McKinsey affiliate agrees to pay $18 million to U.S. regulator over compliance failures

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FILE PHOTO: Logo of McKinsey and Company is seen at VivaTech fair in Paris

By Chris Prentice

WASHINGTON -The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday said an affiliate of consulting firm McKinsey & Co has agreed to pay $18 million for compliance failures in handling nonpublic information.

McKinsey’s affiliate MIO Partners, which handles investments for current and former McKinsey employees, maintained inadequate policies and procedures to prevent partners from misusing material nonpublic information they obtained as consultants to public companies and other clients while they were simultaneously overseeing the MIO’s investment decisions, the SEC said in a statement. MIO was investing hundreds of millions of dollars in companies that McKinsey was advising.

Some McKinsey partners who oversaw MIO’s investment choices also had access to material nonpublic information as a result of their McKinsey consulting work. They had routine access to confidential information including financial results, planned bankruptcy filings, and mergers and acquisitions, the SEC said.

MIO Partners, which did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings, agreed to a cease-and-desist order and censure in addition to the civil penalty.

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A firm spokesperson noted the SEC did not identify any misuse of the information and said the firm has taken steps to strengthen its policies and procedures over the past few years.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by David Gregorio)