Last month, some Anchorage Capital Group investors were getting a bit annoyed with CEO Kevin Ulrich. They wondered whether the hedge fund had sunk and kept more than $1 billion in MGM Holdings for so long because it allowed Ulrich to serve as MGM’s chairman and thereby enjoy the perks that come with running a Hollywood studio. They wondered if that was why it was taking so long to sell the thing, or find a CEO. They wondered whether it was wise to have so much riding on a single movie release—the next James Bond film, “No Time to Die”—when it was unclear, amidst a global pandemic that has shut so many screens, when and if it would, in fact, ever be released.
Well, it turns out that whatever Ulrich is doing at MGM may be the least of his transgressions.
Ulrich committed “sexual battery” involving “forceful physical contact and restraint” in room 610 of the luxury Soho hotel last July, Perry claimed in her June 2, 2020, complaint. She did not consent to Ulrich’s alleged actions, and communicated this to him, per the filing…. Perry “was physically and emotionally harmed, restrained, and treated in an undignified and abusive manner with no regard to her well-being and a conscious disregard to her independence,” the complaint stated. She allegedly suffered “physical pain, and mental and emotional distress” as a result.
Anchorage had decided not to tell its investors and industry consultants, per knowledgeable sources, unless those stakeholders brought it up first…. When clients “mentioned that this was public information and eventually would come out, they shrugged,” according to one institutional allocator, who described this action as lowly. “It’s a solid firm with overall a good quality of staff. They deserve better.”
Anchorage was less transparent than some investors desire their asset managers to be, but by no indication did the firm break any contractual obligation to share Ulrich’s situation. Investment contracts with firms of that size typically stipulate disclosure when a key employee gets indicted on criminal charges — a far higher bar than civil claims simply being filed.
That’ll reassure them. It does make one wonder whether Ulrich will be walking the red carpet when “No Time to Die” finally opens in April. Maybe.