SEC Fines Marketing Company For Perks, Non-GAAP Metric Disclosure Issues

By Francine McKenna Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined MDC Partners , a New York-based marketing company, $1.5 million to settle charges it failed to disclose certain perks granted to its then-CEO, Miles S. Nadal, and for violating disclosure rules for non-GAAP financial metrics. MDC Partners failed to disclose additional personal benefits the company paid on behalf of Nadal such as private aircraft usage, club memberships, cosmetic surgery, yacht and sports car expenses, jewelry, charitable donations, pet care, and personal travel expenses, according to the SEC. The CEO later resigned and returned $11.285 million worth of perks, personal expense reimbursements, and other items of value improperly received from 2009 to 2014. The company also improperly used a non-GAAP measure called ''organic revenue growth'' that excluded the effects of two other items, acquisitions and foreign exchange impacts. MDC Partners then revised its calculation to exclude another item, which resulted in higher ''organic revenue growth'' results, without informing investors of the change. MDC Partners also failed to give GAAP metrics equal or greater prominence to non-GAAP metrics in its earnings releases. MDC Partners neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

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