A securities class action suit was filed against advisory firm PJT Partners Inc.

A securities class action suit was filed against a global advisory-focused investment bank following allegations that the firm misled investors.

The lawsuit against PJT Partners Inc. was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors who purchased shares in the bank during the class period between Nov. 12, 2015 and March 28, 2016, according to a press release.

PJT spun off from The Blackstone Group
In October 2015, The Blackstone Group announced it had spun off its financial and strategic advisory services, its restructuring and reorganization advisory services and its Park Hill Group businesses, a press release explained. The divisions split off from Blackstone Group were combined with PJT Capital LP, a global independent financial advisory firm founded by Paul Taubman. The resulting firm was called PJT Partners. Blackstone common unit holders received one share of Class A common stock in PJT Partners for every 40 common units of Blackstone held on the day the business closed.

“PJT Partners will quickly build upon [Blackstone’s] strong track record to further strengthen its position as one of the preeminent strategic financial advisory firms in the world,” Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Blackstone, explained at the time. “We look forward to working with them as clients and continuing the relationships that we have had as colleagues.”

PJT Partners offers alternative investment managers, such as real estate funds, private equity funds and hedge funds, fund placement and secondary advisory services through Park Hill Group. At the time the advisory firm was spun off, Blackstone Group had over $330 billion in assets under management.

“On March 28, 2016, Caspersen was arrested.”

The class action suit against PJT Partners alleged that the defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose certain relevant information to investors. The lawsuit claims that PJT’s compliance and fraud-prevention controls were insufficient. As a result of the firm’s allegedly deficient controls, the class action complaint claims that Andrew W.W. Caspersen, a managing partner at Park Hill Group, ran a criminal operation that ultimately defrauded investors of more than $95 million. As result of these allegations, the lawsuit claims that PJT’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

Caspersen arrested and charged with fraud
On March 28, 2016, Caspersen was arrested. He was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud. The charges stemmed from his fraudulent scheme as a managing partner of Park Hill Group. Caspersen allegedly ran this operation since at least early July 2015. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with defrauding two institutions to invest in a shell company that he managed.

As a result of this news, PJT stock fell $2.81, or more than 10 percent, to close at $23.66 on March 28, 2016.

For more information on this case or other class action litigations, please contact Adam Foulke at 203-987-4949 or info@battea.com.