New York-based investment adviser Corvex Management agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations it failed to disclose personnel ownership in certain sponsors of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and didn’t have policies and procedures reasonably designed to thwart conflicts of interest.
Corvex agreed to a censure and to cease and desist from further violations of the Investment Advisers Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in an administrative proceeding Friday. The company neither admitted nor denied the agency’s findings.
Between 2020 and 2021, unnamed Corvex personnel were involved in the formation of three SPACs and shared ownership of the SPACs’ sponsors, according to the SEC’s order.
Corvex had the power “to make investment decisions on behalf of private funds that Corvex advised, including by causing such private funds to purchase securities … to assist with financing SPAC business combinations,” the order stated. The firm would cause its clients to participate in transactions amounting to $52.5 million, $45 million, and $25 million in connection with the business combinations, according to the SEC.
During this period, Corvex failed to make timely disclosure of conflicts of interest and adopt and implement reasonably designed written policies and procedures regarding personnel’s ownership interests in SPAC sponsors. The SEC said it also found conflicts in the company’s practice of investing client assets in connection with the business combinations of affiliated SPACs.
Corvex did not respond to a request for comment.