July 12, 2018 / 10:09 PM / 9 months ago

Investment firm EnCap to pay $500,000 to settle pay-to-play claims

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Private-equity firm EnCap Investments will pay $500,000 to settle civil “pay-to-play” allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after running afoul of campaign contribution and money management rules.

Employees of the Houston-based oil and gas investment firm, which manages investments for state agencies and pension funds among others, made campaign contributions from 2013 to 2014 to Texas officials who had influence over state investment adviser decisions, the regulatory agency said.

A year later, an EnCap associate contributed to the federal election campaign of an elected official in Wisconsin whose state office was involved in selecting advisers for a public pension fund, according to the SEC filing. A similar contribution was made to an official in Indiana in 2012, the filing said.

EnCap provided advisory services within two years of those contributions, violating pay-to-play laws, the SEC said. The agency has been escalating its scrutiny of pension advisers.

“EnCap is pleased to have reached resolution with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which puts their inquiry into certain personal campaign contributions behind us,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The settlement “will in no way impact our funds, investments or Limited Partners,” EnCap added.

Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney

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