Three private equity fund advisers – Blackstone Management Partners L.L.C., Blackstone Management Partners III L.L.C., and Blackstone Management Partners IV L.L.C. – settled charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission that they failed adequately to disclose in advance a certain fee they charged to funds they managed, as well as a legal discount they received, but did not pass along in its entirety to the same funds. According to the SEC, each Blackstone-advised fund owns multiple investment companies for which it provided various consulting and advisory services in return for an annual fee. Typically these agreements were for 10 years, and some included automatic renewal provisions. The SEC said that, from at least 2010 through March 2015, in some instances, Blackstone terminated the monitoring agreements and accelerated monitoring payments to itself (i.e., received the discounted present value of its fees for the contract duration) even when Blackstone ceased working with the investment company. The SEC charged that Blackstone never disclosed its practice of accelerating fees until after it received an accelerated fees payment. Similarly, said the SEC, from 2008 through early 2011, Blackstone passed along legal fees to funds it advised at a rate higher than a discounted rate it negotiated with its preferred law firm. Blackstone, charged the SEC, did not disclose that it retained the difference to the funds’ investors. These practices violated applicable provisions of law, charged the SEC. To resolve the SEC’s complaint, the respondents agreed to pay a total fine of US $10 million, and to disgorge profits of over US $26 million plus prejudgment interest of almost $2.7 million.