Study Shows PE Managers Are Absorbing a Greater Portion of Expenses (Part One of Two)

In light of intense SEC and investor scrutiny, allocation of expenses between managers and their funds remains a key concern. A recent Strafford program offered an in-depth look at trends in private equity (PE) fee and expense allocations. The program featured Julia D. Corelli and Patrick J. Bianchi, partner and associate, respectively, at Pepper Hamilton, who discussed the results of a recent fee and expense benchmarking survey their firm co-sponsored with PEF Services and WithumSmith+Brown, and compared those findings with prior survey results. This article, the first in a two-part series, discusses the survey’s demographics and analyzes the key takeaways about the types of management and monitoring fees managers are charging, as well as trends in the allocation of broken deal expenses. The second article will explore the portions of the survey relating to co‑investment structures and fee allocations, along with the frequency with which managers disclose to investors deficiencies revealed by SEC examinations. For recent coverage of fee and expense allocation violations by PE sponsors, see “Allegations That Private Equity Manager Misallocated Expenses and Failed to Disclose Conflicts of Interest Result in Nearly $3 Million in Disgorgement and Fines” (Jan. 17, 2019); and “SEC Continues Scrutiny of Undisclosed Fees at Fund Managers” (Jun. 7, 2018).

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