california

California Enacts Legislation Requiring Public Investment Funds to Make Disclosures Concerning Fees and Expenses Paid to Private Fund Managers

 

On September 14, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown approved an amendment to the California Government Code, effective January 1, 2017, that requires a “public investment fund,” defined to mean “any fund of any public pension or retirement system, including that of the University of California,” to make certain disclosures at least annually concerning investments in each “alternative investment” vehicle in which it invests.  An “alternative investment vehicle” is defined to mean “the limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar legal structure through which a public investment fund invests in an alternative investment.”  An “alternative investment,” in turn, means an investment in a private equity fund, venture fund, hedge fund, or absolute return fund.”

Such disclosures include: (i) the fees and expenses that the public investment fund pays directly to the alternative investment vehicle, the fund manager or related parties; (ii) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of fees and expenses not included in (i) that are paid by the alternative investment vehicle; (iii) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of carried interest distributed to the fund manager or related parties; and (iv) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of aggregate fees and expenses paid by all of the portfolio companies held within the alternative investment vehicle to the fund manager or related parties.

These disclosure requirements are in alignment with: (i) enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the past several years against private fund managers for failure to adequately disclose conflicts of interest and the fees and expenses borne by investors in their funds; (ii) similar legislative initiatives in other states; and (iii) the publication by the Institutional Limited Partners Association of a proposed reporting template that captures greater detail on fees, expenses and carried interest paid to private fund managers and their affiliates.

FDIC Files Five Lawsuits Against Bank Entities Over RMBS

On August 10, the FDIC in its capacity as receiver for Colonial Bank filed five lawsuits – three in Alabama state court, one in New York federal court, and one in California federal court – seeking $741 million in damages from a number of investment banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Inc., and others, for making allegedly false and misleading statements that induced Colonial Bank into buying mortgage-backed securities.  The FDIC alleges that the banks made numerous false and misleading statements in the offering documents for the RMBS regarding the credit quality of the mortgage loans underlying the securities.  The three Alabama cases each assert two causes of action under the Alabama Securities Act, as well as causes of action under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act).  The New York and California cases each assert causes of action under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act.  

Complaint: Alabama – FDIC v Bank of America, et al. 
Complaint: Alabama – FDIC v Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust, et al. 
Complaint: Alabama – FDIC v Countrywide Securities Corp, et al. 
Complaint: New York – FDIC v Chase Mortgage Finance Corp., et al. 
Complaint: California – FDIC v Countrywide Securities Corp, et al. 

Wells Fargo and KPMG Agree to Settle Wachovia Section 11 Claims for $627 Million

On August 5, 2011, Wells Fargo and KPMG announced an agreement to settle with a class of investors asserting claims based on Wachovia’s 2006 acquisition of Golden West Financial Corp., a mortgage originator based in California. Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $590 million, and KPMG will pay $37 million, for a total settlement value of $627 million. In the suit, brought in 2008 in New York federal court, plaintiffs alleged Golden West originated loans that allowed borrowers to choose from a number of payment options, including payment for less than the interest due, called “Pick-A-Pay” loans. The complaint further alleged that when Wachovia acquired Golden West it began selling the “Pick-A-Pay” loans, as opposed to the traditional, less risky fixed-rate loans, without adequately disclosing the risks to investors or valuing these loans properly on its balance sheet. Plaintiffs brought claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the ’33 Act. The settlement was preliminarily approved by Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York on August 9, 2011, and is set for a final settlement hearing in November 2011. Motion.