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Bad P.E. Managers Harder To Shake Than Patricia Cohen

Breaking up is even harder to do when fees are involved.
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Litigating since he looked like this.

Has your G.P. (allegedly) stolen $17 million from you and your fellow investors? Good luck proving it, since he or she probably won’t want to talk about it. And better luck getting rid of him or her if they don’t.

The key investors behind the divorce ran into a host of challenges. For one, the firm’s namesake founder, G. Steven Burrill, allegedly declined to be interviewed as part of an investigation that the investors launched into the fund, according to a legal complaint….

Limited partners often can also only terminate managers if there are “legitimate” grounds for removal. That could require investors to prove wrongdoing by a manager–a hairy task if the information has to be extracted from a recalcitrant general partner.

On the bright side, the investors in the Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III won. On the less bright side, like certain people who haven’t been married for 25 years, they’re still in court.

The fund is now suing its former general partner and Mr. Burrill over alleged fraud, claiming more than $17 million was embezzled from the fund between 2007 and 2013….

Parties including Mr. Burrill have said they “deny each and every claim” made in a separate pending lawsuit, filed last year by a former Burrill & Co. insider, that included similar allegations of misuse of the fund’s capital.

Breaking Up With A Private Equity Manager Is the Hardest Thing Ever [WSJ Private Equity Beat blog]


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