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Lower Middle Market Weekly Outlook

Like Columbus in 1492, Blackstone seems to be moving into uncharted territory. Last week, the firm announced that it had decided to both spin off its advisory division and strike acceleration clauses in its future monitoring fee agreements. Both moves seem to be motivated by growing scrutiny from legal and regulatory watch dogs.

Although the advisory business was Blackstone’s oldest division, it supposedly “was being hampered by potential conflicts of interest arising from being housed under the same roof as a giant investing arm.” The newly independent business will be run by Paul J. Taubman. Some worry that the move could start a trend for other major PE shops.

Other PE norms are also being challenge as Elevation Partners opts out of traditional fund structure and GPs are becoming open to longer-term deals.

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This week in history… Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914).

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