Private Equity Management Fees and Expenses: Avoiding Investor Claims and SEC Enforcement Actions

Lessons From Recent Claims and Penalties; Procedures and Disclosures to Improve Investor Confidence

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will instruct counsel for private equity (PE) fund managers on the disclosure issues and conflicts of interest associated with fund fees and expense allocations. The panel will discuss recent SEC actions, and best practices in administration and reporting that will pass muster with investors and the SEC.


The SEC’s findings from examinations of registered PE advisers revealed that the most common deficiencies were related to fees and expenses charged by managers of portfolio companies. Specific deficiencies included payments to consultants, shifting expenses during the fund’s life, allocation of expenses and hidden fees.

The SEC continues to focus on fees, expenses and conflicts of interest inherent in the PE manager role and has collected significant penalties from fund managers who fail to properly disclose fees, expenses and conflicts of interest to their investors. These SEC actions provide guidance to fund managers and their counsel regarding practices to avoid, and best practices for full disclosure.

In reviewing current or prospective fund investments, counsel to investors can use these enforcement actions as a road map for questioning fund managers about fee and expense allocations. Funds that do not satisfy investor questions or concerns face the risk of SEC enforcement activity and potential investor litigation.

Listen as our authoritative panel of regulatory attorneys reviews fund fee and expense allocation deficiencies and the specific practices which have been identified as problematic. The panel will discuss best practices for reporting fees and expenses and due diligence for investors evaluating current and prospective investments.



  1. Overview of SEC oversight and authority with respect to private equity funds
  2. Notable SEC enforcement actions on undisclosed fees and expenses
    1. Payments to consultants
    2. Shifting expenses during fund’s life
    3. Characterization of expenses
    4. Hidden fees
  3. Investor due diligence
  4. Best practices in formulating and disclosing PE management fees and expenses


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the stated priorities of the SEC in examining fund manger’s fees and expenses?
  • What particular fee and expense practices has the SEC identified as deficient with respect to disclosure to investors?
  • What due diligence steps should investors take in light of the SEC audit findings?
  • What steps should funds take to review fee and expense practices to ensure investor confidence?


Jason E. Brown
Jason E. Brown

Ropes & Gray

Mr. Brown has extensive experience representing investment advisers to private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge...  |  Read More

M. Alexander (Alec) Koch
M. Alexander (Alec) Koch

King & Spalding

Mr. Koch is a Partner in the Special Matters & Government Investigations practice group, resident in the...  |  Read More

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