For seven long months, Guggenheim Partners founder and CEO Mark Walter had an escape. He could click on the TV or drive to the owner’s box at Chavez Ravine and watch his Los Angeles Dodgers win game after game after game, putting up the best record in team history and in baseball for 2017, gliding into a postseason in which they effortlessly dispatched the Arizona Diamondbacks and reigning World Series champions Chicago Cubs to win their first pennant in 29 years.
And for seven long months, it worked: Get a letter from the SEC asking uncomfortable questions about Guggenheim’s relationship with Bob Diamond? No matter, the Dodgers just took a division lead that they’d never relinquish on their way to their fifth-straight N.L. West title. Rumors swirling about internal divisions centering on his relationship with the firm’s now soon-to-be-former global head of institutional distribution, raising questions about his own future with the firm? Can’t be bothered with that right now; I’m trading for Justin Verlander. Get me another round of Dodger Dogs, damnit!
But now it is all over: Mighty Cody (Bellinger) has struck out—17 times in the World Series, as it happens, breaking Aaron Judge’s week-and-a-half-old postseason strikeout record. And there will be no victory parade down Wilshire Boulevard to take Walter’s mind off of things, for the Dodgers’ World Series drought will extend into its third decade. And just hours before it all came crashing down, The Wall Street Journal let us all in on what the fuss is about at Guggenheim Partners, which fuss Walter can now go back to dealing with fulltime.
Guggenheim, an investment firm, bought Atlas Mara shares and bonds on behalf of some of its funds and investment-management clients. It advised two of those clients, which are both insurance companies owned by a Guggenheim shareholder, to invest in Mr. Diamond’s separate private-equity business, Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, and arranged the investments on their behalf, according to filings and people familiar with the matter.
The SEC questioned why Guggenheim didn’t deem Atlas Mara an affiliate, said people familiar with the letter….
Guggenheim officials have explained to the SEC why they handled the transactions the way they did, and are awaiting a reply from the SEC, according to people familiar with the matter.
The companies and Mr. Diamond haven’t been accused of any wrongdoing. The focus of the SEC examination is Guggenheim, the people said. There is no indication Mr. Diamond is part of any SEC review.