WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Jan. 17 that 10 investment advisory firms will pay between $35,000 and $100,000 each in penalties after allegations of violating the SEC’s investment adviser pay-to-play rule.


SEC rules mandate that investment advisers who make political contributions to a candidate that could influence public pensions funds must take a two-year timeout from providing compensatory advisory services to the candidate. According to the SEC, these 10 firms violated the rule.


“The two-year timeout is intended to discourage pay-to-play practices in the investment of public money, including public pension funds,” said LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s public finance abuse unit. “Advisory firms must be mindful of the restrictions that can arise from campaign contributions made by their associates.”


The 10 firms are Adams Capital Management, Aisling Capital, Alta Communications, Commonwealth Venture, Management Corporation, Cypress Advisors, FFL Partners, Lime Rock Management, NGN Capital, Pershing Square, Capital Management and The Banc Funds Company.


Louis A. Randazzo coordinated the case for the SEC. Also involved were Kevin B. Currid, Brian Fagel, Natalie G. Garner, William T. Salzmann, and Monique Winkler of the public finance abuse unit and Kelly Gibson and Benjamin D. Schireson of the Philadelphia Regional Office.  

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