Home > Blog > Archive for the “Private equity” Category

Archive for the ‘Private equity’ Category


SEC charges former Oppenheimer private equity fund manager

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former portfolio manager at Oppenheimer & Co. with misleading investors about the valuation and performance of a fund consisting of other private equity funds.
 
An SEC investigation found that Brian Williamson disseminated quarterly reports and marketing materials to prospective investors misstating that the valuation of the Oppenheimer fund’s holdings was based on values received from the portfolio managers of those underlying funds.  Williamson actually valued the fund’s largest investment at a significant markup to the manager’s estimated value.  He also sent marketing materials reporting an internal rate of return that failed to deduct fees and expenses.  As a result, the fund’s reported performance as measured by its internal rate of return – a key indicator of the fund’s performance – was significantly enhanced.
 
According to the SEC’s order instituting administrative proceedings against Williamson, he was an Oppenheimer employee from 2005 to 2011.  Williamson marketed Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund I, L.P. to pensions, foundations, endowments, and high net worth individuals and families.  From September to October 2009, Williamson marketed the fund using materials that reported an internal rate of return that did not take into account any fees and expenses that the fund paid to underlying fund managers or the additional fees and expenses that the fund paid Oppenheimer.  Furthermore, Williamson modified the Oppenheimer fund’s marketing materials in October 2009 by increasing the reported value of the fund’s largest investment – Cartesian Investors-A LLC – from $6 million to approximately $9 million.  This increase was a significant markup to the underlying manager’s estimated value.  Nonetheless, the marketing materials falsely stated that underlying fund values were “based on the underlying manager’s estimated values.”
 
According to the SEC’s order, Williamson made or approved additional material misrepresentations that created the misleading impression that the Oppenheimer fund’s increased internal rate of return was due to increased performance or third party valuations.  In fact, it was Williamson’s revised valuation of Cartesian that resulted in a material increase in the Oppenheimer fund’s reported performance.  For example, for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, Williamson’s markup of the Cartesian investment increased the reported internal rate of return from approximately 3.8 percent to 38.3 percent.

The Importance of Selection of Counsel

The retention of an attorney is an important decision made with great care. Please review our web site and examine our experience and credentials.


Contact Us