Blackstone Rebuffs SEC Request For More Information

Mar 30 2009 | 11:56am ET

It may seem an odd time to cross a regulator, but that, it seems, is exactly what the Blackstone Group has done.

The New York-based alternative investments giant has rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request that it publicly disclose the performance of its private equity and hedge funds, Bloomberg News reports. Blackstone, responding to a request last year from the agency to publish “performance information” in its quarterly reports, said such disclosures were not required by law or regulation, and that performance figures are irrelevant to its stockholders.

“The individual rates of return have no direct impact on our financials and therefore we question the relevance to our investors,” Blackstone CFO Laurence Tossi wrote to the SEC in a Dec. 5 letter released by the regulator earlier this month.

The SEC responded to Blackstone’s refusal on Jan. 30, telling the firm that it had completed its review and offered no further comments “at this time.”

Last year, the agency asked Blackstone and Fortress Investment Group to substantially increase the amount of information they provided in future filings. Among the data sought by the SEC were the names and inception dates of each fund, assets under management and net returns for each filing period.

Fortress acceded to the SEC call, telling the agency in January that it would “augment our disclosure” with a performance table.

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