Steve Rattner, co-founder of The Quadrangle Group, is reportedly close to a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission under which he would pay about $6 million and be banned for two years from the securities industry, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Rattner has been tied to a wide-ranging investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into pay-to-play practices at the state’s massive $120 billion pension. Rattner is mentioned in court documents, but has not been accused of wrong-doing and has denied allegations.
SEC commissioners are expected to vote on the deal with Rattner Thursday, the WSJ reported, citing unnamed individuals.
Earlier this year, Cuomo reached a settlement with Rattner’s former firm, Quadrangle. Under the agreement, the firm would pay $7 million to settle its case. At the time the settlement was announced, the firm accused Rattner of behaving in an “inappropriate, wrong and unethical” manner when Rattner hired political operative Henry Morris to solicit the New York State Common Retirement Fund for a commitment.
Earlier this year, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended Rattner, telling a reporter, “I don’t think he did anything wrong”.
Bloomberg, speaking to a reporter from the Washington Examiner, said Rattner is a “scrupulously honest guy [who] got caught up” in a scheme run by state pension fund managers, according to an article by the Washington Examiner.
“I happen to think the charges against him are ridiculous,” Bloomberg said, according to the article. “I’ve always stood up for anybody that works with me who gets attacked by the press.”
Prior to Quadrangle, Rattner was deputy chairman and deputy chief executive officer at Lazard Freres, where he founded the firm’s media and communications group. In 2000, he co-founded Quadrangle with other former Lazard investment bankers Joshua Steiner, Peter Ezersky and David Tanner.
Rattner works as an advisor at Willett Advisors, which manages the family money of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Willett, which operates from the offices of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, on East 78th Street, in Manhattan, was founded by much of the former Quadrangle Asset Management team, including Howard Margolis, previously head of real assets at QAM, Tushar Shah, director of public markets at QAM; Alice Ruth, chief investment officer of QAM and Sigurd Strack, director of private equity investments.