: How data and the pandemic have democratized the "high-performance lifestyle — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains — Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine
  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.