PE Senior Partner Expensed Personal Items to Funds
The SEC commenced enforcement proceedings against the former senior partner of a large private equity firm for charging personal expenses to the funds he advised. According to the SEC, the senior partner used his corporate credit card for personal expenses that his firm allocated to the funds. The funds’ governing documents allowed reimbursement for expenses incurred relating to investments and operations including out-of-pocket expenses for business and travel expenses. Although the conduct occurred over a 3-year period and the company detected unlawful expenses, the senior partner continued to submit false expense reports for which he was reimbursed. The firm ultimately terminated the senior partner after he reimbursed the funds for over $290,000 in personal expenses.
OUR TAKE: Private equity firms could avoid these problems by only charging management fees (and carry) and end this practice of charging the fund for out-of-pocket expenses. Any expense reimbursement issues would be the private matter between the firm and its employees.