8-K
false 0001796022 0001796022 2024-05-31 2024-05-31

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 8-K

CURRENT REPORT

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): May 31, 2024

StepStone Group Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

Delaware   001-39510   84-3868757

(State or Other Jurisdiction

of Incorporation)

 

(Commission

File Number)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

277 Park Avenue, 45th Floor

New York, NY 10172

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(212) 351-6100

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

 

(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

 

 

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

 

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 210.14d-2(b))

 

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)    Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share   STEP    The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐


Item 1.01.

Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement.

 On May 31, 2024, StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”) and StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), completed the first annual exchange (the “2024 Exchange”) as part of the previously announced transactions to acquire equity interests of StepStone Group Real Estate LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“SRE”), StepStone Group Real Assets LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“SIRA”) and StepStone Group Private Debt AG (formerly known as Swiss Capital Alternative Investments AG), a private company limited by shares incorporated in the canton of Zurich (“SPD”, and collectively with SRE and SIRA, the “Asset Class Entities”, and each, an “Asset Class Entity”) pursuant to (i) the Transaction Agreement (the “SRE Transaction Agreement”), dated as of February 7, 2024, with SRE, Jeffrey Giller, solely in his capacity as seller representative, and the seller parties signatory thereto (the “SRE Sellers”), (ii) the Transaction Agreement (the “SIRA Transaction Agreement”), dated as of February 7, 2024, with SIRA, James O’Leary, solely in his capacity as seller representative, and the seller parties signatory thereto (the “SIRA Sellers”), and (iii) the Transaction Agreement (the “SPD Transaction Agreement”, and collectively with the SRE Tranaction Agreement and the SIRA Transaction Agreement, the “Transaction Agreements”), dated as of February 7, 2024, with StepStone Europe Limited, a private limited liability company incorporated in England and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, SPD, Marcel Schindler, solely in his capacity as seller representative, and SC Partner LP, a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership (the “SPD Seller”, and collectively with the SRE Sellers and the SIRA Sellers, the “Sellers”, and each, a “Seller”), respectively.

 The portion of the equity interests acquired in the 2024 Exchange was approximately 5% of each Asset Class Entity. As a result of the 2024 Exchange, the Partnership now owns approximately 56% of the outstanding equity interests of SRE, 54% of the outstanding equity interests of SIRA and 55% of the outstanding equity interests of SPD. The amount of consideration delivered was calculated using exchange ratios based on a formula establishing an assumed value of each Asset Class Entity based on its estimated adjusted net income, relative to an adjusted trading multiple for the Company’s Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “Class A Common Stock”), relative to the Company’s estimated adjusted net income. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company and the Partnership in the 2024 Exchange was approximately (i) $13 million in cash, (ii) 513,394 shares of Class A Common Stock, and (iii) 2,239,185 Class D Units of the Partnership (the “Class D Units”).

Tenth Amended & Restated Limited Partnership Agreement

 In connection with the transactions contemplated by the SRE Transaction Agreement and SIRA Transaction Agreement, the Partnership entered into a Tenth Amended & Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of StepStone Partnership LP (the “A&R Partnership Agreement”) at the closing of the 2024 Exchange on May 31, 2024. The A&R Partnership Agreement creates Class D Units of the Partnership (the “Class D Units”) to be issued to the Sellers under the SRE Transaction Agreement and SIRA Transaction Agreement. The rights and obligations applicable to holders of the Class D Units are substantially the same as those applicable to existing holders of Class C Units of the Partnership under the Ninth Amended & Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of the Partnership.

 The foregoing summary does not purport to be a complete description and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the A&R Partnership Agreement, which is attached hereto as Exhibit 10.1 and is incorporated herein by reference

Second Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement

 In connection with the transactions contemplated by the Transaction Agreements, the Company entered into a Second Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement (the “Second A&R RRA”) at the closing of the 2024 Exchange on May 31, 2024, on substially the same terms as the existing Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of September 20, 2021. The Second A&R RRA grants customary registration rights to the Sellers, including demand registration rights, shelf registration rights and piggback registration rights.

 The foregoing summary does not purport to be a complete description and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Second A&R RRA, which is attached hereto as Exhibit 10.2 and is incorporated herein by reference.


Class D Exchange Agreement

 In connection with the transactions contemplated by the SRE Transaction Agreement and SIRA Transaction Agreement, the Company entered into a Class D Exchange Agreement (the “Class D Exchange Agreement”) at the closing of the 2024 Exchange on May 31, 2024. The Class D Exchange Agreement provides, among other things, Sellers under the SRE Transaction Agreement and SIRA Transaction Agreement with the ability, in certain circumstances and subject to certain conditions, to exchange the Class D Units issued to them in connection with the SRE Transaction Agreement and SIRA Transaction Agreement on a one for one basis with shares of Class A Common Stock of the Company, par value $0.001 (the “Class A Common Stock”). In addition, the Class D Exchange Agreement restricts the exchange of the Class D Units issued to such Sellers, which restriction shall apply for a maximum of one year (or two years if a Transaction Agreement Exchange (as defined in the Class D Exchange Agreement) constitutes an Acceleration Exchange (as defined in the Class D Exchange Agreement)), subject to certain exceptions.

 The foregoing summary does not purport to be a complete description and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Class D Exchange Agreement, which is attached hereto as Exhibit 10.3 and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 3.02.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities.

 The information set forth in Item 1.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K is incorporated into this Item 3.02 by reference.

 The Class A Common Stock and Class D Units issued at the closing of the 2024 Exchange are not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or other applicable securities laws, in reliance upon the exemption set forth in Section 4(a)(2) under the Securities Act. The Class A Common Stock issued to SPD Seller at the closing of the 2024 Exchange are subject to certain transfer restrictions set forth in the SPD Transaction Agreement. One share of Class A Common Stock will be issuable upon exchange of each Class D Unit and such issuances will be made in reliance upon the exemption set forth in Sections 3(a)(9) and/or 4(a)(2) under the Securities Act.

 

Item 9.01.

Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d) Exhibits

 

Exhibit No.

  

Description

10.1*    Tenth Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of StepStone Group LP, dated May 31, 2024, by and among StepStone Group Holdings, LLC, as General Partner, and each of the other persons and entities party thereto.
10.2    Second Amended & Restated Registration Rights Agreement, dated May 31, 2024, by and among the Company and the other persons and entities party thereto.
10.3    Class D Exchange Agreement, dated as of May 31, 2024, by and among the Company, the Partnership and the other persons and entities party thereto.
104    Cover Page Interactive Data File (embedded within the Inline XBRL document)

* Schedules and exhibits have been omitted pursuant to Item 601(b)(2) of Regulation S-K. The Company hereby undertakes to furnish supplemental copies of any of the omitted schedules and exhibits upon request by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


SIGNATURES

 Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

Dated: May 31, 2024         StepStone Group Inc.
         By:  

/s/ Scott Hart

          Scott Hart
          Partner and Chief Executive Officer
EX-10.1

Exhibit 10.1

Execution Version

 

 

TENTH AMENDED AND RESTATED

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

OF

STEPSTONE GROUP LP

 

 

Dated as of May 31, 2024

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

          Page  

ARTICLE 1 ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS

     1  

1.1

   Name      1  

1.2

   Principal Place of Business; Other Places of Business      1  

1.3

   Business Purpose      1  

1.4

   Amendments to Certificate and Other Filings      2  

1.5

   Designated Agent for Service of Process      2  

1.6

   Term      2  

1.7

   Rights      2  

ARTICLE 2 DEFINITIONS

     2  

ARTICLE 3 CAPITAL; CAPITAL ACCOUNTS AND PARTNERS

     15  

3.1

   Capital Contributions      15  

3.2

   Capital Accounts      15  

3.3

   Classes of Units      15  

3.4

   Additional Limited Partners      19  

3.5

   Irrevocable Proxy      19  

3.6

   Partner Capital      20  

3.7

   Partner Loans      20  

3.8

   Liability of Limited Partners      20  

ARTICLE 4 DISTRIBUTIONS

     20  

4.1

   General Distributions      20  

4.2

   Tax Distributions      20  

4.3

   Limitation on Distributions in Respect of Profits Units      22  

4.4

   Distributions of Class B2 Dilution Reserve      22  

4.5

   Distributions Upon Liquidation      23  

4.6

   Distributions to Reflect Additional Units      23  

4.7

   Other Distribution Rules      23  

4.8

   Distributions in Kind      24  

4.9

   Limitations on Distributions      24  

ARTICLE 5 ALLOCATIONS OF NET PROFITS AND NET LOSSES

     24  

5.1

   Allocation Generally      24  

5.2

   Priority Allocations      24  

5.3

   Other Allocation Rules      26  

5.4

   Preparation of Partnership Tax Returns      27  

5.5

   No Right to Review Partner Tax Returns      27  

5.6

   No Inconsistent Positions      28  

5.7

   Tax Elections      28  

5.8

   Tax Representative      28  

5.9

   Partnership Audits      29  

5.10

   Information to be Provided by Partners to Partnership      29  

5.11

   Information to be Provided by Partnership to Partners      30  


5.12

   Survival of Obligations      30  

5.13

   Withholding      30  

5.14

   Taxes Other Than U.S. Federal Income Taxes      31  

5.15

   United States Person      31  

5.16

   Tax Classification      31  

ARTICLE 6 OPERATIONS

     31  

6.1

   Management Generally      31  

6.2

   Authority of and Approvals by the General Partner      31  

6.3

   Duties, Exculpation and Indemnification      31  

6.4

   Records; Reports; Schedules      33  

6.5

   Insurance      34  

6.6

   Other Activities      35  

6.7

   Certain Tax-Related Decisions      35  

6.8

   Expenses      35  

ARTICLE 7 INTERESTS AND TRANSFERS OF INTERESTS

     36  

7.1

   Transfers      36  

7.2

   Further Restrictions      37  

7.3

   Rights of Assignees      37  

7.4

   Admissions, Withdrawals and Removals      38  

7.5

   Withdrawal or Removal of Limited Partner      38  

7.6

   Admission of Assignees as Substitute Partners      38  

7.7

   Withdrawal of Partners      38  

7.8

   Exchange      38  

7.9

   Drag-Along Transaction      39  

7.10

   Adjustment Events Relating to Class B Units      41  

7.11

   Vesting of Class B2 Units      42  

7.12

   Anti-Dilution Issuances Related to Units Acquired by the 2019 Equity Investors Pursuant to the 2019 Equity Transaction      43  

7.13

   Adjustments Relating to Class C Units      43  

7.12

   Adjustments Relating to Class D Units      43  

ARTICLE 8 DISSOLUTION, LIQUIDATION, AND TERMINATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP

     44  

8.1

   Limitations      44  

8.2

   Exclusive Causes      44  

8.3

   Effect of Dissolution      44  

8.4

   No Capital Contribution Upon Dissolution      44  

8.5

   Liquidation      44  
ARTICLE 9 MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION      45  

9.1

   Resolution of Disputes Among Partners      45  

9.2

   Single Arbitrator; Governing Rules      45  

9.3

   Discovery      45  

9.4

   Arbitration Hearing      46  

9.5

   Timely Determination      47  

 

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9.6

   Award or Decision      47  

9.7

   Limitations      47  

9.8

   Remedies      47  

9.9

   Statute of Limitations      47  

9.10

   Continuing Project      48  

9.11

   Jurisdiction and Venue      48  

9.12

   Fees      48  

9.13

   Coordination with Tax Receivable Agreements      48  
ARTICLE 10 MISCELLANEOUS      48  

10.1

   Amendments      48  

10.2

   Voting      48  

10.3

   Accounting and Fiscal Year      48  

10.4

   Entire Agreement      49  

10.5

   Further Assurances      49  

10.6

   Notices      49  

10.7

   Governing Law; Certain Waivers      49  

10.8

   Approvals      49  

10.9

   Power of Attorney      50  

10.10

   Construction      50  

10.11

   Interpretation      50  

10.12

   Binding Effect      50  

10.13

   Severability      50  

10.14

   Counterparts      50  

10.15

   Spousal Consent      50  

 

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TENTH AMENDED AND RESTATED

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

OF

STEPSTONE GROUP LP

TENTH AMENDED AND RESTATED LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”) of StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), is made and entered into as of May 31, 2024, by and between StepStone Group Holdings LLC, as General Partner, and each of the persons admitted as a Limited Partner as of the date hereof or admitted from time to time after the date hereof as a Limited Partner in accordance with the terms of this Agreement (collectively, the “Partners” with each being referred to separately as a “Partner”).

WHEREAS, since September 20, 2021, the Partnership has been governed by the Ninth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Partnership (the “Ninth Amended and Restated Agreement”); and

WHEREAS, the General Partner desires to amend the Ninth Amended and Restated Agreement primarily to establish a new class of Units and to amend and restate the Ninth Amended and Restated Agreement to include such amendments and to read in its entirety as set forth herein.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained herein and for other good and valuable consideration, the Partners hereby agree (and each Person who subsequently shall become a Partner shall agree) as follows:

ARTICLE 1

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS

1.1 Name. The name of the Partnership is StepStone Group LP. The Partnership may also conduct business at the same time under one or more fictitious names if the General Partner determines that such is in the best interests of the Partnership. The General Partner may change the name of the Partnership, from time to time, in accordance with applicable Law.

1.2 Principal Place of Business; Other Places of Business. The principal place of business of the Partnership is located at 4225 Executive Square, Suite 1600, La Jolla, CA 92037 or such other place within or outside the State of Delaware as the General Partner may from time to time designate. The Partnership may maintain offices and places of business at such other place or places within or outside the State of Delaware as the General Partner deems advisable.

1.3 Business Purpose. The principal purpose of the Partnership is to engage in the business of providing private market and other alternative investment advisory services and engaging in and managing related investment activities. The Partnership may also engage in any and all lawful business, purpose or activity in which a limited partnership may be engaged under


applicable Law (including, without limitation, the Act) as may be determined by the General Partner from time to time.

1.4 Amendments to Certificate and Other Filings. The General Partner may execute and file any duly authorized amendments to the Certificate of Limited Partnership of the Partnership from time to time in a form prescribed by the Act. The General Partner shall also cause to be made, on behalf of the Partnership, such additional filings and recordings as the General Partner shall deem necessary or advisable.

1.5 Designated Agent for Service of Process. The address of the registered office of the Partnership in the State of Delaware, and the name and address of the registered agent of the Partnership for service of process on the Partnership in the State of Delaware, is The Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, 19801.

1.6 Term. The Partnership shall continue until terminated pursuant to this Agreement.

1.7 Rights. The rights and liabilities of the Partners of the Partnership shall be as provided in the Act, except as otherwise expressly provided herein. In the event of any inconsistency between any terms and conditions contained in this Agreement and any non-mandatory provisions of the Act, the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement shall govern. The Partnership has been established as a series limited partnership pursuant to §17-218 of the Act but no such series have been or, in the absence of a properly adopted amendment to this Agreement, will be, issued.

ARTICLE 2

DEFINITIONS

Capitalized words and phrases used and not otherwise defined elsewhere in this Agreement shall have the following meanings:

2.1 “2019 Dilutable Units” means Units outstanding immediately after the 2019 Equity Transaction, other than the Class B2 Units and Units acquired by 2019 Equity Investors pursuant to the 2019 Equity Transaction.

2.2 “2019 Equity Investors” means the purchasers of Units in the 2019 Equity Transaction.

2.3 “2019 Equity Transaction” means the purchases and sales of Units that occurred on August 19, 2019.

2.4 “2019 Redeemed Partners” means the Limited Partners whose Units were redeemed in the 2019 Equity Transaction.

2.5 “2021 Transaction Agreement” means that certain Transaction Agreement, dated as of July 7, 2021, by and among the Partnership, SSG, certain holders of Class C Units and certain other parties as set forth therein.

 

2


2.6 “2022 Option Agreement” means that certain Option Agreement, dated as of November 2, 2022, by and among Conversus Holdings LLC, the Partnership, SSG and StepStone Group Private Wealth LLC (previously known as StepStone Conversus LLC).

2.7 “2024 Transaction Agreements” means collectively (i) that certain Transaction Agreement, dated as of February 7, 2024, by and among SSG, the Partnership, StepStone Group Real Estate LP, Jeff Giller, solely in his capacity as a seller representative, and the seller parties signatory thereto, (ii) that certain Transaction Agreement, dated as of February 7, 2024, by and among SSG, the Partnership, StepStone Group Real Assets LP, James O’Leary, solely in his capacity as a seller representative, and the seller parties signatory thereto and (iii) that certain Transaction Agreement, dated as of February 7, 2024, by and among SSG, the Partnership, SPD, StepStone Europe Limited, Marcel Schindler, solely in his capacity as seller representative, and SCP.

2.8 “Act” means the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, as amended from time to time.

2.9 “Active Partner” means a Class B Limited Partner or Class B2 Limited Partner employed by the SSG Group or actively engaged in a service provider capacity in the business or management of the SSG Group, for so long as there has not been a Termination Event with respect to such Limited Partner; provided that, for the avoidance of doubt none of (i) Argonaut Holdings, LLC, (ii) Sanford Energy, Inc., (iii) Davis Investment Holdings, LLC, (iv) ALD 2020 GST Trust or (v) any holder of Partnership Interests that is owned by an advisory fund or account advised or sub-advised by Davis Investment Holdings, LLC or one of its Affiliates shall be deemed Active Partners.

2.10 “Additional Limited Partners” means those Persons admitted to the Partnership pursuant to Section 3.4.

2.11 “Adjusted Capital Account Deficit” means, with respect to any Partner, the deficit balance, if any, in such Partner’s Capital Account as of the end of the relevant fiscal period, after giving effect to the following adjustments:

2.11.1 Add to such Capital Account the following items:

 (a) The amount, if any, that such Partner is obligated to contribute to the Partnership upon liquidation of such Partner’s Interest; and

 (b) The amount that such Partner is obligated to restore or is deemed to be obligated to restore pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(c) or the penultimate sentence of each of Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-2(g)(1) and 1.704-2(i)(5); and

2.11.2 Subtract from such Capital Account such Partner’s share of the items described in Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(d)(4), (5) and (6).

The foregoing definition of Adjusted Capital Account Deficit is intended to comply with the provisions of Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(d) and shall be interpreted consistently therewith.

 

3


2.12 “Adjustment Event” means, with respect to any Active Partner, any event the result of which is that such Limited Partner’s status as an Active Partner is Terminated for any reason.

2.13 “Adjustment Percentage” is defined in Section 7.10.1.

2.14 “Admission Agreement” means, with respect to any Limited Partner, the purchase, subscription or other agreement pursuant to which such Limited Partner agrees to become a Limited Partner, or other written agreement between the General Partner and/or the Partnership on the one hand and such Limited Partner on the other relating to such Limited Partner’s interest in the Partnership.

2.15 “Affected Partner” is defined in Section 7.10.1.

2.16 “Affiliate” means, with reference to a specified Person, any other Person that, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the specified Person. For purposes of this definition, the term “control” (including with correlative meanings, the terms “controlling”, “controlled by”, and “under common control with”), with respect to any Person, means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of such Person, either through the ownership of a majority of such Person’s voting stock, by contract or otherwise.

2.17 “Agreement” is defined in the Preamble and shall include any Class Designation, which shall be an integral part of this Agreement.

2.18 “Anti-Dilution Trigger” is defined in Section 7.12.

2.19 “Anti-Dilution Units” is defined in Section 7.12.

2.20 “Arbitrator” is defined in Section 9.2.

2.21 “Assignee” means any Person (a) to whom a Limited Partner (or assignee thereof) Transfers all or any part of its interest in the Partnership, and (b) which has not been admitted to the Partnership as a Substitute Partner pursuant to Section 7.6.

2.22 “Assumed Tax Liability” is defined in Section 4.2.2.

2.23 “Assumed Tax Rate” is defined in Section 4.2.2(b).

2.24 “Base Percentage Interest” means, with respect to any Partner as of any date of determination, the fraction (expressed as a percentage), the numerator of which is the number of Units held by such Partner and the denominator of which is the number of Units held by all Partners. For purposes of this calculation, the Unvested Class B2 Units of any Class B2 Limited Partner shall be excluded (from both the numerator and the denominator).

2.25 “Beneficial Ownership” (including correlative terms) shall have the meaning ascribed to that term in Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act.

 

4


2.26 “Business Day” means any calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday or other day on which commercial banks in New York, New York are authorized or required to close.

2.27 “Capital Account” is defined in Section 3.2.

2.28 “Capital Contributions” means, with respect to any Partner, the total amount of money and the initial Gross Asset Value of property (other than money) contributed to the capital of the Partnership by such Partner, whether as an initial Capital Contribution or as an additional Capital Contribution.

2.29 “Capital Stock” means (i) any class or series of capital stock of SSG now or hereafter authorized, (ii) any rights, options, warrants, or convertible or exchangeable securities that entitle the holder thereof to subscribe for or purchase, convert such securities into, or exchange such securities for, capital stock of SSG, and (iii) any indebtedness issued by SSG that provides any of the rights described in clause (ii).

2.30 “Cause” means, with respect to any Active Partner or, with respect to Section 7.8.2(e) only, any Class C Limited Partner or any Class D Limited Partner, that such Limited Partner commits any of the following acts and fails to cure said breach, if it is in fact curable, within thirty (30) days after written notice from the General Partner of said breach: (a) conviction of, or plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any criminal act involving moral turpitude, including, without limitation, fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of funds or property; (b) commission of a material act of dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation which would reasonably be expected to adversely and materially affect the assets, business or prospects of the SSG Group; (c) willful breach of duty in the course of providing services as an Active Partner; (d) material breach of this Agreement; and/or (e) materially failing to satisfy, perform or comply with any obligations, duties or undertakings that a Limited Partner owes to the SSG Group.

2.31 “Change of Control” means: (i) an acquisition by any Person or group of Persons of Equity Securities of the Partnership (other than the Ownership Group, the SSG Group or a member of either of them), whether already outstanding or newly issued, in a transaction or series of transactions, if immediately thereafter such Person or group of Persons (other than the Ownership Group, the SSG Group or a member of either of them) has, or would have, directly or indirectly, Beneficial Ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the combined Equity Securities of the Partnership; (ii) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Partnership and its Subsidiaries, taken as a whole, directly or indirectly, to any Person or group of Persons (other than the Ownership Group, the SSG Group or a member of either of them) in a transaction or series of transactions; or (iii) the consummation of a tender offer, merger, recapitalization, consolidation, business combination, reorganization or other transaction, or series of related transactions, involving the Partnership and any other Person or group of Persons (other than the Ownership Group, the SSG Group or a member of either of them); unless, in the case of clause (ii) or (iii) of this definition, either (1) then-existing Partners, immediately prior to such transaction or the first transaction in such series of transactions, will beneficially own more than fifty percent (50%) of the combined Equity Securities of the Partnership (or, if the Partnership will not be the surviving entity in such transaction or series of transactions, such surviving entity) immediately after such transaction or series of transactions or (2) Persons who are Partners immediately prior to such transaction or the first transaction in such series of transactions will be entitled to cast at least a majority of the votes

 

5


for the Board of Directors of SSG (or the board of directors or equivalent body of such surviving entity, as the case may be) after the closing of such transaction or series of transactions. As used in this definition of Change of Control, the term “group” shall have the same meaning of such term is used in Rule 13d-5 of the Exchange Act.

2.32 “Class A Common Stock” means the Class A common stock of SSG.

2.33 “Class A Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1(a).

2.34 “Class B Common Stock” means the Class B common stock of SSG.

2.35 “Class B Exchange Agreement” means the Exchange Agreement, effective as of September 18, 2020, among the Partnership and the holders of Class B Units (as defined therein) from time to time party thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

2.36 “Class B Limited Partner” means a Limited Partner in its capacity as a holder of Class B Units.

2.37 “Class B Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1(b).

2.38 “Class B2 Dilution Reserve” means that portion of the purchase price paid by the 2019 Equity Investors in the 2019 Equity Transaction retained by the Partnership to fund distributions under Section 4.4.

2.39 “Class B2 Forfeiture Amount” is defined in Section 4.4.2.

2.40 “Class B2 Limited Partner” means a Limited Partner in its capacity as a holder of Class B2 Units.

2.41 “Class B2 Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1(c).

2.42 “Class B2 Vesting Amount” is defined in Section 4.4.2.

2.43 “Class C Exchange Agreement” means the Class C Exchange Agreement, effective on or about the date of this Agreement, among the Partnership and the Partnership Unitholders (as defined therein) from time to time party thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

2.44 “Class C Limited Partner” means a Limited Partner in its capacity as a holder of Class C Units.

2.45 “Class C Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1(d).

2.46 “Class D Exchange Agreement” means the Class D Exchange Agreement, to be entered into among the Partnership and the Partnership Unitholders (as defined therein) from time to time party thereto who hold Class D Units, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

 

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2.47 “Class D Limited Partner” means a Limited Partner in its capacity as a holder of Class D Units.

2.48 “Class D Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1(e).

2.49 “Class Designation” means any document setting forth the rights, obligations, terms and conditions of the Units of any other class established by the General Partner in accordance with this Agreement.

2.50 “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time (or any corresponding provisions of succeeding law).

2.51 “Death” means the death of a natural person that is an Active Partner, or the death of a natural person with respect to whom an estate planning vehicle is an Active Partner.

2.52 “Depreciation” for each Fiscal Year or other applicable period, an amount equal to the federal income tax depreciation, amortization or other cost recovery deduction allowable under United States federal income tax principles with respect to an asset for Fiscal Year or other period, except that if the Gross Asset Value of an asset differs from its adjusted basis for federal income tax purposes at the beginning of such year or period, Depreciation shall be computed in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(g)(3) or 1.704-3(d)(2), as applicable, as determined by the General Partner.

2.53 “Designated Individual” is defined in Section 5.8.1(b).

2.54 “Distribution Record Date” means the record date established by the Partnership for the purpose of determining the Partners entitled to receive any distribution, which record date shall (unless otherwise determined by the Partnership) generally be the same as the record date established by SSG for a distribution to its stockholders of some or all of its portion of such distribution.

2.55 “Drag-Along Right” is defined in Section 7.9.2.

2.56 “Drag-Along Transaction” means a sale of all or substantially all of the consolidated business, operations and assets of the SSG Group in one transaction or a series of related transactions that (a) would result in a Change of Control and (b) is designated as a Drag-Along Transaction by the General Partner or the Board of Directors of SSG.

2.57 “Equity Securities” means, with respect to any Person, any and all partnership interests, capital stock, options or other equity securities in such Person, and all securities exchangeable for or convertible or exercisable into, any of the foregoing.

2.58 “Equivalent Units” means, with respect to any class or series of Capital Stock, Units with preferences, conversion, and other rights (other than voting rights), restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption that are substantially the same as (or correspond to) the preferences, conversion and other rights, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of such Capital Stock as appropriate to reflect the relative rights and preferences of such Capital Stock as to the other classes

 

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and series of Capital Stock as such Equivalent Units would have as to the other classes and series of Units corresponding to the other classes of Capital Stock, but not as to matters such as voting for members of the Board of Directors that are not applicable to the Partnership. In comparing the economic rights of any Capital Stock with the economic rights of any Units, the effect of taxes shall be taken into account.

2.59 “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

2.60 “FATCA” means Code sections 1471 through 1474, as of the date of this Agreement (or any amended or successor version that is substantively comparable and not materially more onerous to comply with), any current or future regulations or official interpretations, any agreement entered into pursuant to Code section 1471(b)(1), any applicable intergovernmental agreements with respect thereto, and any fiscal or regulatory legislation, rules or practices adopted pursuant to any such intergovernmental agreement entered into in connection with the implementation of such sections of the Code.

2.61 “Fiscal Year” is defined in Section 10.3.

2.62 “Former Active Partner” means a Person who previously was an Active Partner, from and after a Termination Event with respect to such Limited Partner.

2.63 “Full Vesting Date” shall mean, with respect to any Class B2 Units, the date on which all of the Class B2 Units issued to a Class B2 Limited Partner in an Admission Agreement become fully vested in accordance with the terms set forth in Section 7.11.1.

2.64 “General Partner” means StepStone Group Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, or any other Person that becomes a successor or an additional general partner of the Partnership as provided in this Agreement, in each such Person’s capacity as general partner, in each case as the context requires.

2.65 “Gross Asset Value” means, with respect to any asset, the asset’s adjusted basis for federal income tax purposes, except as follows:

2.65.1 The initial Gross Asset Value of any asset (other than money) contributed by a Partner to the Partnership shall be the gross fair market value of such asset.

2.65.2 The Gross Asset Values of all assets shall be adjusted to equal their respective gross fair market values as determined by the General Partner as of the following times:

 (a) the acquisition of an additional interest in the Partnership (other than in connection with the execution of this Agreement) by a new or existing Partner in exchange for more than a de minimis Capital Contribution, if the General Partner reasonably determines that such adjustment is necessary or appropriate to reflect the relative economic interests of the Partners in the Partnership;

 (b) the distribution by the Partnership to a Partner of more than a de minimis amount of Partnership assets as consideration for an interest in the Partnership, if the General Partner reasonably determines that such adjustment is necessary or appropriate to reflect the relative economic interests of the Partners in the Partnership;

 

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 (c) the grant of an interest in the Partnership (other than a de minimis amount) as consideration for the provision of services to or for the benefit of the Partnership by an existing Partner acting in a Partner capacity, or by a new Partner acting in a Partner capacity or in anticipation of being a Partner;

 (d) the liquidation of the Partnership within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(g); and

 (e) such other times as the General Partner shall reasonably determine necessary or advisable in order to comply with Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-1(b) and 1.704-2.

2.65.3 The Gross Asset Value of any Partnership asset distributed to a Partner shall be the gross fair market value of such asset on the date of distribution, as determined by the General Partner.

2.65.4 The Gross Asset Values of Partnership assets shall be increased (or decreased) to reflect any adjustments to the adjusted basis of such assets pursuant to Code section 734(b) or Code section 743(b), but only to the extent that such adjustments are taken into account in determining Capital Accounts pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m); provided, however, that Gross Asset Values shall not be adjusted pursuant to this Section 2.64.4 to the extent that the General Partner reasonably determines that an adjustment pursuant to Section 2.64.2 above is necessary or appropriate in connection with a transaction that would otherwise result in an adjustment pursuant to this Section 2.64.4.

2.65.5 If the Gross Asset Value of a Partnership asset has been determined or adjusted pursuant to Section 2.64.1, Section 2.64.2 or Section 2.64.4, such Gross Asset Value shall thereafter be adjusted by the Depreciation taken into account with respect to such Partnership asset for purposes of computing Net Profits and Net Losses.

2.66 “Imputed Underpayment” is defined in Section 5.9.1.

2.67 “Imputed Underpayment Share” is defined in Section 5.9.2.

2.68 “Incapacity” means the entry of an order of incompetence or of insanity, or the Death, permanent disability, dissolution, bankruptcy (as defined in the Act) or termination (other than by merger or consolidation) of any Person.

2.69 “Indemnitees” is defined in Section 6.3.3.

2.70 “Initial Class B2 Amount” is defined in Section 4.4.2.

2.71 “Intangible Asset Gain” means the gain realized by the Partnership with respect to any Intangible Assets in connection with the actual or hypothetical sale of such Intangible Assets, including, but not limited to, gain realized in connection with an adjustment to the Gross Asset Value of Partnership assets.

 

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2.72 “Intangible Assets” means the assets of the Partnership that are of the type described in Code section 197(d), as well as interests in entities classified as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

2.73 “Investment Company Act” means the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

2.74 “IRS” means the United States Internal Revenue Service, or, if applicable, a state or local taxing agency.

2.75 “Issuance Date” means, with respect to any Class B2 Units, the date of issuance of such Class B2 Units pursuant to an Admission Agreement or such other date as determined by the General Partner and set forth in the relevant Admission Agreement.

2.76 “JAMS” is defined in Section 9.1.

2.77 “JAMS Rules” is defined in Section 9.1.

2.78 “Law” means any applicable constitutional provision, statute, act, code (including the Code), law, regulation, rule, ordinance, order, decree, ruling, proclamation, resolution, judgment, decision, declaration, or interpretative or advisory opinion or letter of a governmental authority and shall include, for the avoidance of any doubt, the Act.

2.79 “Limited Partner” means, at any time, any Person who is at such time a limited partner of the Partnership and shown as such on the books and records of the Partnership, in its capacity as a limited partner of the Partnership.

2.80 “Liquidator” is defined in Section 8.5.1.

2.81 “Net Profits” or “Net Losses” means, for each Fiscal Year, an amount equal to the Partnership’s taxable income or loss for such Fiscal Year determined in accordance with Code section 703(a) (for this purpose, all items of income, gain, loss, deduction or credit required to be stated separately pursuant to Code section 703(a)(1) shall be included in taxable income or loss), with the following adjustments:

2.81.1 Any income of the Partnership that is exempt from federal income tax and not otherwise taken into account in computing Net Profits or Net Losses pursuant to this Section 2.75 shall be added to such taxable income or loss;

2.81.2 Any expenditure of the Partnership described in Code section 705(a)(2)(B) or treated as Code section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(i), and not otherwise taken into account in computing Net Profits or Net Losses pursuant to this Section 2.75, shall be subtracted from such taxable income or loss;

2.81.3 Gain or loss resulting from any disposition of any asset of the Partnership with respect to which gain or loss is recognized for federal income tax purposes shall be computed by reference to the Gross Asset Value of the asset disposed of, notwithstanding that the adjusted tax basis of such asset differs from its Gross Asset Value;

 

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2.81.4 In lieu of the depreciation, amortization and other cost recovery deductions taken into account in computing such taxable income or loss, there shall be taken into account Depreciation for such Fiscal Year;

2.81.5 If the Gross Asset Value of any asset owned by the Partnership is adjusted in accordance with Section 2.64.2 or Section 2.64.3, the amount of such adjustment shall be taken into account in the taxable year of such adjustment as gain or loss from the disposition of such asset for purposes of computing Net Profits or Net Losses;

2.81.6 to the extent an adjustment to the adjusted tax basis of any asset of the Partnership pursuant to Code section 734(b) is required pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m)(4) to be taken into account in determining Capital Accounts as a result of a distribution other than in liquidation of a Partner’s interest in the Partnership, the amount of such adjustment shall be treated as an item of gain (if the adjustment increases the basis of the asset) or loss (if the adjustment decreases the basis of the asset) from the disposition of the asset and shall be taken into account for purposes of computing Net Profits and Net Losses; and

2.81.7 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section 2.75, any items that are allocated pursuant to Section 5.2 or Section 5.3.2 shall not be taken into account in computing Net Profits or Net Losses.

2.82 “Ninth Amended and Restated Agreement” is defined in the Preamble.

2.83 “Nonrecourse Deductions” has the meaning set forth in Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-2(b)(1) and 1.704-2(c).

2.84 “Nonrecourse Liability” has the meaning set forth in Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-2(b)(3) and 1.752-1(a)(2).

2.85 “Ownership Group” means Persons who, at the applicable time, are parties to the Stockholders’ Agreement.

2.86 “Partner Nonrecourse Debt” has the meaning set forth in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(b)(4) for the phrase “partner nonrecourse debt.”

2.87 “Partner Nonrecourse Debt Minimum Gain” means an amount, with respect to each Partner Nonrecourse Debt, equal to Partnership Minimum Gain that would result if such Partner Nonrecourse Debt were treated as a nonrecourse liability (within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.752-1(a)(2)), determined in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i)(3).

2.88 “Partner Nonrecourse Deductions” has the meaning set forth in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i) for the phrase “partner nonrecourse deductions.”

2.89 “Partners” is defined in the Preamble.

2.90 “Partnership” is defined in the Preamble.

2.91 “Partnership Information” is defined in Section 6.4.3.

 

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2.92 “Partnership Interest” or “Interest” means the interest or Units of a Partner in the Partnership at any particular time.

2.93 “Partnership Minimum Gain” has the meaning set forth in Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-2(b)(2) and 1.704-2(d)(1) for the phrase “partnership minimum gain.”

2.94 “Permitted Transferee” means any Person who receives Units pursuant to a Qualified Transfer.

2.95 “Person” means and includes an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, a trust, an estate, an unincorporated organization, a government or any department or agency thereof, or any entity similar to any of the foregoing.

2.96 “Proxy” is defined in Section 3.5.

2.97 “Push Out Election” means the election under Code section 6226 (or any similar provision of state or local law) to “push out” an adjustment to the Partners or former Partners, including filing IRS Form 8988 (Election for Alternative to Payment of the Imputed Underpayment), or any successor or similar form, and taking any other action necessary to give effect to such election.

2.98 “Qualified Transfer” means, subject to Section 7.2, (a) with respect to a Limited Partner that is a Person other than an individual, the sale or transfer of Units by a Limited Partner to an Affiliate of such Limited Partner or to another Person who is a Limited Partner (or an Affiliate thereof) as of the date of the Qualified Transfer, or (b) with respect to a Limited Partner that is an individual, (i) transfers to ancestors, descendants or the spouse of a Limited Partner or to an estate planning vehicle (including a limited liability company or a limited partnership) or trust controlled by such Limited Partner, the spouse of such Limited Partner or an Affiliate of such Limited Partner for the benefit of the Limited Partner or members of the Limited Partner’s immediate family, or (ii) transfers to any Person pursuant to testate or intestate succession, provided, that in each case (whether pursuant to clause (a) or (b)), (x) the transferee agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement with respect to the securities acquired by such transferee and (y) the transfer is effected in a transaction that is exempt from the registration and qualification requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

2.99 “Registration Rights Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of September 20, 2021, among SSG and the other persons party thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

2.100 “Regulations” means proposed, temporary and final Treasury regulations promulgated under the Code, as such regulations may be amended from time to time (including corresponding provisions of succeeding Treasury regulations). References to “Treas. Reg. §” are to sections of the Regulations.

2.101 “Regulatory Allocations” is defined in Section 5.2.9.

2.102 “Restrictive Covenant Agreement” means, with respect to any Limited Partner, the Restrictive Covenant Agreement, employment agreement or other agreement (if any) (including the 2021 Transaction Agreement, with respect to the

 

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Class C Limited Partners and the 2024 Transaction Agreements, with respect to the Class D Limited Partners) between such Limited Partner (or its Designated Individual) and the Partnership or an Affiliate, to the extent such agreement provides for any undertakings on the part of such Limited Partner or Designated Individual relating to non-competition with and/or non-solicitation of clients or employees of the Partnership or any Affiliate.

2.103 “Retirement” means, with respect to an Active Partner, the conclusion of such person’s status as an Active Partner as a result of resignation or involuntary termination other than for Cause, in the event that as of the Termination Date, the sum of (a) the number of such Active Partner’s years of age (which shall be at least 50) plus (b) the number of such Active Partner’s years as an Active Partner (which shall be at least 15) is equal to at least seventy (70).

2.104 “Safe Harbor Election” is defined in Section 3.3.5(h).

2.105 “SCP” means SC Partner LP, a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership.

2.106 “SCP LPA” means the Limited Partnership Agreement of SCP made on December 2, 2016, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

2.107 “SCP Partner” means each of the limited partners of SCP and any transferee of any such partner permitted under the SPD Shareholders’ Agreement.

2.108 “Side Letter” is defined in Section 10.4.

2.109 “SPD” means StepStone Group Private Debt AG (formerly known as Swiss Capital Alternative Investments AG), a private company limited by shares incorporated in the canton of Zurich.

2.110 “SPD Shareholders’ Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Shareholders’ Agreement made on May 31, 2024 between SCP, SPD and StepStone Europe Limited.

2.111 “SSG” means StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation, or its successors.

2.112 “SSG Group” means SSG and its Affiliates, including the Partnership.

2.113 “Start Date” means with respect to any Class B Limited Partner, the date of commencement of such Active Partner’s status as an Active Partner or such other date established for purposes of any vesting provisions in such Partner’s Admission Agreement.

2.114 “Stockholders’ Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Stockholders’ Agreement, effective on or about the date hereof, among SSG, the Partnership and the other Persons party thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

 

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2.115 “Subsidiary” means, with respect to any Person, any corporation or other entity of which a majority of (i) the voting power of the voting equity securities or (ii) the outstanding equity interests is owned, directly or indirectly, by such Person.

2.116 “Substitute Partner” means any Person (a) to whom a Limited Partner (or assignee thereof) Transfers all or any part of its interest in the Partnership, and (b) which has been admitted to the Partnership as a Substitute Partner pursuant to Section 7.6.

2.117 “Target Balance” is defined in Section 5.2.10.

2.118 “Tax Distribution” is defined in Section 4.2.1

2.119 “Tax Items” is defined in Section 5.3.1.

2.120 “Tax Receivable Agreements” means the Tax Receivable Agreement (Exchanges) and the Tax Receivable Agreement (Reorganizations), in each case effective on or about the date hereof, among SSG, the Partnership and the other parties thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

2.121 “Tax Representative” means, as applicable, (a) the Partner or other Person (including the Partnership) designated as the “partnership representative” of the Partnership under Code section 6223, (b) the Partner designated as the “tax matters partner” for the Partnership under Code section 6231(a)(7) (as in effect before 2018 and before amendment by Title XI of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, H.R. 1314, Public Law No. 114-74), and/or (c) the Partner or other Person serving in a similar capacity under any similar provisions of state, local or non-U.S. Laws, in each case, acting solely at the direction of the General Partner to the maximum extent permitted under applicable Law.

2.122 “Termination” means, with respect to an Active Partner of the Partnership or, with respect to Section 7.8.2(e) only, any Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner, such partner ceasing to provide substantive services to the SSG Group for any reason, including, without limitation, as a result of resignation, termination (whether or not for Cause), or Retirement. “Terminate” and “Terminated” shall have a correlative meaning.

2.123 “Termination Date” means, with respect to any Active Partner, the date of the Termination Event with respect to such Active Partner.

2.124 “Termination Event” means, with respect to any Active Partner, the first to occur of: (a) the termination of the Partnership, or (b) such Active Partner’s Termination.

2.125 “Termination Without Cause” means, with respect to an Active Partner, the conclusion of such person’s status as an Active Partner as a result of involuntary termination other than for Cause.

2.126 “Transfer”, including correlative terms, means, with respect to any Limited Partner or Assignee, any sale, conveyance, exchange, assignment, pledge, encumbrance, gift, bequest, hypothecation or other transfer or disposition by any other means, of any or all of such Limited Partner’s Units (or an Assignee’s economic interest in the Partnership), whether for value or no value and whether directly or indirectly, voluntary or involuntary (including, without limitation, by operation of law), or an agreement to do any of the foregoing.

 

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2.127 “Units” is defined in Section 3.3.1.

2.128 “Unvested Class B2 Units” means any Class B2 Units that have not vested in accordance with the provisions of Section 7.11.1.

2.129 “Vested Class B2 Units” means any Class B2 Units (or portion thereof) that have vested in accordance with the provisions of Section 7.11.1.

2.130 “Vested Quarter” means each of the successive three (3)-month periods during which a Limited Partner is an Active Partner for the entirety of such period, without proration.

ARTICLE 3

CAPITAL; CAPITAL ACCOUNTS AND PARTNERS

3.1 Capital Contributions. Except as expressly provided herein with respect to SSG or in the Class B Exchange Agreement, (i) no Partner shall be required to make any Capital Contributions to the Partnership without such Partner’s consent and (ii) no Partner shall be permitted to make any Capital Contributions to the Partnership without the General Partner’s consent.

3.2 Capital Accounts. A Capital Account shall be established and maintained for each Partner in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv) (a “Capital Account”).

3.3 Classes of Units.

3.3.1 Upon effectiveness of this Agreement, the Interests of Limited Partners are represented by units of Partnership Interest (“Units”), which are divided into:

(a) Class A Units (the “Class A Units”), which are issuable to SSG and such other Persons as the General Partner shall determine;

(b) Class B Units (the “Class B Units”), which shall be issued only (x) in accordance with Section 3.3.4, and (y) with respect to and upon full vesting of Class B2 Units;

(c) Class B2 Units (the “Class B2 Units”), none of which shall be issued after the date hereof;

(d) Class C Units (the “Class C Units”), which have been issued as consideration to certain of the Sellers (as defined in the 2021 Transaction Agreement) pursuant to the 2021 Transaction Agreement and shall be issued only in accordance with Section 3.3.4; and

(e) Class D Units (the “Class D Units”), which shall be issued as consideration (i) to the Sellers (as defined in the 2024 Transaction Agreements) pursuant to certain of the 2024 Transaction Agreements and (ii) pursuant to the 2022 Option Agreement, in each case, only in accordance with Section 3.3.4.

 

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3.3.2 The General Partner is authorized to establish and designate additional classes and sub-classes of Units, including preferred Units that rank senior to any then-existing Units and any other new class of Units whose rights, obligations, terms and conditions are set forth on a Class Designation. The General Partner may establish and determine the designations, priorities, powers, preferences, limitations and relative rights of any additional class or classes of Partnership Interests.

3.3.3 The Partnership may issue additional Units in exchange for cash or other consideration, including additional classes of Units, to such Persons, at such times, and having such terms as the General Partner may determine in accordance with this Agreement.

3.3.4 Units and Capital Stock of SSG.

(a) Each Class B Unit shall be associated with and stapled to one share of Class B Common Stock. Upon any issuance of Class B Units, each Limited Partner receiving such Units shall purchase from SSG, concurrently with the issuance of Class B Units, one share of Class B Common Stock for the consideration of the par value thereof. Upon any surrender, redemption or conversion of any such Class B Unit, the holder thereof shall concurrently surrender to SSG or the Partnership (as applicable) the associated share of Class B Common Stock in exchange for payment by SSG or the Partnership (as applicable) of the par value thereof. Without the specific approval of the General Partner, no Transfer of a Class B Unit shall be effected without a simultaneous Transfer of the corresponding share of Class B Common Stock.

(b) Class A Units may be issued only in accordance with Sections 3.3.4(c) and (f) and no additional Class B Units, Class B2 Units or Class C Units may be issued by the Partnership except in accordance with Section 3.3.4(f) below.

(c) If SSG issues shares of Class A Common Stock (other than an issuance pursuant to the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement), unless such net proceeds are used to purchase Units from Limited Partners, SSG shall promptly contribute to the Partnership all the net proceeds and property (if any) received by SSG with respect to such Class A Common Stock. Upon the contribution by SSG to the Partnership of all (but not less than all) of such net proceeds and property (if any) so received by SSG, the General Partner shall cause the Partnership to issue a number of Class A Units equal to the number of shares of Class A Common Stock so issued, registered in the name of SSG, such that, at all times, the number of Class A Units held by SSG equals the number of outstanding shares of Class A Common Stock.

(d) It is the intent that each unit of Capital Stock be generally equivalent in economic respects to an Equivalent Unit. Accordingly, if SSG issues shares of Capital Stock other than Class A Common Stock, SSG shall promptly contribute to the Partnership all the net proceeds and property (if any) received by SSG with respect to such Capital

 

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Stock. Upon the contribution by SSG to the Partnership of all (but not less than all) of such net proceeds and property (if any) so received by SSG, the General Partner shall cause the Partnership to issue a number of Equivalent Units equal to the number of shares of Capital Stock so issued, registered in the name of SSG, such that, at all times, the number of relevant class of Equivalent Units held by SSG equals the number of outstanding shares of the relevant class of Capital Stock.

(e) If, at any time, any shares of Capital Stock are repurchased (whether by exercise of a put or call, pursuant to an open market purchase, automatically or by means of another arrangement) by SSG for cash or other consideration, then the General Partner shall cause the Partnership, immediately prior to such repurchase of such Capital Stock, to redeem an equal number of Equivalent Units held by SSG, at an aggregate redemption price equal to the aggregate purchase price of the Capital Stock being repurchased by SSG (plus any expenses related thereto) and upon such other terms as are the same for the Capital Stock being cancelled or retired by SSG.

(f) Any subdivision (by stock split, stock dividend, reclassification, recapitalization or otherwise) or combination (by reverse stock split, reclassification, recapitalization or otherwise) of a class of Capital Stock shall be accompanied by an identical subdivision or combination of the Equivalent Units to maintain at all times a one-to-one ratio between the number of Equivalent Units and the number of outstanding shares of the applicable class of Capital Stock. Any corrective action to maintain such ratios shall not be subject to a corresponding adjustment that would render the corrective action ineffective. In the implementation and administration of this Section 3.3.4, the General Partner shall have authority to amend this Agreement without the consent of any Limited Partner and shall have discretion to make such adjustments as it determines in good faith to be appropriate to reflect the economic equivalency intended hereby.

3.3.5 Class B2 Units. The Partnership has established the Class B2 Units which were issued to Active Partners as compensation for services rendered or to be rendered to or for the benefit of the Partnership or its Affiliates.

(a) The Class B2 Units are subject to the limitations on distributions contained in Sections 4.3 and 4.4.

(b) Each Class B2 Limited Partner shall have an initial Base Percentage Interest with respect to its Class B2 Units of zero percent (0%) and such Base Percentage Interest shall increase as its Class B2 Units vest in accordance with Section 7.11.1; provided, that for the avoidance of doubt, for purposes of Section 4.1 and Section 4.7, a Class B2 Limited Partner’s Base Percentage Interest shall be zero percent (0%) with respect to any Class B2 Units (and shall not be entitled to any distributions in respect of any of its Class B2 Units under such Sections) until the Full Vesting Date of such Class B2 Units.

(c) Upon a Termination Event with respect to a Class B2 Limited Partner, such Class B2 Limited Partner’s Class B2 Units shall be treated in accordance with Section 7.11.

 

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(d) No Class B2 Unit shall confer on the holder any right to vote or consent on any matter arising under this Agreement prior to the Full Vesting Date of such Class B2 Unit.

(e) Treatment of Class B2 as Class B Units. Class B2 Units shall be treated as, and shall automatically be redesignated as, Class B Units from and after the later to occur of (i) the Full Vesting Date and (ii) the time at which the Capital Account balance attributable to such Class B2 Units equals the Target Balance with respect to such Class B2 Units.

(f) Intended Tax Treatment of Class B2 Units. The Class B2 Units are intended to be treated for tax purposes as “profits interests” within the meaning of Rev. Proc. 93-27, 1993-2 C.B. 343, and Rev. Proc. 2001-43, 2001-2 C.B. 191. The receipt of the Class B2 Units is intended to be treated as a non-taxable event for the Partnership and the holder. Each holder of Class B2 Units agrees not to take any position inconsistent with the foregoing. The Partnership and the Partners shall treat each holder of Class B2 Units as a partner for U.S. federal income tax purposes as of the grant date of such holder’s Class B2 Units. Each holder of Class B2 Units shall take into account the distributive share of the Partnership’s income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit associated with its Class B2 Units in computing such holder’s income tax liability for the entire period during which such Person holds the Class B2 Units. Upon the grant of the Class B2 Units or at the time the Class B2 Units become substantially vested, neither the Partnership nor any of the Partners shall deduct any amount (as wages, compensation, or otherwise) for the fair market value of the Class B2 Units. No holder of Class B2 Units shall dispose of any Class B2 Units within two years of receipt without the express prior written consent of the General Partner.

(g) Election Under Code Section 83(b). Absent a contrary determination by the General Partner, each holder of Class B2 Units shall file a valid and timely election pursuant to Code section 83(b) with respect to its Class B2 Units and provide a copy of the election to the General Partner within thirty (30) days after issuance of the Class B2 Units.

(h) Proposed Safe Harbor Election. Each holder of Class B2 Units authorizes the Partnership to make the safe harbor election provided for by the Revenue Procedure proposed in Notice 2005-43, 2005-2 C.B. 107, or any similar election provided in published guidance relating to the compensatory transfer of partnership interests (in any case, a “Safe Harbor Election”) in the manner that the General Partner determines will be most advantageous to the Partnership. Each such holder agrees to cooperate with the Partnership to perfect and maintain any Safe Harbor Election and to timely execute and deliver any documentation with respect thereto reasonably requested by the General Partner. Each of the Partnership and each such holder agrees to comply with all requirements of the Safe Harbor Election. A Safe Harbor Election once made may be revoked by the Partnership if permitted by the rules applicable to the Safe Harbor Election.

3.3.6 SPD Investors. The Partnership issued Partnership Interests to SCP, which Partnership Interests were redesignated as Class B Units. It is understood that SCP is a holding vehicle for the SCP Partners and it is agreed that for

 

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certain limited purposes set forth in this Section 3.3.6 SCP will be treated as holding separate Class B Units corresponding to the economic interests of the SCP Partners in SCP. The provisions of this Agreement will be applied and interpreted in accordance with the following principles:

(a) The provisions of Section 3.5 shall not apply to the Class B Units held by SCP.

(b) The provisions of Section 7.1 shall not apply to transfers of interests in SCP to the SCP Partners.

(c) The Class B Units held by SCP are not subject to reduction under the vesting provisions of Section 7.10.1.

3.4 Additional Limited Partners. Subject to Section 3.3.4, the General Partner is hereby authorized to issue interests in the Partnership and to admit one or more recipients of such interests as additional Limited Partners (“Additional Limited Partners”) from time to time, on such terms and conditions as the General Partner may determine; provided that the General Partner shall have determined before such admission that such admission will not create a material risk that the Partnership would become a “publicly traded partnership” (as such term is defined in Code sections 469(k)(2) or 7704(b)). As a condition to being admitted to the Partnership, each Additional Limited Partner shall execute an Admission Agreement and such other instruments as the General Partner may determine.

3.5 Irrevocable Proxy. Each Active Partner, Class C Limited Partner and Class D Limited Partner hereby irrevocably grants to, and appoints, the General Partner as its exclusive proxy and attorney-in-fact with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for and in the name, place and stead of such Partner, to the full extent of such Partner’s voting and other rights with respect to all such Partner’s Units, which proxy is irrevocable and which appointment is coupled with an interest, including for purposes of the Act, to vote, and to execute written consents with respect to, all such Partner’s Units on any matter arising under this Agreement. Each Active Partner, Class C Limited Partner and Class D Limited Partner hereby ratifies and confirms all that such irrevocable proxy may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof (the “Proxy”). Each Active Partner, Class C Limited Partner and Class D Limited Partner agrees to execute any further agreement or form reasonably necessary or appropriate to confirm and effectuate the grant of the Proxy contained herein. The Proxy shall bind the heirs, successors and assigns of the Active Partner, Class C Limited Partner and Class D Limited Partner. The General Partner agrees that it shall not take any action to exercise the Proxy granted by any Active Partner unless and until the earlier of (i) the Termination Date with respect to such Active Partner or (ii) any purported Transfer of any Units or rights with respect thereto by such Active Partner (whether voluntary or involuntary, including pursuant to Death, Incapacity or divorce) unless such Transfer has been approved by the General Partner and the Assignee has been admitted as a Substitute Partner in accordance with this Agreement. The General Partner agrees that it shall not take any action to exercise the Proxy granted by any Class C Limited Partner or any Class D Limited Partner unless and until any purported Transfer of any Units or rights with respect thereto by such Class C Limited Partner or any Class D Limited Partner (whether voluntary or involuntary, including pursuant to Death, Incapacity or divorce) has been approved by the General Partner and the Assignee has been admitted as a Substitute Partner in accordance with this Agreement.

 

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3.6 Partner Capital. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement: (a) no Partner shall demand or be entitled to receive a return of or interest on its Capital Contributions or Capital Account and (b) no Partner shall withdraw any portion of its Capital Contributions or receive any distributions from the Partnership as a return of capital on account of such Capital Contributions.

3.7 Partner Loans. No Limited Partner (other than SSG) shall be required or permitted to make any loans or otherwise lend any funds to the Partnership. No loans made by any Limited Partner to the Partnership shall have any effect on such Limited Partner’s Base Percentage Interest, such loans representing a debt of the Partnership payable or collectible solely from the assets of the Partnership in accordance with the terms and conditions upon which such loans were made.

3.8 Liability of Limited Partners. Except as otherwise (i) required by any non-waivable provision of the Act or other applicable Law or (ii) provided herein: (a) no Limited Partner shall be personally liable in any manner whatsoever for any debt, liability or other obligation of the Partnership, whether such debt, liability or other obligation arises in contract, tort, or otherwise; and (b) subject to Section 4.7.2 and Section 3.3.4, no Limited Partner shall in any event have any liability whatsoever in excess of (i) the amount of its Capital Contributions, (ii) without duplication, its share of any assets and undistributed profits of the Partnership, and (iii) the amount of any wrongful distribution to such Limited Partner, if, and only to the extent, such Limited Partner has actual knowledge (at the time of the distribution) that such distribution is made in violation of Section 18-607 of the Act. To the fullest extent permitted by law, no Limited Partner shall have any liability to any other Limited Partner or former Limited Partner, for making any discretionary decisions under this Agreement, or casting any vote for (or refraining from voting) in connection with the business and affairs of the Partnership.

ARTICLE 4

DISTRIBUTIONS

4.1 General Distributions. Except as otherwise provided in this Article 4, Article 8 or in any applicable Class Designation, the General Partner shall determine the timing and amount of all distributions. Subject to the terms of any applicable Class Designation and the other provisions of this Article 4, any distributions (including Tax Distributions, except to the extent provided in Section 4.2.4) shall be made pro rata in accordance with their Base Percentage Interests.

4.2 Tax Distributions.

4.2.1 Amount, Timing, and Treatment of Tax Distribution. Notwithstanding any provision of Section 4.1 to the contrary, but subject to Section 4.2.4, the Partnership shall distribute to the Partners pro rata in accordance with their Base Percentage Interests an amount of cash such that each Partner receives distributions of cash (including those made pursuant to Section 4.1) in respect of each Fiscal Year in an amount not less than the Partner’s Assumed Tax Liability for such Fiscal Year (that distribution, a “Tax Distribution”). Any Tax Distribution made to a Partner under this Section 4.2.1 shall be treated as an advance against, and shall reduce, future amounts due to such Partner under Section 4.1. For purposes of this Article 4, guaranteed payments for services (within the meaning of Code section 707(c)) shall not be treated as distributions.

 

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4.2.2 Calculation of Assumed Tax Liability. For purposes of calculating the amount of each Partner’s Tax Distribution under Section 4.2.2, a Partner’s “Assumed Tax Liability” means an amount equal to the product of:

(a) the sum of (i) the net taxable income and gain allocated to that Partner in the Fiscal Year and (ii) to the extent (x) determined by the General Partner in its sole discretion and (y) attributable to the Partnership, the amount the Partner is required to include in income by reason of Code sections 707(c) (but not including guaranteed payments for services within the meaning of Code section 707(c)), 951(a), and 951A(a); multiplied by

(b) the highest combined effective U.S. federal, state, and local marginal rate of tax applicable to an individual resident in San Francisco, California or New York, New York (whichever is higher), or such higher assumed tax rate as determined by the General Partner, for the Fiscal Year (such tax rate, the “Assumed Tax Rate”).

The calculation required by this Section 4.2.2 shall be made (i) taking into account (w) the character of the income or gain and (x) any limitations on, or the availability of, deductions and net operating losses, and (ii) disregarding (y) the effect of any special basis adjustments under Code section 743(b) and (z) the effect of the allocations required under Code section 704(c)(1)(A).

4.2.3 Timing of Tax Distributions. If reasonably practicable, the Partnership shall make distributions of the estimated Tax Distributions in respect of a Fiscal Year on a quarterly basis to facilitate the payment of quarterly estimated income taxes, taking into account amounts previously distributed by reason of this Section 4.2.3. Not later than sixty (60) Business Days after the end of the Fiscal Year, the Partnership shall make a final Tax Distribution in an amount sufficient to fulfill the Partnership’s obligations under Section 4.2.1.

4.2.4 Impact of Insufficient Cash Available for Distribution. If the amount of Tax Distributions to be made exceeds the amount of the cash available for distribution (taking into account any entity-level tax obligations or payments, including any related interest, penalties, or other costs), SSG shall receive the full amount of its Tax Distribution (but calculated by substituting the words “a corporation doing business” for “an individual resident” in the definition of “Assumed Tax Rate”) before the other Partners receive any distribution under this Section 4.2. The balance, if any, of cash available for distribution shall be distributed:

(a) First, to the Partners (other than SSG) pro rata in accordance with their Base Percentage Interests in an amount such that each such Partner has received distributions pursuant to this Section 4.2.4(a) not less than their Assumed Tax Liability (calculated by substituting the words “a corporation doing business” for “an individual resident” in the definition of “Assumed Tax Rate”); and

(b) Thereafter, the balance, if any, to the Partners (including SSG) pro rata in accordance with their Base Percentage Interests until each Partner has received the full amount of its Tax Distribution calculated in accordance with Section 4.2.2.

 

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4.2.5 No Tax Distributions on Liquidation. No Tax Distributions shall be made in connection with the liquidation of the Partnership.

4.2.6 Compensation for Services and Self-Employment Tax Make-Whole Payments. The Partners acknowledge that certain Active Partners (including former Active Partners), the Class C Limited Partners and the Class D Limited Partners will receive compensation for services, and such compensation may, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, be treated as a guaranteed payment for services under Code section 707(c). For the avoidance of doubt, the Partnership may, but is not required to, pay any Partner an amount such that, on an after-tax basis, the Partner receives the amount he or she would have received if the Partner had not been subject to self-employment tax by reason of the Partner’s ownership of Units in the Partnership (and instead had received his or her compensation as an employee for tax purposes). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, any compensation or payments described in the two preceding sentences shall be treated as guaranteed payments for services within the meaning of Code section 707(c) and shall not be treated as distributions under this Article 4.

4.3 Limitation on Distributions in Respect of Profits Units.

4.3.1 No Distributions in Respect of Unvested Profits Interests. No Class B2 Limited Partner shall be entitled to participate in any distributions pursuant to Section 4.1 in respect of any of its Class B2 Units prior to the Full Vesting Date of such Class B2 Units (and then shall be entitled to participate in distributions only in respect of any fiscal quarter commencing after the Full Vesting Date).

4.3.2 Limitations on Distributions in Respect of Class B2 Units. The Partnership shall not make any distribution in respect of a Class B2 Unit to the extent that the General Partner determines that such distribution would (a) cause the Class B2 Unit to fail to qualify as profits interests (as that term is used in Section 3.3.5) or (b) cause an allocation of income or gain (other than Intangible Asset Gain) in respect of a Class B2 Unit that is disproportionate to the amount that would be distributed in respect of such Class B2 Unit but for this Section 4.3.2. For the avoidance of doubt, the limitations on distributions imposed by this Section 4.3.2 shall not apply to any holder of a Class B2 Unit that has a Capital Account balance at least equal to the relevant Target Balance.

4.3.3 Continued Right to Tax Distributions. For the avoidance of doubt, this Section 4.3 shall not alter the Profits Unit Holder’s right to Tax Distributions under Section 4.2. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Agreement, such Tax Distributions shall be calculated and made by the Partnership by treating all Unvested Class B2 Units as if they were “substantially vested” within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.83-3(b).

4.4 Distributions of Class B2 Dilution Reserve.

4.4.1 Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4.1 or Section 4.2, the Partners hereby acknowledge and agree that the Class B2 Dilution Reserve shall be distributed as set forth in this Section 4.4. The General Partner shall maintain a schedule of persons entitled to distributions thereof and their respective potential shares of any distribution with respect to the Class B2 Dilution Reserve.

 

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4.4.2 The General Partner shall calculate, at least annually, the number of Class B2 Units that have vested since the prior determination (the “Class B2 Vesting Amount”), the number of Class B2 Units that have been forfeited since the prior determination (the “Class B2 Forfeiture Amount”) and the number of Class B2 Units outstanding at time of the prior determination (or, if no determination has been made, as of August 19, 2019) (the “Initial Class B2 Amount”). Promptly after each such determination, a distribution shall be made from the Class B2 Dilution Reserve equal to (a) the ratio of the Class B2 Forfeiture Amount to the Initial Class B2 Amount, multiplied by (b) the Class B2 Dilution Reserve, to the 2019 Redeemed Partners pro rata based on the number of Units redeemed from each 2019 Redeemed Partner in the 2019 Equity Transaction. Promptly after each such determination, a distribution shall be made from the Class B2 Dilution Reserve equal to (a) the ratio of the Class B2 Vesting Amount to the Initial Class B2 Amount, multiplied by (b) the Class B2 Dilution Reserve, to the Limited Partners holding 2019 Dilutable Units, pro rata based on the number of 2019 Dilutable Units held by them at such time.

4.5 Distributions Upon Liquidation. Distributions made in conjunction with the final liquidation of the Partnership shall be applied or distributed as provided in Article 8.

4.6 Distributions to Reflect Additional Units. If the Partnership issues additional Units, subject to the terms of any applicable Class Designation, the General Partner is authorized to make such revisions to this Article 4 and to Article 5 as it determines are reasonably necessary or desirable to reflect the issuance of such additional Units, including making preferential distributions to certain classes of Units.

4.7 Other Distribution Rules.

4.7.1 Record Date for Distributions. The Partnership may designate a Distribution Record Date for purposes of calculating and giving effect to distributions. All distributions attributable to a Unit with respect to which the Distribution Record Date is before the date of any Transfer shall be made to the transferor Partner or the tendering Partner (as the case may be) and, in the case of a Transfer other than an exchange pursuant to the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement, all distributions thereafter attributable to such Unit shall be made to the transferee Partner.

4.7.2 Over-Distributions. If the Partnership distributes to a Partner more than the amount to which the Partner in entitled (e.g., by reason of an accounting error), the Partner shall, upon written notice of the over-distribution delivered to the Partner within one year of the over-distribution, promptly return the over-distribution to the Partnership. For the avoidance of doubt, this Section 4.7.2 applies to any distribution made under this Agreement.

4.7.3 Reimbursements of Preformation Capital Expenditures. To the extent a distribution (or reduction in a Partner’s share of Partnership liabilities for federal tax purposes) would otherwise be treated as proceeds in a sale under Code section 707(a)(2)(B), the Partners intend such actual or deemed distribution to reimburse preformation capital expenditures under Treas. Reg. § 1.707-4(d) to the maximum extent permitted by Law.

 

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4.8 Distributions in Kind. No right is given to any Partner to demand or receive property other than cash as provided in this Agreement. The General Partner may make a distribution in kind of Partnership assets to the Partners, and such Partnership assets shall be distributed in such a fashion as to ensure that the fair market value (as determined in good faith by the General Partner) thereof is distributed and allocated in accordance with this Article 4 and Article 5 and Article 8.

4.9 Limitations on Distributions. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this Agreement, neither the Partnership nor the General Partner, on behalf of the Partnership, shall make a distribution to any Partner on account of its Partnership Interests in violation of the Act or other applicable Law or to the extent such distribution would result in the Partnership or any of its Subsidiaries being in default under any material credit agreement, loan agreement, note, indenture or other agreement governing indebtedness.

ARTICLE 5

ALLOCATIONS OF NET PROFITS AND NET LOSSES

5.1 Allocation Generally. Each Fiscal Year, after adjusting each Partner’s Capital Account for all contributions and distributions with respect to such Fiscal Year and after giving effect to the allocations under Section 5.2 for the Fiscal Year, Net Profits and Net Losses (or items thereof) of the Partnership shall be allocated among the Partners in a manner such that, after such allocations have been made, each Partner’s Capital Account balance (which may be a positive, negative, or zero balance) will equal (proportionately) (a) the amount that would be distributed to each such Partner, determined as if the Partnership were to (i) sell all of its assets for their Gross Asset Values, (ii) satisfy all of its liabilities in accordance with their terms with the proceeds from such sale (limited, with respect to nonrecourse liabilities, to the Gross Asset Values of the assets securing such liabilities), and (iii) distribute the remaining proceeds pursuant to Section 4.1 minus (b) the sum of (x) such Partner’s Partnership Minimum Gain and Partner Nonrecourse Debt Minimum Gain and (y) the amount, if any (without duplication of any amount included under clause (x)), that such Partner is obligated (or is deemed for U.S. federal income tax purposes to be obligated) to contribute, in its capacity as a Partner, to the capital of the Partnership as of the last day of such Fiscal Year.

5.2 Priority Allocations.

5.2.1 Partnership Minimum Gain Chargeback. Except as otherwise provided in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(f), if there is a net decrease in Partnership Minimum Gain during any Fiscal Year, each Partner shall be specially allocated items of Partnership income and gain for such Fiscal Year (and, if necessary, subsequent Fiscal Years) in proportion to, and to the extent of, an amount equal to the portion of such Partner’s share of the net decrease in Partnership Minimum Gain, determined in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(g). This Section 5.2.1 is intended to comply with the minimum gain chargeback requirement in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(f) and shall be interpreted consistently therewith.

5.2.2 Partner Nonrecourse Debt Minimum Gain Chargeback. Except as otherwise provided in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i)(4), notwithstanding any other provision of this Article 5, if there is a net decrease in Partner Nonrecourse Debt Minimum Gain attributable to Partner Nonrecourse Debt during any taxable year, then each Partner who has a share of

 

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the Partner Nonrecourse Debt Minimum Gain attributable to such Partner Nonrecourse Debt, determined in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i)(5), shall be specially allocated items of Partnership income and gain for such Fiscal Year (and, if necessary, subsequent Fiscal Years) in an amount equal to such Partner’s share of the net decrease in Partner Nonrecourse Debt, determined in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i)(4). This Section 5.2.2 is intended to comply with the minimum gain chargeback requirement in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i) and shall be interpreted consistently therewith.

5.2.3 Qualified Income Offset. If any Partner unexpectedly receives an adjustment, allocation or distribution described in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(d)(4), (5) or (6), items of Partnership income and gain shall be allocated, in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(d), to such Partner in an amount and manner sufficient to eliminate, to the extent required by such Regulations, the Adjusted Capital Account Deficit of such Partner as quickly as possible, provided that an allocation pursuant to this Section 5.2.3 shall be made if and only to the extent that such Partner would have an Adjusted Capital Account Deficit after all other allocations provided in this Article 5 have been tentatively made as if this Section 5.2.3 were not in the Agreement. It is intended that this Section 5.2.3 comply with the qualified income offset requirement in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(d) and shall be interpreted consistently therewith.

5.2.4 Gross Income Allocation. In the event that any Partner has a deficit Capital Account at the end of any Fiscal Year that is in excess of the sum of (A) the amount (if any) that such Partner is obligated to restore to the Partnership upon complete liquidation of such Partner’s Partnership Interest and (B) the amount that such Partner is deemed to be obligated to restore pursuant to the penultimate sentences of Treas. Reg. §§ 1.704-2 (g)(1) and 1.704-2(i)(5), each such Partner shall be specially allocated items of Partnership income and gain in the amount of such excess to eliminate such deficit as quickly as possible, provided that an allocation pursuant to this Section 5.2.4 shall be made if and only to the extent that such Partner would have a deficit Capital Account in excess of such sum after all other allocations provided in this Article 5 have been tentatively made as if this Section 5.2.4 and Section 5.2.3 were not in the Agreement.

5.2.5 Nonrecourse Deductions. Nonrecourse Deductions for any Fiscal Year shall be allocated to the Partners in proportion to Units, unless otherwise determined by the General Partner.

5.2.6 Partner Nonrecourse Deductions. Any Partner Nonrecourse Deductions for any Fiscal Year shall be specially allocated to the Partner who bears the economic risk of loss (within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.752-2) with respect to the Partner Nonrecourse Liability to which such Partner Nonrecourse Deductions are attributable in accordance with Treas. Reg. § 1.704-2(i)(l).

5.2.7 Special Basis Adjustments. To the extent that an adjustment to the adjusted tax basis of any Partnership asset pursuant to Code section 734(b) or Code section 743(b) is required, pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m)(2) or Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m)(4), to be taken into account in determining Capital Accounts as the result of a distribution to a holder of Units in complete liquidation of its interest in the Partnership, the amount of such adjustment to the Capital Accounts shall be treated as an item of gain (if the adjustment increases the basis of the asset) or loss (if the adjustment

 

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decreases such basis), and such gain or loss shall be specially allocated to the holders of Units in accordance with their respective Base Percentage Interests in the event that Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m)(2) applies, or to the Partner(s) to whom such distribution was made in the event that Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(m)(4) applies.

5.2.8 Limitation on Allocation of Net Losses. No allocation of Net Losses (or items of loss) shall be allocated to a Partner to the extent that any such allocation would cause or increase an Adjusted Capital Account Deficit as to the Partner. The limitation set forth in the preceding sentence shall be applied on a Partner-by-Partner basis and Net Losses (or items of loss) not allocable to a Partner as a result of such limitation shall be reallocated (A) first, among the other holders of Units in accordance with their respective Base Percentage Interests, and (B) thereafter, among the holders of other Units, as determined by the Partnership, in each case subject to the limitations of this Section 5.2.8.

5.2.9 Ameliorative Allocations. Any allocations made pursuant to Sections 5.2.1 through 5.2.8 (collectively, the “Regulatory Allocations”) shall be taken into account in allocating other items of income, gain, loss and deduction among the holders of Units so that to the extent possible without violating the requirements giving rise to the Regulatory Allocations, the net amount of such allocations of other items and the Regulatory Allocations to each holder of a Unit shall be equal to the net amount that would have been allocated to each such Partner if the Regulatory Allocations had not occurred.

5.2.10 Intangible Asset Gain. Intangible Asset Gain shall be allocated to each holder of Class B2 Units so as to cause the Capital Account balance of such Limited Partner (to the extent attributable to its Class B2 Units) to stand in the same ratio to the aggregate Capital Account balances attributable to all holders of Units as the number of Class B2 Units held by such holder bears to the total number of Units outstanding at the time of such allocation (such amount with respect to each such holder of Class B2 Units, the “Target Balance”). To the extent there is insufficient Intangible Asset Gain to reach the Target Balance for each holder of Class B2 Units, Intangible Asset Gain shall be allocated in such manner as may be determined by the General Partner.

5.3 Other Allocation Rules.

5.3.1 In General. Except as otherwise provided in this Section 5.3, for income tax purposes under the Code and the Regulations, each Partnership item of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit (collectively, “Tax Items”) shall be allocated among the Partners in the same manner as its correlative item of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit (as calculated for purposes of allocating Net Profits or Net Losses, including items allocated under Section 5.2) is allocated pursuant to Section 5.1 and Section 5.2.

5.3.2 Section 704(c) Allocations. Notwithstanding any provision of Section 5.3.1 to the contrary, in accordance with Code section 704(c)(1)(A) (and the principles of those provisions) and Treas. Reg. § 1.704-3, Tax Items with respect to any property contributed to the capital of the Partnership, or after Partnership has been revalued under Treas. Reg. § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(f) or (s), shall, solely for United States federal, state and local tax purposes, be allocated among the

 

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Partners so as to take into account any variation between the adjusted basis of such Partnership property to the Partnership for United States federal income tax purposes and its value as so determined at the time of the contribution or revaluation of Partnership property. The Partnership shall account for such variation under the traditional method as described in Treas. Reg. § 1.704-3(b). For the avoidance of doubt, allocations pursuant to this Section 5.3.2 are solely for purposes of U.S. federal, state, and local taxes and shall not affect, or in any way be taken into account in computing, any Partner’s Capital Account or such Partner’s share of Net Profits or Net Losses (or items thereof), or distributions under any provision of this Agreement.

5.3.3 Allocation of Excess Nonrecourse Liabilities. For purposes of determining a Partner’s share of the “excess nonrecourse liabilities” of the Partnership within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.752-3(a)(3), each Partner’s interest in Partnership profits shall equal such Partner’s Base Percentage Interest with respect to Units, or such other share as the General Partner determines.

5.3.4 Allocations in Respect of Varying Interests. If any Partner’s interest in the Partnership varies (within the meaning of Code section 706(d)), whether by reason of a Transfer of a Unit, redemption of a Unit by the Partnership, or otherwise, Net Profits and Net Losses (and items thereof) for such Fiscal Year shall be allocated so as to take into account such varying interests in accordance with Code section 706(d) using the “interim closing of the books” method and/or such other permissible method or methods selected by the General Partner.

5.3.5 Timing and Amount of Allocations of Net Profits and Net Losses. Net Profits and Net Losses (or items thereof) of the Partnership shall be determined and allocated with respect to each Fiscal Year as of the end of each such year, or at such other time or times determined by the General Partner.

5.3.6 Modification of Allocations. The allocations set forth in Section 5.1 and Section 5.2 are intended to comply with certain requirements of the Regulations. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Article 5, the General Partner shall be authorized to make, in its reasonable discretion, appropriate amendments to the allocations of Net Profits and Net Losses (or items thereof) pursuant to this Agreement (i) in order to comply with Code section 704 or applicable Regulations or (ii) to allocate properly items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit to those Partners who bear the economic burden or benefit associated therewith. If there are any changes after the date of this Agreement in applicable tax Law, regulations or interpretation, or any errors, ambiguities, inconsistencies or omissions in this Agreement with respect to allocations to be made to Capital Accounts that would, individually or in the aggregate, cause the Partners not to achieve the economic objectives underlying this Agreement, the General Partner may in its discretion make appropriate adjustments to such allocations in order to achieve or approximate such economic objectives.

5.4 Preparation of Partnership Tax Returns. The General Partner shall arrange for the preparation and timely filing of all returns required of the Partnership for federal, state, and local income tax purposes.

5.5 No Right to Review Partner Tax Returns. With respect to the financial statements or tax returns of a Partner or its Affiliates, none of the Partnership, the General Partner, the other Partners, such other Partner’s Affiliates or any of their respective representatives, will be entitled to review such financial statements or tax returns for any purpose, including in connection with any proceeding or other dispute (whether involving the Partnership, between the Partners, or involving any other Persons).

5.6 No Inconsistent Positions. Except as required by applicable Law or previously authorized in writing by the Partnership, which authorization may be withheld in the sole discretion of the Partnership, no Partner shall (a) independently

 

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act with respect to tax audits or tax litigation affecting or arising from the Partnership, or (b) treat any Partnership item inconsistently on such Partner’s income tax return with the treatment of the item on the Partnership’s tax return and/or the Schedule K-1 (or other written information statement) provided to such Partner.

5.7 Tax Elections. The Partnership shall have in effect (and shall cause each Subsidiary that is classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes to have in effect) an election pursuant to Code section 754 (and any similar provisions of applicable U.S. state or local law) for the Partnership for the Fiscal Year that includes the closing date of SSG’s initial public offering of shares of its Class A Common Stock and each Fiscal Year in which a sale, exchange, or redemption (whether partial or complete) occurs. This Section 5.7 shall not apply with respect to any Subsidiary that the Partnership cannot cause to make a section 754 election, with respect to Subsidiaries that would not customarily make a section 754 election at the Partnership’s request, or with respect to any other Subsidiary that the General Partner determines is immaterial or otherwise insignificant. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the General Partner shall determine whether to make any other available election pursuant to the Code.

5.8 Tax Representative.

5.8.1 Appointment of Tax Representative and Designated Individual.

(a) Tax Representative. The General Partner shall act as the Tax Representative, but the General Partner may designate another Person to act as the Tax Representative and may remove, replace, or revoke the designation of that Person, or require that Person to resign.

(b) Designated Individual. If a Person that is not an individual is the Tax Representative, the General Partner shall appoint a “designated individual” for each taxable year (as described in Treas. Reg. § 301.6223-1(b)(3)(ii)) (a “Designated Individual”).

5.8.2 Authority of the Tax Representative; Delegation of Authority. The Tax Representative shall have all of the rights, duties, powers, and obligations provided for under the Code, Regulations, or other applicable guidance; provided, however, that if a Person other than the General Partner is the Tax Representative, the Tax Representative shall in all cases act solely at the direction of the General Partner. The Tax Representative may delegate its authority under this Section 5.8 to a Designated Individual; provided, for the avoidance of doubt, that each Designated Individual shall in all cases act solely at the direction of the General Partner.

5.8.3 Costs and Indemnification. The Partnership shall pay, or to the extent the Tax Representative or Designated Individual pays, indemnify and reimburse, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable Law, the Tax Representative

 

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or Designated Individual, for all costs and expenses, including legal and accounting fees (as such fees are incurred) and any claims incurred in connection with any tax audit or judicial review proceeding with respect to the tax liability of the Partnership.

5.9 Partnership Audits.

5.9.1 Determinations with Respect to Audits. The General Partner shall make all decisions and determinations with respect to, and shall have sole authority with respect to the conduct of, audits of the Partnership, including whether to cause the Partnership or any Subsidiary to make a Push Out Election with respect to any adjustment that could result in an imputed underpayment (within the meaning of Code section 6225) (an “Imputed Underpayment”). No Partner shall take any action or make any filing inconsistent with the actions of the Tax Representative or Designated Individual.

5.9.2 Imputed Underpayment Share. To the extent the Partnership (or any Subsidiary that is classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is liable for any Imputed Underpayment, the General Partner shall determine the liability of the Partners for a share of such Imputed Underpayment, taking into account the Partner’s Units and the status and actions of the Partners (including any related interest, penalties or other costs, such share, an “Imputed Underpayment Share”). The General Partner shall cause each Partner to bear its Imputed Underpayment Share solely by reducing the amount of distributions made to such Partner pursuant to Section 4.1 or Section 8.5.

5.10 Information to be Provided by Partners to Partnership.

5.10.1 Notice of Audit or Tax Examination. Each Partner shall notify the Partnership within five days after receipt of any notice regarding an audit or tax examination of the Partnership and upon any request for material information by United States federal, state, local, or other tax authorities.

5.10.2 Information Relating to FATCA. Each Partner shall provide the Partnership with any information, representations, certificates or forms relating to such Partner (or its direct or indirect owners or account holders) that are reasonably requested from time to time by the Partnership and that are necessary in order for the Partnership or any entity in which the Partnership or holds (directly or indirectly) an interest (whether in the form of debt or equity) and any Partner of any “expanded affiliated group” (as defined in Code section 1471(e)(2)) to (i) enter into, maintain or comply with any agreement required to be filed with the IRS as contemplated by Code section 1471(b), (ii) satisfy any requirement imposed under FATCA in order to avoid any withholding required under FATCA (including any withholding upon any payments to such Partner under this Agreement) or (iii) comply with any information reporting or withholding requirements under FATCA. In addition, each Partner shall take such actions as the Tax Representative may reasonably request in connection with the foregoing. If any Partner fails to provide any of the information, representations, certificates or forms (or undertake any of the actions) required under this Section 5.10.2 in a timely manner, the Tax Representative shall have full authority to take any steps (after providing such Partner with written notice) that the Partnership determines in its reasonable discretion are necessary to comply with FATCA and to mitigate the effect on the Partnership of such failure including, but not limited to, withholding on

 

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payments or distributions made to such Partner and requiring such Partner to transfer its Units or otherwise withdraw from the Partnership. If requested by the Partnership, such Partner shall execute any and all documents, opinions, instruments and certificates to effectuate the foregoing. If a Partner fails to comply with the terms of this Section 5.10.2 and, as a result of such failure, any withholding tax is imposed under FATCA on distributions to the Partnership, such Partner shall, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Partnership, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable Law, indemnify and hold harmless the Partnership and its Affiliates for all losses, costs, fees, expenses, damages, claims, and demands (including any withholding tax, penalties or interest suffered by the Partnership).

5.10.3 Other Information. Each Partner shall provide to the Partnership upon request tax basis information about assets contributed by it to the Partnership and such other tax information as reasonably requested by the Partnership and necessary for it to prepare its financial reports or any tax returns, or otherwise to comply with applicable Law.

5.11 Information to be Provided by Partnership to Partners.

5.11.1 Communication with IRS. The Partnership shall, within thirty (30) days after receipt, forward to each Partner holding more than twenty percent (20%) of the Units a photocopy of any material correspondence relating to the Partnership received from the IRS and, within thirty (30) days after occurrence, advise each Partner in writing of the substance of any material conversation affecting the Partnership held with any representative of the IRS. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Partnership may withhold information from the Partners to the extent the Partnership determines that providing such information could result in the waiver of any privilege or otherwise be harmful to the Partnership.

5.11.2 Notice of Tax Benefits. The Partnership shall use its reasonable best efforts to deliver to each Partner notice of any tax-related benefit (as reasonably determined by the Partnership) that any Partner may be able to claim with respect to taxes imposed on the Partnership or any investment, within a reasonable period of time of the Partnership’s becoming aware of that benefit.

5.12 Survival of Obligations. For purposes of this Article 5, the term “Partner” shall include a former Partner, except to the extent the General Partner determines that such inclusion is inconsistent with the intention that former Partners be liable for their appropriate share of the Partnership’s taxes. The rights and obligations of each Partner and former Partner under this Article 5 shall survive the Transfer by such Partner of its Units (or withdrawal by a Partner or redemption of a Partner’s Units) and the dissolution of the Partnership until ninety (90) days after the applicable statute of limitations. Section 5.8, Section 5.9, and this Section 5.12 shall not be amended without the prior written consent of any Partner or former Partner that would be materially and adversely impacted by such amendment.

5.13 Withholding. Each Partner acknowledges and agrees that the Partnership may be required by Law to deduct and withhold taxes or to fulfill other similar obligations of such Partner on any amount paid, distributed, disbursed, or allocated by the Partnership to that Partner, including upon liquidation, and any assignee or transferee of a Partner’s interest or substituted

 

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Partner shall, by reason of such transfer, assignment or substitution, acknowledge, and agree to any such withholding by the Partnership, including withholding to discharge obligations of the Partnership with respect to prior distributions, allocations, or a Imputed Underpayment Share. All amounts withheld with respect to any allocation or distribution shall, except as otherwise provided in or determined by the Partnership pursuant to Section 5.9 be treated as amounts distributed to such Person pursuant to the provision of this Agreement that would have applied if such amount had actually been distributed.

5.14 Taxes Other Than U.S. Federal Income Taxes. The provisions of this Agreement with respect to U.S. federal income tax shall apply, mutatis mutandis, with respect to any similar provisions of state, local, or non-U.S. tax law as determined by the Partnership. References in Section 5.9, Section 5.10, Section 5.11, Section 5.12, and Section 5.13 to “taxes” shall include any interest, penalties and additions to tax with respect to such taxes.

5.15 United States Person. Other than (i) persons who are Partners as of the date of this Agreement or (ii) Partners with respect to whom the General Partner has waived the application of this Section 5.15 in writing, each Partner represents and covenants that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it is and will at all times remain a “United States person,” within the meaning of Code section 7701, or is and will at all times remain a disregarded entity the assets of which are treated as owned by a United States person under Treas. Reg. §§ 301.7701-1, 301.7701-2, and 301.7701-3.

5.16 Tax Classification. The Partnership shall be classified as a partnership for United States federal, state and local tax purposes. Unless otherwise determined by the General Partner, the Subsidiaries of the Partnership shall be classified either as disregarded entities or as partnerships for United States federal, state and local tax purposes. No Person shall take any action inconsistent with such classifications.

ARTICLE 6

OPERATIONS

6.1 Management Generally. The management and control of the Partnership shall be vested exclusively in the General Partner. Persons dealing with the Partnership are entitled to rely conclusively upon the power and authority of the General Partner as set forth herein. The Limited Partners shall have no part in the management or control of the Partnership and shall have no authority or right to act on behalf of the Partnership or deal with third parties in connection with any matter.

6.2 Authority of and Approvals by the General Partner. The General Partner shall have the power to do any and all acts necessary or convenient to or for the furtherance of the purposes described herein, including all powers, statutory or otherwise, possessed by limited partnerships under the laws of the State of Delaware. Without limitation of the foregoing, the General Partner is hereby authorized to execute, deliver and perform any document on behalf of the Partnership without any further act of any person or entity.

6.3 Duties, Exculpation and Indemnification.

 

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6.3.1 This Agreement is not intended to, and does not, create or impose any fiduciary duty on any of the Partners (including, without limitation, the General Partner) hereto or on their respective Affiliates. Further, the Partners hereby waive any and all fiduciary duties that, absent such waiver, may exist at or be implied by Law or in equity, and in doing so, recognize, acknowledge and agree that their duties and obligations to one another and to the Partnership are only as expressly set forth in this Agreement and those required by the Act.

6.3.2 To the extent that, at law or in equity, any Partner (including, without limitation, the General Partner) has duties (including fiduciary duties) and liabilities relating thereto to the Partnership or to another Partner, the Partners (including without limitation, the General Partner) acting under this Agreement will not be liable to the Partnership or to any such other Partner for their good faith reliance on the provisions of this Agreement. The provisions of this Agreement, to the extent that they restrict or eliminate the duties and liabilities relating thereto of any Partner (including without limitation, the General Partner) otherwise existing at law or in equity, are agreed by the Partners to replace to that extent such other duties and liabilities of the Partners relating thereto (including without limitation, the General Partner).

6.3.3 None of the General Partner, the Limited Partners, the Tax Representative, the Designated Individual or the Affiliates, agents, officers, partners, employees, representatives, directors, members, managers or shareholders of the General Partner or the Partnership (collectively, the “Indemnitees”) shall be liable, responsible, or accountable, in damages or otherwise, to the Partnership or any Partner thereof for doing any act or failing to do any act, the effect of which may cause or result in loss or damage to the Partnership or such Partner if: (a) the act or failure to act of such Indemnitee was in good faith, within the scope of such Indemnitee’s authority and in a manner it reasonably believed to be in, or not inconsistent with, the best interest of the Partnership, and (b) the conduct of such Person did not constitute fraud, willful misconduct or gross negligence.

6.3.4 Indemnitees shall be fully protected in relying in good faith upon the records of the Partnership and upon such information, opinions, reports or statements presented to the Partnership by any Person as to matters the Indemnitee reasonably believes are within such other Person’s professional or expert competence and who has been selected with reasonable care by or on behalf of the Partnership, including information, opinions, reports or statements as to the value and amount of the assets, liabilities, profits, losses or cash flow or any other facts pertinent to the existence or amount of assets from which distributions to Partners might properly be paid.

6.3.5 The Partnership shall indemnify and hold harmless any Indemnitee to the greatest extent permitted by law against any liability or loss as a result of any claim or legal proceeding by any Person (including by or through the Partnership and/or any Partner) relating to the performance or nonperformance of any act concerning the activities of the Partnership or in furtherance of the Partnership’s interests (including serving at the request of the Partnership as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, limited liability company, nonprofit entity or other enterprise) if: (a) the act or failure to act of such Indemnitee was in good faith, within the scope of such Indemnitee’s authority and in a manner it reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the Partnership, and (b) the conduct of such Person did not constitute fraud, willful misconduct or gross negligence. The indemnification authorized by this Section 6.3.5 shall include any judgment, award, settlement, the payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees and other expense incurred in settling or defending any claims, threatened action or finally adjudicated legal proceeding.

 

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6.3.6 From time to time, as requested by an Indemnitee, the attorneys’ fees and other expenses described in Section 6.3.5 may, in the discretion of the General Partner, be advanced by the Partnership prior to the final disposition of such claims, actions or proceedings upon receipt by the Partnership of an undertaking by or on behalf of such Indemnitee to repay such amounts if it shall be determined that such Indemnitee is not entitled to be indemnified as authorized hereunder.

6.3.7 Any indemnification provided hereunder shall be satisfied solely out of the assets of the Partnership, as an expense of the Partnership, unless otherwise determined by the General Partner.

6.3.8 Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement or any otherwise applicable provision of law or equity, whenever an Indemnitee is required or permitted to make a decision, take or approve an action, or omit to do any of the foregoing: (a) in its “discretion” or “sole discretion,” under a similar grant of authority or latitude, or without an express standard of behavior (including, without limitation, standards such as “reasonable” or “good faith”), then such Indemnitee shall be entitled to consider only such interests and factors, including its own, as it desires, and shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, have no duty or obligation to consider any other interests or factors whatsoever, or (b) with an express standard of behavior (including, without limitation, standards such as “reasonable” or “good faith”), such Indemnitee shall comply with such express standard but shall not be subject to any other, different or additional standard.

6.3.9 The provisions of this Section 6.3 are for the benefit of the Indemnitees and shall not be deemed to create any rights for the benefit of any other Person.

6.3.10 The provisions of this Section 6.3 shall survive the termination of this Agreement. No amendment, modification or deletion of this Section 6.3 shall apply to or have any effect on the right of any Indemnitee to indemnification for or with respect to acts or omissions of such Indemnitee occurring prior to such amendment, modification or deletion.

6.4 Records; Reports; Schedules.

(a) Subject to the discretion of the General Partner, the General Partner shall cause to be kept, at the principal place of business of the Partnership or at such other location as the General Partner shall reasonably deem appropriate, full and proper ledgers, other books of account, and records of all receipts and disbursements, other financial activities, and the internal affairs of the Partnership for at least the current and past three fiscal years.

(b) Subject to the discretion of the General Partner, the financial statements of the Partnership shall be prepared in accordance with such principles as the General Partner shall determine.

(c) The General Partner shall maintain, as part of the books and records of the Partnership, a schedule, which shall set forth the name, address, the number and Class of Units owned by each Limited Partner, and the respective Base Percentage Interests associated with such Units held.

 

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6.4.2 The General Partner shall cause to be sent to each Limited Partner of the Partnership, within a reasonable time following the end of each Fiscal Year of the Partnership, a report that shall include all necessary information required by the Limited Partners for preparation of their federal, state and local income or franchise tax or information returns, including each Limited Partner’s pro rata share of Net Profits, Net Losses and any other Tax Items for such Fiscal Year.

6.4.3 Limited Partners (personally or through an authorized representative) may, for purposes reasonably related to their Interests, examine and copy (at their own cost and expense) the books and records of the Partnership that pertain to the Partnership generally and the inspecting Limited Partner, including, if applicable the inspecting Limited Partner’s Capital Account, Units and Partnership Interest, and Base Percentage Interest (collectively, the “Partnership Information”); provided, however, that such access shall be upon reasonable notice and at reasonable times, and that such Limited Partner shall not use such Partnership information in a manner inconsistent with such Limited Partner’s obligations under this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Limited Partner who is a Former Active Partner shall be entitled to reasonable access to Partnership Information reasonably related solely to such Former Active Partner’s economic interest in allocations and distributions hereunder where the Former Active Partner can demonstrate a reasonable need for such access; provided, however, that such access shall be upon at least ten (10) Business Days’ prior written notice, during normal business hours and shall be subject to supervision by Partnership personnel at the Partnership’s sole discretion, and that as a condition of access to such limited Partnership Information, such Former Active Partner shall not be permitted to copy, reproduce or use such Partnership Information in a manner competitive with the Partnership. Access to any records of the Partnership pursuant to this Section 6.4.3 shall be subject to the execution of a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement at the request of the General Partner.

6.4.4 In any event, access to any Partnership Information marked, labeled or otherwise designated as “confidential,” “proprietary” or similarly designated, shall be subject to the Partnership’s reasonable confidentiality restrictions then in effect. No other person or entity (including any spouse or former spouse of a Partner) shall be entitled to access to Partnership Information unless such access is approved by the General Partner or as otherwise required by the Act.

6.5 Insurance.

6.5.1 The Partnership may purchase and maintain insurance, to the extent and in such amounts as determined by the General Partner or its designee, on behalf of any of the Indemnitees and such other Persons as determined by the General Partner or its designee, against any liabilities that may be asserted against or expenses that may be incurred by any such Person in connection with the activities of the Partnership or such Indemnitees, regardless of whether the Partnership would have the power to indemnify such Person against such liabilities under the provisions of this Agreement or otherwise. The Partnership may enter into indemnity contracts with any or all of the Indemnitees and such other Persons as the General Partner shall determine.

 

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6.6 Other Activities. Each Class B Limited Partner or Class B2 Limited Partner that is an Active Partner, for so long as he or she is an Active Partner and unless otherwise approved by the General Partner, shall devote substantially all of his or her business time and attention to the business and affairs of the Partnership and its Affiliates. Each Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner, for so long as he or she is employed by the SSG Group or actively engaged in a service provider capacity in the business or management of the SSG Group, shall devote substantially all of his or her business time and attention to the business and affairs of the Partnership and its Affiliates.

6.7 Certain Tax-Related Decisions. Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, (i) any tax-related decision or determination that is to be made by the Partnership pursuant to this Agreement shall be made by the General Partner and (ii) any tax-related action that is to be taken by the Partnership pursuant to this Agreement shall be taken by the Partnership, acting at the direction of the General Partner. In making decisions or determinations or causing the Partnership to take actions pursuant to this Section 6.7, the General Partner shall act in a commercially reasonable manner.

6.8 Expenses.

6.8.1 Subject to Section 6.8.3, the Partnership shall be liable for, and shall reimburse the General Partner on an after-tax basis at such intervals as the General Partner may determine, for all (i) overhead, administrative expenses, insurance and reasonable legal, accounting and other professional fees and expenses of the General Partner, (ii) franchise and similar taxes of the General Partner and other fees and expenses in connection with the maintenance of the existence of the General Partner, and (iii) reasonable expenses paid by the General Partner on behalf of the Partnership. Such reimbursements shall be in addition to any reimbursement of the General Partner as a result of indemnification pursuant to Section 6.3.

6.8.2 Subject to Section 6.8.3, the Partnership shall be liable for, and shall reimburse SSG on an after-tax basis at such intervals as the General Partner may determine, for all (i) overhead, administrative expenses, insurance and reasonable legal, accounting and other professional fees and expenses of SSG, (ii) expenses of SSG incidental to being a public reporting company, (iii) reasonable fees and expenses (other than the payment obligations of SSG under the Tax Receivable Agreements) related to any public offering of debt or equity securities of SSG, private placement of equity securities of SSG, or other debt financing transaction of SSG, whether or not consummated, (iv) franchise and similar taxes of SSG and other fees and expenses in connection with the maintenance of the existence of SSG, (v) customary compensation and benefits payable by SSG, and indemnities provided by SSG on behalf of, its officers and directors of SSG; provided, that the Board of Directors of SSG may elect (but shall not be required to elect) that SSG, rather than the Partnership, shall bear any of the foregoing that are related to the business and affairs of SSG. Such reimbursements shall be in addition to any reimbursement of SSG as a result of indemnification pursuant to Section 6.3. If SSG issues shares of Class A Common Stock and contributes the net proceeds of such issuance to the Partnership, the reasonable expenses incurred by SSG in such issuance will be assumed by the Partnership.

6.8.3 To the extent practicable, Partnership expenses shall be billed directly to and paid by the Partnership. Unless otherwise determined by the General Partner, no reimbursement or indemnification payment made pursuant to this Section 6.8 shall be considered a distribution to the payee.

 

 

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6.8.4 Unreimbursed Expenses. From time to time, Limited Partners may incur expenses directly related to duties carried out on behalf of the Partnership. The General Partner, in its discretion, may agree to cause the Partnership to reimburse certain expenses or categories of expenses, but to the extent not so agreed then any such expenses, although directly related to duties carried out on behalf of the Partnership, are the responsibility of and shall be borne by the Limited Partners incurring such expenses and are not reimbursable by the Partnership.

ARTICLE 7

INTERESTS AND TRANSFERS OF INTERESTS

7.1 Transfers.

7.1.1 No Limited Partner or Assignee may Transfer all or any portion of his, her or its Units (or beneficial interest therein) without (a) the prior written consent of the General Partner, which consent may be given or withheld in the General Partner’s sole and absolute discretion and (b) in the case of a Class B Limited Partner, the simultaneous transfer of an equal number of shares of such Limited Partner’s Class B Common Stock corresponding to such Units to the transferee of such Units. Notwithstanding the foregoing, (i) Qualified Transfers by a Limited Partner do not require the consent of the General Partner; provided, that the transferee shall be subject, pursuant to an Admission Agreement or such other instrument as the General Partner may reasonably require, to the vesting provisions of this Agreement (in the case of Class B Units and Class B2 Units), and all other provisions of this Agreement and any other agreement that the General Partner may reasonably request (including the Stockholders’ Agreement, the Tax Receivables Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement, the Class D Exchange Agreement and/or a registration rights agreement to which the Units subject to a Qualified Transfer are already bound) as if the transferring Limited Partner held the Units and under no circumstances shall a person other than a transferring Class B Limited Partner, Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner be allowed to have any voting or management role with respect to the Partnership and (ii) Transfers pursuant to the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement do not require the consent of the General Partner. Any purported Transfer that is not in accordance with this Agreement shall be null and void.

7.1.2 In the event of a purported Transfer of any portion of any Class B Units or Class B2 Units to a spouse of an Active Partner or Former Active Partner (or Assignee of an Active Partner or Former Active Partner in a Qualified Transfer) incident to a divorce (whether pursuant to a divorce decree, community property partition or other agreement between such Limited Partner and such Limited Partner’s spouse), the relevant Interest shall be subject to all vesting provisions set forth in this Agreement.

7.1.3 A Partner making a Transfer permitted by this Agreement shall, unless otherwise determined by the General Partner, (i) have delivered to the Partnership an affidavit of non-foreign status with respect to such transferor that satisfies the requirements of Code section 1446(f)(2) or other documentation establishing a valid exemption from withholding pursuant to Code section 1446(f) or (ii) ensure that, contemporaneously with the Transfer, the transferee of

 

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such interest properly withholds and remits to the IRS the amount of tax required to be withheld upon the Transfer by Code section 1446(f) (and promptly provide evidence to the Partnership of such withholding and remittance). In connection with any such Transfer, the transferor and transferee of such interest shall agree to jointly and severally indemnify and hold harmless the Partnership against any loss (including taxes, interest, penalties, and any related expenses) arising out of any failure to comply with the provisions of this Section 7.1.3.

7.2 Further Restrictions. Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this Agreement, any otherwise permitted Transfer shall be null and void if the General Partner determines that:

7.2.1 such Transfer would create a material risk that the Partnership would be classified other than as a partnership for federal, state or local income tax purposes;

7.2.2 such Transfer would create a material risk that registration of the Transferred Units would be required pursuant to any applicable federal or state securities laws;

7.2.3 such Transfer would create a material risk that the Partnership would become a “publicly traded partnership,” as such term is defined in Code section 469(k)(2) or 7704(b);

7.2.4 such Transfer would create a material risk of subjecting the Partnership to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940 or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, each as amended;

7.2.5 such Transfer would create a material risk that the Partnership would become a reporting company under the Exchange Act or fail to meet the “private placement” safe harbor described in Treas. Reg. § 1.7704-1(h);

7.2.6 such Transfer would result in a violation of applicable Law;

7.2.7 such Transfer would be made to any Person who lacks the legal right, power or capacity to own such Units; or

7.2.8 the Partnership does not receive written instruments (including, without limitation, copies of any instruments of Transfer and such Assignee’s consent to be bound by this Agreement as an Assignee) that are in a form satisfactory to the General Partner (as determined in the General Partner’s sole and absolute discretion).

7.3 Rights of Assignees. Until such time, if any, as a Permitted Transferee is admitted to the Partnership as a Substitute Partner pursuant to Section 7.6: (a) such transferee shall be an Assignee only, and only shall receive, to the extent Transferred, the distributions and allocations of income, gain, loss, deduction, credit, or similar items to which the Limited Partner that Transferred its Units would be entitled, and (b) such Assignee shall not be entitled or enabled to exercise any other rights or powers of a Limited Partner, such other rights remaining with the transferring Limited Partner. In such a case, the transferring Limited Partner shall remain a Limited Partner even if he or she has transferred his or her entire economic interest in the Partnership to one or more Assignees. In the event any Assignee desires to make a further Transfer of any economic interest in the Partnership, such Assignee shall be subject to all of the provisions of this Agreement to the same extent and in the same manner as any Limited Partner desiring to make such a Transfer.

 

 

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7.4 Admissions, Withdrawals and Removals. No Person shall be admitted to the Partnership as a Limited Partner except in accordance with Section 3.4 (in the case of Persons obtaining an interest in the Partnership directly from the Partnership) or Section 7.6 (in the case of transferees of a permitted Transfer of an interest in the Partnership from another Person). Except as otherwise specifically set forth in Section 7.7, no Limited Partner shall be entitled to retire or withdraw from being a Limited Partner of the Partnership without the written consent of the General Partner, which consent may be given or withheld in the General Partner’s sole and absolute discretion. No admission, withdrawal or removal of a Limited Partner shall cause the dissolution of the Partnership. Any purported admission, withdrawal or removal which is not in accordance with this Agreement shall be null and void.

7.5 Withdrawal or Removal of Limited Partner. If any Limited Partner attempts to withdraw from the Partnership (other than pursuant to Section 7.7) without the consent of the General Partner, then, notwithstanding the last sentence of Section 7.4, the General Partner may, in its sole and absolute discretion, permit such withdrawal (without waiving, in any manner, any other rights available to it or the Partnership at law or in equity and in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other remedies to which it or the Partnership may be entitled).

7.6 Admission of Assignees as Substitute Partners. As a condition to being admitted to the Partnership, each Substitute Partner shall execute an Admission Agreement, and such other instruments, in such manner, as the General Partner shall determine. Upon the admission of any Assignee as a Substitute Partner in accordance with this Article 7, all Partners are deemed to consent to the Assignee being admitted to the Partnership and authorize the General Partner to constitute the Assignee a Substitute Partner on the books and records of the Partnership in respect of the relevant Units and to eliminate or adjust, if necessary, the relevant information relating to the predecessor of such Substitute Partner.

7.7 Withdrawal of Partners.

7.7.1 If a Limited Partner has Transferred all of its/his/her Units to the Partnership as provided in this Agreement then such Limited Partner shall withdraw from the Partnership upon such Transfer. If a Limited Partner has Transferred all of its/his/her Units to one or more Assignees, then such Limited Partner shall withdraw from the Partnership if and when all such Assignees have been admitted as Substitute Partners in accordance with this Agreement.

7.7.2 A General Partner will not be entitled to transfer all of its Interest or to withdraw from being a General Partner of the Partnership unless another General Partner shall have been admitted hereunder (and not have previously been removed or withdrawn).

7.8 Exchange.

7.8.1 The Class B Limited Partners, Class B2 Limited Partners, the Partnership and SSG have entered into the Class B Exchange Agreement contemplating the exchange of Class B Units and shares of Class B Common Stock for shares of Class A Common Stock on the terms and conditions set forth in the Class B Exchange Agreement (i) on an elective basis from

 

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time to time by the Limited Partner and (ii) on a mandatory basis in the circumstances described in Section 7.8.2. The Class C Limited Partners, the Partnership and SSG have entered into the Class C Exchange Agreement contemplating the exchange of Class C Units for shares of Class A Common Stock on the terms and conditions set forth in the Class C Exchange Agreement (i) on an elective basis from time to time by the Limited Partner and (ii) on a mandatory basis in the circumstances described in Section 7.8.2. The Class D Limited Partners, the Partnership and SSG will enter into the Class D Exchange Agreement contemplating the exchange of D Units for shares of Class A Common Stock on the terms and conditions set forth in the Class D Exchange Agreement (i) on an elective basis from time to time by the Limited Partner and (ii) on a mandatory basis in the circumstances described in Section 7.8.2.

7.8.2 Units are subject to mandatory exchange in accordance with the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement (as applicable) in each of the following circumstances:

(a) unless otherwise agreed by the General Partner, upon any Transfer of Units to a Person other than in a Qualified Transfer;

(b) unless otherwise agreed by the General Partner, upon any breach by a Limited Partner or its Designated Individual of its Restrictive Covenant Agreement, as to all Units held by such Limited Partner;

(c) in the discretion of the Class B Committee (as defined in the Stockholders’ Agreement), upon failure to materially comply with, or material breach of, the Stockholders’ Agreement by any Class B Limited Partner or Class C Limited Partner, such Class B Limited Partner or Class C Limited Partner may be required to exchange all of the Units held by such Class B Limited Partner or Class C Limited Partner;

(d) in the discretion of the General Partner, upon the occurrence of an Adjustment Event (whether or not involving a Termination for Cause), the Affected Partner may be required to exchange all of the Units held by such Class B Limited Partner; and

(e) a Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner is subject to a Termination for Cause (provided that any such mandatory exchange shall be without penalty or reduction in the amount of Exchange Consideration such Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner would otherwise be entitled to under the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement, as applicable);

(f) in the discretion of the General Partner, with the consent of Limited Partners whose Units represent Base Percentage Interests exceeding seventy-five percent (75%) of the Base Percentage Interests of all Limited Partners in the aggregate, all Limited Partners may be required to exchange all Units then held by the Limited Partners.

7.8.3 Any discretion exercised by the General Partner or the Class B Committee under Section 7.8.2 need not be uniform and may be made selectively among Limited Partners, whether or not such Limited Partners are similarly situated.

7.9 Drag-Along Transaction.

 

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7.9.1 The terms of this Section 7.9 shall apply to a Drag-Along Transaction. There shall be no liability on the part of SSG, the General Partner or the Partnership or any other Person to any Partner if any sale of Units pursuant to this Section 7.9 is not consummated for whatever reason.

7.9.2 Drag-Along Rights

(a) If there should be a Drag-Along Transaction, the General Partner may, in its sole discretion, require (the “Drag-Along Right”) each Limited Partner (other than a Class A Limited Partner) to (A) sell all (but not less than all) of the Units (together with an equal number of the associated shares of Capital Stock, if any) then held by that Partner to the purchaser in accordance with this Section 7.9.2 or (B) require that Partner to surrender those Units (together with an equal number of the associated shares of Capital Stock, if applicable) for redemption by the Partnership, as the transaction may require, subject to all applicable provisions of this Section 7.9. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the General Partner may, in its sole discretion, allow any Person owning Units of record or beneficially that is employed by the SSG Group to retain, and exclude from a Drag-Along Transaction, a portion of those Units in connection with any Drag-Along Transaction.

(b) The General Partner shall give notice to each other Partner, not fewer than thirty (30) days prior to the consummation of any contemplated Drag-Along Transaction, setting forth the principal terms of the Drag-Along Transaction (including the proposed closing date) in reasonable detail and advising as to whether its Drag-Along Rights are exercised or waived.

(c) If the General Partner elects to exercise the Drag-Along Right in connection with a Drag-Along Transaction, it shall provide to each other Partner all documents required to be executed by each of them to consummate the Drag-Along Transaction prior to the closing date of the Drag-Along Transaction. Each other Partner shall deliver (or cause to be delivered) to the General Partner, before the proposed closing date of the Drag-Along Transaction, all such documents. If any Partner fails to deliver (or cause to be delivered) these documents and the Drag-Along Transaction is subsequently consummated, the Partnership shall cause its books and records to show that the Units owned of record or beneficially by the defaulting Partner or beneficial owner, as applicable, are bound by the provisions of this Section 7.9 and that they may be Transferred only to the Persons who purchased the Units in the Drag-Along Transaction or, in the case of a Drag-Along Transaction that is structured as a redemption of Units, to the Partnership for redemption.

(d) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, in no event shall any Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner be subject to the Drag-Along Right if such Class C Limited Partner or Class D Limited Partner is required to enter into, or be bound by or subject to any provision in (or agree or commit to enter into or be bound by or subject to), any non-solicitation, non-competition or similar restrictive covenant that would materially limit or restrict such Class C Limited Partner’s or Class D Limited Partner’s freedom to engage in any business or investment activity.

 

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7.9.3 The consideration for any Units included in a Drag-Along Transaction shall be the same as the price per share of Class A Common Stock that is paid in that transaction; provided, however, that if for any reason, Units of the Partnership are included in the transaction at a higher price, that higher price shall be the price of the Units. The form of consideration for any transaction pursuant to an exercise of the Drag-Along Right shall be cash.

7.9.4 If a Drag-Along Transaction is consummated, promptly after such consummation, the General Partner shall furnish the terms of the Drag-Along Transaction as any other Partner may reasonably request. Also, the General Partner shall cause to be remitted to each other Partner that has complied with its obligations hereunder or who is deemed to have sold its Units pursuant hereto the proceeds of the sale attributable to the sale of such Partner’s Units (subject to any agreed holdbacks or escrows in connection with such sale, and net of such Partner’s pro rata portion of all costs and expenses incurred by SSG or the General Partner on behalf of the Partnership and the Partners in connection therewith). Likewise, upon receipt of any deferred consideration (such as pursuant to the release of an escrow or holdback, the payment of an earnout, or the receipt of a tax refund, for example), SSG, the General Partner or the Partnership, as applicable, shall cause to be remitted to each other Partner its pro rata portion of that amount. For the purposes of this Section 7.9, each Partner’s “pro rata” portion of any amount shall be the amount that is equal to the percentage obtained by dividing the number of Units held by that Partner and included, redeemed or exchanged in the Drag-Along Transaction by the aggregate number of Units of all Partners that are included in or redeemed in the transaction.

7.9.5 In connection with any Drag-Along Transaction, each Partner shall use his, her or its commercially reasonable best efforts to aid SSG, the General Partner and the Partnership in the consummation of the transaction and shall take all actions necessary, proper or advisable in connection therewith as are requested by the General Partner, including casting votes or providing written consents in favor of the transaction if required by applicable Law or requested by the General Partner. As part of this cooperation, each Partner shall: execute and deliver the definitive transaction documents and all related documentation and take such other action in support of the sale as shall be reasonably requested by the General Partner, and make such representations and warranties and provide such indemnification as may be reasonably requested by the purchaser, provided that the liability for indemnification, if any, of such Partner shall not exceed the amount of consideration actually paid to such Partner. No Partner shall have any liability for any representation or warranty made by another Partner, and the terms and conditions of any Partner’s participation in a Drag-Along Transaction shall be substantially identical to the terms applicable to all other Persons selling securities in that transaction.

7.10 Adjustment Events Relating to Class B Units.

7.10.1 The Partners hereby acknowledge and agree that Class B Units have been and are being issued or Transferred to Active Partners of the Partnership in consideration of the valuable services being rendered by such Class B Limited Partners to or for the benefit of the SSG Group. In recognition of the fact that any Class B Limited Partner in respect of which an Adjustment Event occurs (an “Affected Partner”) will cease to render such services, upon the occurrence of an Adjustment Event, an Admission Agreement may provide that such Affected Partner shall be entitled to retain only a portion of the Class B Units held by such Class B Limited Partner immediately prior to the Adjustment Event (the “vested portion”), which vested portion

 

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shall be calculated by multiplying the Base Percentage Interest held by the Affected Partner immediately prior to the occurrence of the Adjustment Event by a percentage (the “Adjustment Percentage”) determined in accordance with the applicable Admission Agreement, which may be by reference to the time that has elapsed between the Start Date and the occurrence of the Adjustment Event; provided, that (i) in no event shall such Adjustment Percentage exceed one hundred percent (100%), and (ii) the General Partner shall have the authority to increase the Adjustment Percentage (i.e., reduce the reduction in Base Percentage Interest that would otherwise apply) in its sole and absolute discretion.

7.10.2 Unless expressly stated in any applicable Admission Agreement that the provisions of this Section 7.10.2 are to be overridden, (i) in the event of an Adjustment Event by reason of Death or permanent disability, the Adjustment Percentage shall be 100% and (ii) the Adjustment Percentage shall equal one hundred percent (100%) in the event of a Drag-Along Transaction or Change of Control.

7.10.3 Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, and whether or not the Affected Partner is otherwise subject to any vesting provisions, an Affected Partner whose Adjustment Event constitutes a Termination for Cause (as determined by the General Partner) shall equal zero percent (0%), regardless of when such Adjustment Event occurs. In the event that the Affected Partner disagrees with any determination that such Affected Partner’s Adjustment Event constituted a Termination for Cause, then such dispute shall be resolved pursuant to Article 9. If it is determined pursuant to Article 9 that the Adjustment Event did not constitute a Termination for Cause, then the Affected Partner’s sole and exclusive remedy shall be to have its Adjustment Percentage recalculated pursuant to this Section 7.10 taking into account the fact that the Adjustment Event did not constitute a Termination for Cause.

7.10.4 All Units of an Affected Partner forfeited pursuant to the terms of this Agreement or an Admission Agreement shall be canceled by the Partnership. The General Partner shall determine the consequences of such forfeiture and cancellation with respect to the Capital Accounts of the Partners. Unless otherwise determined by the General Partner, the amount of any such reduction shall be reallocated to the remaining Active Partners with respect to which an Adjustment Event has not occurred, pro rata in accordance with the relative percentage of the Class B Units held by each such Class B Limited Partner on the date of the Adjustment Event.

7.11 Vesting of Class B2 Units.

7.11.1 For so long as a Class B2 Limited Partner is an Active Partner, the Class B2 Units issued to a Class B2 Limited Partner in an Admission Agreement shall vest as follows: (a) zero percent (0%) during the first three (3) years from the Issuance Date, (b) thirty percent (30%) on the third (3rd) anniversary of the Issuance Date, (c) five and eighty-three one hundredths percent (5.83%) for each Vested Quarter after the third (3rd) anniversary of the Issuance Date; provided, that the General Partner may, in its sole discretion, accelerate the vesting of any Class B2 Units. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a Class B2 Limited Partner is an Active Partner through the closing of a Change of Control, all of his or her Class B2 Units shall become one hundred percent (100%) vested upon the occurrence of such Change of Control.

 

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7.11.2 The Partners hereby acknowledge and agree that Class B2 Units have been issued to Active Partners of the Partnership in consideration of the valuable services being rendered by such Class B2 Limited Partners to or for the benefit of the SSG Group. In recognition of the fact that an Affected Partner will cease to render such services, (a) upon the occurrence of an Adjustment Event prior to the Full Vesting Date of any Class B2 Units held by such Affected Partner (i) in the event such Adjustment Event constitutes a Termination Without Cause or Retirement, such Affected Partner shall be entitled to retain such Class B2 Units that are Vested Class B2 Units, if any, and such Class B2 Units that are Unvested Class B2 Units shall be forfeited to, and canceled by, the Partnership and (ii) in the event such Adjustment Event does not constitute a Termination Without Cause or Retirement, all such Class B2 Units (including all such Vested Class B2 Units and all such Unvested Class B2 Units) shall be forfeited to, and canceled by the Partnership, and (b) upon the occurrence of an Adjustment Event on or following the Full Vesting Date of any Class B2 Units held by such Affected Partner, (i) in the event such Adjustment Event does not constitute a Termination for Cause, such Affected Partners shall be entitled to retain all such Vested Class B2 Units and (ii) in the event such Adjustment Event constitutes a Termination for Cause, all such Vested Class B2 Units shall be forfeited to and canceled by the Partnership.

7.11.3 In the event that the Affected Partner disagrees with any determination that such Affected Partner’s Adjustment Event constituted a Termination for Cause or was a Termination Without Cause, then such dispute shall be resolved pursuant to Article 9. If it is determined pursuant to Article 9 that the Adjustment Event was a Termination Without Cause, then the Affected Partner’s sole and exclusive remedy shall be retain its Vested Class B2 Units.

7.12 Anti-Dilution Issuances Related to Units Acquired by the 2019 Equity Investors Pursuant to the 2019 Equity Transaction. Upon the Full Vesting Date of any Class B2 Unit or immediately prior to the closing of a Change of Control or Drag-Along Transaction in respect of which any Class B2 Unit would be entitled to participate in the receipt of proceeds (each such occasion, an “Anti-Dilution Trigger”), the Partnership will issue to each 2019 Equity Investor holding Units at the time of such Anti-Dilution Trigger its pro rata share (based on its respective Units originally acquired pursuant to the 2019 Equity Transaction and still held as compared to all Class B Units originally acquired by the 2019 Equity Investors pursuant to the 2019 Equity Transaction) and for no additional consideration, of additional Class B Units (“Anti-Dilution Units”) representing 0.14375 times the sum of (i) the number of B2 Units that are becoming fully vested or participating, as the case may be, in such Anti-Dilution Trigger plus (ii) the number of Anti-Dilution Units so issued.

7.13 Adjustments Relating to Class C Units. No split, dividend, combination, reclassification, recapitalization, reorganization or other similar transaction shall occur with respect to the Class C Units unless the same split, dividend, combination, reclassification, recapitalization, reorganization or similar transaction occurs simultaneously with respect to all other classes of Units, unless otherwise approved by the holders of a majority of the then outstanding Class C Units. For the avoidance of doubt, the issuances described in Section 7.12 will not trigger an adjustment under this Section 7.13.

7.14 Adjustments Relating to Class D Units. No split, dividend, combination, reclassification, recapitalization, reorganization or other similar transaction shall occur with respect to the Class D Units unless the same split, dividend, combination, reclassification,

 

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recapitalization, reorganization or similar transaction occurs simultaneously with respect to all other classes of Units, unless otherwise approved by the holders of a majority of the then outstanding Class D Units. For the avoidance of doubt, the issuances described in Section 7.12 will not trigger an adjustment under this Section 7.14.

ARTICLE 8

DISSOLUTION, LIQUIDATION, AND TERMINATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP

8.1 Limitations. The Partnership may be dissolved, liquidated, and terminated only pursuant to the provisions of this Article 8, and the parties hereto do hereby irrevocably waive any and all other rights they may have to cause a dissolution of the Partnership or a sale or partition of any or all of the Partnership assets.

8.2 Exclusive Causes. Notwithstanding the Act, the following and only the following events shall cause the Partnership to be dissolved, liquidated, and terminated:

(a) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Partnership;

(b) by the election of the General Partner; or

(c) judicial dissolution.

Any purported dissolution of the Partnership other than as provided in this Section 8.2 shall be a dissolution in contravention of this Agreement.

8.3 Effect of Dissolution. The dissolution of the Partnership shall be effective on the day on which the event occurs giving rise to the dissolution, but the Partnership shall not terminate until it has been wound up and its assets have been distributed as provided in Section 8.5. Notwithstanding the dissolution of the Partnership, prior to the termination of the Partnership, the business of the Partnership and the affairs of the Partners, as such, shall continue to be governed by this Agreement.

8.4 No Capital Contribution Upon Dissolution. Each Partner shall look solely to the assets of the Partnership for all distributions with respect to the Partnership, its Capital Contribution thereto, its Capital Account and its share of Net Profits or Net Losses, and shall have no recourse therefor (upon dissolution or otherwise) against any other Partner. Accordingly, if any Partner has a deficit balance in its Capital Account (after giving effect to all contributions, distributions and allocations for all taxable years, including the year during which the liquidation occurs), then such Partner shall have no obligation to make any Capital Contribution with respect to such deficit, and such deficit shall not be considered a debt owed to the Partnership or to any other person for any purpose whatsoever.

8.5 Liquidation.

8.5.1 Upon dissolution of the Partnership, the General Partner shall appoint a “Liquidator” of the Partnership, which may be the General Partner. The Liquidator shall liquidate the assets of the Partnership, and after allocating (pursuant to Article 5) all income, gain, loss and deductions resulting therefrom, shall apply and distribute the proceeds thereof as follows:

 

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(a) first, to pay the costs and expenses of the winding-up, liquidation and termination of the Partnership;

(b) second, to the payment of the obligations of the Partnership,

(c) third, to the setting up of any reserves for contingencies which the Liquidator may consider necessary; and

(d) thereafter, to the Partners in accordance with Article 4.

8.5.2 Notwithstanding Section 8.5.1, in the event that the Liquidator determines that an immediate sale of all or any portion of the Partnership assets would cause undue loss to the Partners, the Liquidator, in order to avoid such loss to the extent not then prohibited by the Act, may either defer liquidation of and withhold from distribution for a reasonable time any Partnership assets except those necessary to satisfy the Partnership’s debts and obligations, or distribute the Partnership assets to the Partners in kind.

ARTICLE 9

MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

9.1 Resolution of Disputes Among Partners. If a dispute arises out of or in any way related to this Agreement, or the breach thereof, or any other aspect of the business relationship of the parties, and if said dispute cannot be settled through direct discussions, the parties must first endeavor to settle the dispute in an amicable manner by mediation before resorting to arbitration. Such mediation shall be conducted before a third party neutral in either New York, New York or San Diego, California (at the option of the Partnership), selected or appointed from the panel of neutrals maintained by Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Services (“JAMS”) pursuant to the process outlined in Rule 15 of JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures (the “JAMS Rules”) in effect as of the date hereof. The costs of the mediation shall be split between the parties. Thereafter, any unresolved dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or in any way related to this Agreement, or the breach thereof, or any other aspect of the business relationship of the parties, shall be settled by final and binding arbitration in accordance with Sections 9.2 through 9.13.

9.2 Single Arbitrator; Governing Rules. Any dispute that is not resolved through mediation shall be resolved by confidential mandatory, binding arbitration conducted in accordance with this Article. The party desiring to arbitrate such dispute shall file and serve a written demand for arbitration on all other parties to the dispute. The arbitration shall be conducted by a single arbitrator (the “Arbitrator”) in either New York, New York or San Diego, California (at the option of the Partnership) selected or appointed from the lists of arbitrators maintained by JAMS. A panel of arbitrators is neither intended nor permitted. The arbitration shall be conducted pursuant to the JAMS Rules in effect as of the date hereof, as modified herein. The Arbitrator shall be mutually agreed upon by the parties to the arbitration or, if the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator, shall be selected or appointed in accordance with the procedures specified in the JAMS Rules. This provision shall not prohibit the parties from seeking provisional remedies in aid of arbitration from a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

9.3 Discovery. In agreeing to the arbitration procedures and rules set forth in this Article 9, the parties specifically intend to control and limit the time, money, and other resources committed to resolving any disputes or issues that may arise

 

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among them. Therefore, the parties specifically waive the discovery rights they might otherwise have under the JAMS Rules, California Code of Civil Procedure sections 1283, 1283.05, 1283.1, and 2016 through 2036, or similar laws or regulations of the United States or any other state, including without limitation, New York, and instead agree that each party to any arbitration pursuant to this Agreement may conduct only the following limited discovery:

(a) Up to fifty (50) document production requests or interrogatories, in any combination thereof, without subparts;

(b) Up to two (2) depositions of other parties or percipient witnesses, not to exceed one seven (7)-hour day per deposition, provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall limit a party’s right to conduct up to one seven (7) hour deposition of any witness designated to testify at the arbitration hearing; and

(c) Depositions of any expert witnesses, provided, however, that no party may designate or call as witnesses more than three (3) experts.

Notwithstanding the foregoing limitations, the Arbitrator may, on application of any party, for good cause and under extraordinary circumstances, permit such additional discovery as the Arbitrator deems necessary to resolve the issues in dispute, consistent with the parties’ stated intent to control and limit the time, money, and other resources committed to resolving those issues. In the event any arbitration commenced hereunder involves extra-contractual claims, regardless of whether those are the exclusive claims raised in the arbitration, the parties agree that Sections 9.3(a) and 9.3(b) shall be modified as follows to provide for the following discovery (and Section 9.3(c) shall continue to apply without modification):

(x) up to seventy (70) document production requests or interrogatories, in any combination thereof, without subparts; and

(y) up to three (3) depositions of other parties or percipient witnesses, not to exceed one seven (7)-hour day per deposition, provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall limit a party’s right to conduct up to one seven (7) hour deposition of any witness designated to testify at the arbitration hearing.

9.4 Arbitration Hearing. The arbitration hearing shall take place in New York, New York or San Diego, California (as selected by the Partnership) at a location and at dates and times specified by the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator will give all parties adequate notice of the dates, times, and location of the arbitration hearing. The length of the arbitration hearing shall be limited to five (5) days of no more than eight (8) hours per day. The time allotted for the arbitration hearing shall be allocated equally among the parties to the hearing. Unless the Arbitrator allows adjournment for good cause, the arbitration hearing shall be continued on successive Business Days until it is concluded. The Arbitrator shall have jurisdiction to proceed with the arbitration notwithstanding the failure or refusal of any party to comply with these rules or with the Arbitrator’s orders or directions, or to attend any hearing, but only after giving that party written notice that the Arbitrator intends to do so. In conducting the arbitration hearing, the Arbitrator shall be governed by the evidentiary rules and principles set forth in the California Evidence Code, and may order any party to produce and to supply copies of any documents in the party’s custody, possession, or control that the Arbitrator deems to be relevant to determination of the issues in dispute.

 

 

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9.5 Timely Determination. The parties agree to act at all times so as to facilitate, and not to frustrate or to delay, the efficient, expeditious, and inexpensive resolution of the matters in dispute. The Arbitrator is authorized and directed to make orders, on his or her initiative or upon application of any party to the dispute, to ensure that the arbitration proceeds in an efficient, expeditious and inexpensive manner, and in particular, to enforce strictly the time limits provided for in these rules or set by order of the Arbitrator. The parties acknowledge and agree that it is their intention that arbitration hearing will commence as soon as possible, but in any event, no later than one hundred twenty (120) days after appointment of the Arbitrator, which deadline has been set recognizing the time required to complete the limited discovery authorized under Section 9.3 above. However, upon his or her own motion or the application of any party to the arbitration, and for good cause shown under extraordinary circumstances, the Arbitrator may extend the time for commencement of the arbitration hearing.

9.6 Award or Decision. The Arbitrator shall make a written award or decision permitted under this Agreement. The award or decision of the Arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties, whether participating in the proceeding or not. The Arbitrator is directed to make all reasonable efforts to make his or her award within fifteen (15) days following completion of the arbitration hearing. The parties agree that any judge the New York Supreme Court or the United States District Court sitting in New York County or of the San Diego County Superior Court or of the United States District Court sitting in San Diego shall have the power to enforce or enter judgment based on the Arbitrator’s award.

9.7 Limitations. Subject to Section 9.8, the Arbitrator is not empowered to award damages in excess of compensatory damages, and each party hereby irrevocably waives any right to recover punitive, exemplary or similar damages with respect to any dispute subject to this Article 9. In rendering a decision, the arbitrators shall apply the applicable law of the State of Delaware.

9.8 Remedies. This Agreement is not intended to, and does not, create an employment relationship among the parties or any of them. Other than for cases involving extra-contractual claims, the parties specifically acknowledge and agree that their remedies against one another are limited to compensatory damages and, if necessary and appropriate to enforce the provisions of this Agreement, specific performance, declaratory relief and injunctions. The Arbitrator shall have the authority to award punitive damages or interest on an award for extra-contractual claims only and, for the avoidance of doubt, for any arbitration involving both contractual and extra-contractual claims, the arbitrator shall be empowered to award punitive damages or interest on an award in the arbitrator’s discretion only for the portion of the arbitration involving extra-contractual claims.

9.9 Statute of Limitations. The demand for arbitration must be filed and served within one (1) year of the date of the acts, events, or transactions giving rise to the claims alleged in the demand become known to the Person making such claims. The Arbitrator shall dismiss as time-barred any claim not properly identified in a timely filed and served demand for arbitration.

 

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9.10 Continuing Project. Any aspect of this Agreement not at issue in and not materially affected by the arbitration proceedings and all non-disputed terms of this Agreement shall continue during any arbitration proceedings.

9.11 Jurisdiction and Venue. The parties consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in New York County, New York and San Diego County, California and hereby waive any challenge to the exercise of personal jurisdiction by a court thereof.

9.12 Fees. The Arbitrator may award all reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party or parties in the arbitration hearing. A party who prevails on one or more but less than all of its claims shall be entitled only to a proportionate share of fees corresponding to those claims on which it prevailed to be determined by the Arbitrator. Such costs shall include witness fees, deposition transcript fees, travel costs, expert witness fees, photocopying charges and fees charged by the Arbitrator. In any judicial enforcement or confirmation proceeding, the prevailing parties or Partner(s) shall be entitled to recover its/their reasonable costs incurred in connection therewith.

9.13 Coordination with Tax Receivable Agreements. To the extent any provision of this Article 9 is inconsistent with a provision of the Tax Receivable Agreements, the provisions of the Tax Receivable Agreements shall control.

ARTICLE 10

MISCELLANEOUS

10.1 Amendments.

10.1.1 Subject to the rights of any Partner set forth in a Class Designation, this Agreement may be amended, supplemented, waived or modified by the written consent of the General Partner in its sole discretion without the approval of any other Partner or other Person; provided, that to the extent that any such amendment, supplement, waiver or modification would adversely affect the legal rights of the holders of any given class of Units in relation to other classes of Units, such amendment shall require the consent of the holders of a majority of the then outstanding Units of each such adversely affected class.

10.1.2 In making any amendments, there shall be prepared and filed by, or for, the General Partner such documents and certificates as may be required under the Act and under the Law of any other jurisdiction applicable to the Partnership.

10.2 Voting. With respect to all Partnership decisions as to which Partners are entitled and/or required to vote, consent, or give approval under the provisions of this Agreement or the Act, unless otherwise specifically provided herein, each Partner shall be entitled to one vote for each Unit.

10.3 Accounting and Fiscal Year. Subject to Code section 448, the books of the Partnership shall be kept on such method of accounting for tax and financial reporting purposes as may be determined by the General Partner, pursuant to Section 6.4. Unless otherwise required by Code section 706, the fiscal year of the Partnership (“Fiscal Year”) shall end on March 31 of each year, or on such other date permitted under the Code as the General Partner shall determine.

 

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10.4 Entire Agreement. This Agreement (including the Schedules hereto and any Class Designation), together with the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement, the Class D Exchange Agreement, the Tax Receivable Agreements and the Registration Rights Agreement constitutes the entire agreement among the parties hereto pertaining to the subject matter hereof and fully supersedes any and all prior or contemporaneous agreements or understandings between the parties hereto pertaining to the subject matter hereof. The parties hereto acknowledge that, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, the General Partner, on its own behalf or on behalf of the Partnership, without any act, consent or approval of any other Partner, may enter into side letters or other writings to or with one or more Limited Partners which have the effect of limiting, but not otherwise supplementing, the rights under this Agreement (each, a “Side Letter”). The parties agree that any limits established in a Side Letter to or with one or more Limited Partners shall govern solely with respect to such Limited Partner(s) notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement.

10.5 Further Assurances. Each of the parties hereto does hereby covenant and agree on behalf of itself, its successors, and its assigns, without further consideration, to prepare, execute, acknowledge, file, record, publish, and deliver such other instruments, documents and statements, and to take such other action as may be required by law or reasonably necessary to effectively carry out the purposes of this Agreement.

10.6 Notices. Any notice, consent, payment, demand, or communication required or permitted to be given by any provision of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be (a) delivered personally to the Person or to an officer of the Person to whom the same is directed, or (b) sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, addressed to any Partner at the principal executive office of the Partnership or at such other address as such Partner may from time to time specify by notice to the Partnership, or (c) sent by e-mail to the e-mail address maintained by the Partnership. Any such notice shall be deemed to be delivered, given and received for all purposes as of: (i) the date so delivered, if delivered personally, or (ii) on the date of receipt or refusal indicated on the return receipt, if sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage and charges prepaid and properly addressed, or (iii) on the date when such e-mail is transmitted, provided that email notice shall not be effective if the transmitter of the e-mail receives a non-deliverable or similar message indicting that the email has not been received.

10.7 Governing Law; Certain Waivers. This Agreement, including its existence, validity, construction, and operating effect, and the rights of each of the parties hereto, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to otherwise governing principles of conflicts of law. The Partners waive any and all rights they may have to a jury trial, and any and all rights they may have to punitive, special, exemplary, or consequential damages, in respect of any dispute based on this Agreement.

10.8 Approvals. Except as otherwise explicitly provided herein to the contrary, whenever a Partner’s approval or consent is required (other than the approval of SSG or the General Partner), such approval or consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. If the General Partner provides written notice to a Partner requesting that the Partner approve or consent to an action or proposal, which action or proposal is specified in the written notice, the Partner’s

 

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approval or consent (as the case may be) shall be deemed given thirty (30) days thereafter if the Partner has not responded to the notice from the General Partner prior to such thirtieth (30th) day.

10.9 Power of Attorney. Each Partner (other than SSG and the General Partner) authorizes the General Partner and its designees to act as its attorney-in-fact to execute such documents, certificates and filings as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate the terms of this Agreement, including the execution of any amendments to this Agreement permitted under the terms hereof.

10.10 Construction. This Agreement shall be construed as if all parties prepared this Agreement.

10.11 Interpretation. Any titles or captions contained in this Agreement are for convenience only and shall not be deemed part of the text of this Agreement. All pronouns and any variations thereof shall be deemed to refer to the masculine, feminine, neuter, singular or plural as appropriate. References to “including” shall be read as “including, without limitation”. Any reference to an entity which has been the subject of a conversion shall be deemed to include reference to such entity’s predecessor or successor (as the case may be), and any reference to an agreement shall be deemed to include any amendment, restatement or successor agreement.

10.12 Binding Effect. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, this Agreement shall be binding on and inure to the benefit of the Partners, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and all other Persons hereafter holding, having or receiving an interest in the Partnership, whether as Assignees, Substitute Partners or otherwise.

10.13 Severability. In the event that any provision of this Agreement as applied to any party or to any circumstance, shall be adjudged by a court to be void, unenforceable or inoperative as a matter of law, then the same shall in no way affect any other provision in this Agreement, the application of such provision in any other circumstance or with respect to any other party, or the validity or enforceability of the Agreement as a whole.

10.14 Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in any number of multiple counterparts, each of which shall be deemed to be an original copy and all of which shall constitute one agreement, binding on all parties hereto.

10.15 Spousal Consent. Each Partner agrees to use reasonable efforts, as requested by the General Partner, to obtain the consent of such Partner’s spouse, if applicable, to all of the terms of this Agreement that are or may become applicable to such spouse, and to prevent any marital dissolution from interfering in any way with the activities and business of the Partnership, its Affiliates or any of its Partners.

[Signature Page Follows]

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Partners have adopted this Tenth Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement as of the day and year first above written.

 

General Partner:
STEPSTONE GROUP HOLDINGS LLC

By:

 

/s/ Scott Hart

 

Name: Scott Hart

 

Title: Authorized Signatory

Limited Partners:

By the General Partner, as attorney-in-fact:

STEPSTONE GROUP HOLDINGS LLC

By:

 

/s/ Scott Hart

 

Name: Scott Hart

 

Title: Authorized Signatory

 

51

EX-10.2

Exhibit 10.2

Execution Version

 

 

SECOND AMENDED AND RESTATED

REGISTRATION RIGHTS AGREEMENT

BY AND AMONG

STEPSTONE GROUP INC.

AND

CERTAIN STOCKHOLDERS

DATED AS OF May 31, 2024

 

 

 

 

1


This SECOND AMENDED AND RESTATED REGISTRATION RIGHTS AGREEMENT (as it may be amended from time to time in accordance with the terms hereof, the “Agreement”), dated as of May 31, 2024, is made by and among:

i. StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”);

ii.  Each Person executing this Agreement prior to or on the date hereof (collectively, together with their Permitted Transferees that became or will become party hereto, the “Holders”).

RECITALS

WHEREAS, the Company entered into that certain Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of September 18, 2020 (the “Original Agreement”), with certain Holders designated in the Original Agreement (collectively, together with their Permitted Transferees that become party hereto, the “Class B Holders”);

WHEREAS, the Class B Holders Beneficially Own or will Beneficially Own (x) shares of Class A Common Stock and/or (y) shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “Class B Common Stock”) and Class B partnership units in the Partnership (“Class B Units”), which Class B Units, subject to certain restrictions, are exchangeable from time to time for shares of Class A Common Stock pursuant to the terms of an Exchange Agreement between the Company, the Partnership and the Class B Holders (the “Class B Exchange Agreement”) and the Tenth Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of the Partnership (as may be amended from time to time, the “Partnership Agreement”);

WHEREAS, following the acquisition by the Company of Greenspring Associates, LLC and certain of its affiliates or subsidiaries pursuant to that certain Transaction Agreement, dated July 7, 2021, among the Company, the Partnership, the Holders designated on the signature pages hereto as Greenspring Holders (the “Class C Holders”), and the other parties thereto, the Class C Holders Beneficially Own or will Beneficially Own shares of Class A Common Stock and/or Class C partnership units in the Partnership (“Class C Units”), which Class C Units, subject to certain restrictions, are exchangeable from time to time for shares of Class A Common Stock pursuant to the terms of an Exchange Agreement between the Company, the Partnership and the Class C Holders (the “Class C Exchange Agreement”) and the Partnership Agreement;

WHEREAS, pursuant to the three Transaction Agreements (as may be amended from time to time, the “Transaction Agreements”), among the Company, the Partnership, the Sellers thereunder who are also Holders designated as Class D Holders (the “Class D Holders”) hereunder, and the other parties thereto, each dated February 7, 2024, the Class D Holders Beneficially Own or will Beneficially Own (x) shares of Class A Common Stock and/or (y) Class D partnership units in the Partnership (“Class D Units”), which Class D Units, subject to certain restrictions, are exchangeable from time to time for shares of Class A Common Stock pursuant to the terms of an Exchange Agreement between the Company and the Class D Holders (the “Class D Exchange Agreement”) and the Partnership Agreement; and

 

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WHEREAS, the parties believe that it is in each of their best interests to set forth their agreements regarding registration rights following the execution of the Transaction Agreements.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and the mutual promises, covenants and agreements of the parties hereto, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto agree to amend and restate the Original Agreement, as amended and restated on September 20, 2021, as follows:

ARTICLE I

EFFECTIVENESS

1.1 Effectiveness. This Agreement shall become effective on the date hereof.

ARTICLE II

DEFINITIONS

2.1 Definitions. As used in this Agreement, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

Adverse Disclosure” means public disclosure of material non-public information that, in the good faith judgment of the Board of Directors: (i) would be required to be made in any Registration Statement filed with the SEC by the Company so that such Registration Statement, from and after its effective date, does not contain an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading; (ii) would reasonably be expected to adversely affect or interfere with any material financing or other material transaction under consideration by the Company; or (iii) would not be required to be made at such time but for the filing, effectiveness or continued use of such Registration Statement.

Affiliate” means, with respect to any specified Person, (a) any Person that directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, such specified Person or (b) a Permitted Transferee of such Person; provided that the Company, the Partnership and their respective subsidiaries shall not be deemed to be Affiliates of the Holders. As used in this definition, the term “control” means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a Person, whether through ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise.

Agreement” shall have the meaning set forth in the preamble.

Beneficial Ownership” has the same meaning given to it in Section 13(d) under the Exchange Act and the rules thereunder, except that, for purposes of this Agreement, (i) Beneficial Ownership shall not be attributed to any Person as a result of any “group” deemed to form as a result of the Stockholders’ Agreement, (ii) no Person shall Beneficially Own any

 

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Company Shares to be issued upon the exercise of options, warrants, restricted stock units or similar rights granted pursuant to the Company’s equity compensation plans, unless and until such shares are actually issued and (iii) no Person shall be deemed to Beneficially Own any Company Shares issuable with respect to Class B2 Units of the Partnership unless and until the Full Vesting Date (as such term is defined in the Partnership Agreement) for such Class B2 Units has occurred. The terms “Beneficially Own” and “Beneficial Owner” shall have correlative meanings.

Board of Directors” means the board of directors of the Company.

Business Day” means any calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday or other day on which commercial banks in New York, New York are authorized or required to close.

Class A Common Stock” shall have the meaning set forth in the recitals.

Class B Common Stock” shall have the meaning set forth in the recitals.

Class B Exchange” means the exchange of Class B Units together, with an equal number of shares of Class B Common Stock, for shares of Class A Common Stock or cash consideration, as applicable, pursuant to the terms of the Class B Exchange Agreement.

Class B Exchange Agreement” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class B Holders” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class B Units” shall have the meaning set forth in the recitals.

“Class C Exchange” means the exchange of Class C Units for shares of Class A Common Stock or cash consideration, as applicable, pursuant to the terms of the Class C Exchange Agreement.

Class C Exchange Agreement” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class C Holders” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class C Units” shall have the meaning set forth in the recitals.

“Class D Exchange” means the exchange of Class D Units for shares of Class A Common Stock or cash consideration, as applicable, pursuant to the terms of the Class D Exchange Agreement.

Class D Exchange Agreement” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class D Holders” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Class D Majority” means the holders of at least a majority of (i) the Class D Units issued pursuant to the Transaction Agreements and (ii) the shares of Class A Common Stock issued under a Class D Exchange Agreement, in each case outstanding as of such time and constituting Registrable Securities at such time; provided, if none of such securities are

 

4


outstanding or none of such securities constitute Registrable Securities, then the Asset Class Head (as defined in the Transaction Agreement) may act on behalf of the Class D Majority.

Class D Units” shall have the meaning set forth in the recitals.

Closing” means the closing of the IPO.

Closing Registrable Securities” means the total number of Registrable Securities as of the Closing, as adjusted for stock splits, recapitalizations and similar transactions.

Company” shall have the meaning set forth in the preamble.

Company Shares” means shares of the Common Stock of the Company.

Demand Notice” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(c).

Demand Registration” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(a)(i).

Demand Registration Request” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(a)(i).

Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Excluded Offering” means (i) a Registration under Sections 3.1 or 3.2, (ii) a Registration on Form S-4 or Form S-8 or any successor form to such forms, (iii) a Registration of securities solely relating to an offering and sale to employees or directors of the Company or its subsidiaries pursuant to any employee stock plan, employee stock purchase plan, or other employee benefit plan arrangement, (iv) a Registration solely for the registration of securities issuable upon the conversion, exchange or exercise of any then outstanding security of the Company and (v) a Registration relating to a dividend reinvestment plan.

FINRA” means the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Greenspring Qualified Holders” means C. Ashton Newhall and James Lim.

Holders” shall have the meaning set forth in the preamble.

IPO” shall have the meaning set forth in the Recitals.

Issuer Free Writing Prospectus” means an issuer free writing prospectus, as defined in Rule 433 under the Securities Act, relating to an offer of the Registrable Securities.

Loss” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.9(a).

Participation Conditions” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.2(b).

Partnership” means StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership.

Permitted Transferee” means any Person to whom a Class B Holder has validly transferred Class B Units or any Person to whom a Class C Holder or Class D Holder has validly transferred Registrable Securities, in each case, in accordance with, and not in contravention of, the Partnership Agreement.

 

5


Person” means and includes an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, a trust, an unincorporated organization, a government or any department or agency thereof, or any entity similar to any of the foregoing.

Piggyback Notice” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.3(a).

Piggyback Registration” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.3(a).

Potential Takedown Participant” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.2(b).

Pro Rata Portion” means, with respect to each Holder requesting that its shares be registered or sold, a number of such shares equal to the aggregate number of Registrable Securities requested to be registered (excluding any shares to be registered or sold for the account of the Company) multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the aggregate number of Registrable Securities then held by such Holder, and the denominator of which is the aggregate number of Registrable Securities then held by all Holders requesting that their Registrable Securities be registered or sold.

Prospectus” means (i) the prospectus included in any Registration Statement, all amendments and supplements to such prospectus, including post-effective amendments and supplements, and all other material incorporated by reference in such prospectus, and (ii) any Issuer Free Writing Prospectus.

Public Offering” means the offer and sale of Registrable Securities for cash pursuant to an effective Registration Statement under the Securities Act (other than a Registration Statement on Form S-4 or Form S-8 or any successor form).

Qualified Holder” means (a) any of the Sunset Individuals (as such term is defined in the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation), (b) any Person party to this Agreement on the Closing date who beneficially owned Registrable Securities aggregating 4% of the Closing Registrable Securities, (c) Davis Investment Holdings, LLC, (d) ALD 2020 GST Trust, (e) any of the Greenspring Qualified Holders or (f) any other Holder if and for so long as the Board of Directors has determined in its sole discretion to name such person a Qualified Holder.

Registrable Securities” means (i) all shares of Class A Common Stock that are not then subject to forfeiture to the Company, (ii) all shares of Class A Common Stock issued or issuable upon exercise, conversion or exchange of any option, warrant or convertible security (including shares of Class A Common Stock issuable upon a Class B Exchange, Class C Exchange or Class D Exchange) not then subject to vesting or forfeiture to the Company and (iii) all shares of Class A Common Stock directly or indirectly issued or then issuable with respect to the securities referred to in clauses (i) or (ii) above by way of unit or stock dividend or unit or stock split, or in connection with a combination of units or shares, recapitalization, merger, consolidation or other reorganization. As to any particular Registrable Securities, such securities shall cease to be Registrable Securities when (w) a Registration Statement with respect to the sale of such

 

6


securities shall have become effective under the Securities Act and such securities shall have been disposed of in accordance with such Registration Statement, (x) such securities shall have been transferred pursuant to Rule 144, (y) such Holder is able to immediately sell such securities (including all shares of Class A Common Stock (I) issuable upon a Class B Exchange, subject to the limitations on such Class B Exchange set forth in the Class B Exchange Agreement, (II) issuable upon a Class C Exchange, subject to the limitations on such Class C Exchange set forth in the Class C Exchange Agreement or (III) issuable upon a Class D Exchange, subject to the limitations on such Class D Exchange set forth in the Class D Exchange Agreement) under Rule 144 without any volume or manner of sale restrictions thereunder, as determined in the reasonable opinion of the Company (it being understood that a written opinion of the Company’s outside legal counsel to the effect that such securities may be so offered and sold, and that any restrictive legends on the securities may be removed, shall be conclusive evidence this clause has been satisfied), or (z) such securities shall have ceased to be outstanding.

Registration” means registration under the Securities Act of the offer and sale of shares of Class A Common Stock under a Registration Statement. The terms “register,” “registered” and “registering” shall have correlative meanings.

Registration Expenses” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.8.

Registration Statement” means any registration statement of the Company filed with, or to be filed with, the SEC under the Securities Act, including the related Prospectus, amendments and supplements to such registration statement, including pre- and post-effective amendments, and all exhibits and all material incorporated by reference in such registration statement other than a registration statement (and related Prospectus) filed on Form S-4 or Form S-8 or any successor forms thereto.

Representatives” means, with respect to any Person, any of such Person’s officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys, accountants, actuaries, consultants, equity financing partners or financial advisors or other Person associated with, or acting on behalf of, such Person.

Rule 144” means Rule 144 under the Securities Act (or any successor rule).

SEC” means the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and any successor thereto, and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, all as the same shall be in effect from time to time.

Selling Stockholder Information” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.9(a).

Shelf Registration” means any Registration pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act.

Shelf Registration Request” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(a)(ii).

 

7


Shelf Registration Statement” means a Registration Statement filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act.

Shelf Takedown Notice” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.2(b).

Shelf Takedown Request” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.2(a).

Stockholders’ Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Stockholders’ Agreement, dated the date hereof, among the (i) Company, (ii) the Partnership and (iii) the other Persons party thereto, as such may be amended from time to time.

Suspension” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.1(f).

Trading Day” means a day on which the principal U.S. securities exchange on which the Class A Common Stock is listed or admitted to trading is open for the transaction of business (unless such trading shall have been suspended for the entire day) or, if the Class A Common Stock is not listed or admitted to trading on such an exchange, Trading Day shall mean a Business Day.

Transfer” means, with respect to any Registrable Security, any interest therein, or any other securities or equity interests relating thereto, a direct or indirect transfer, sale, exchange, assignment, pledge, hypothecation or other encumbrance or other disposition thereof, including the grant of an option or other right, whether directly or indirectly, whether voluntarily, involuntarily, by operation of law, pursuant to judicial process or otherwise. “Transferred” shall have a correlative meaning.

Underwritten Offering” means an underwritten offering, including any bought deal or block sale to a financial institution conducted as an Underwritten Offering.

Underwritten Shelf Takedown” means an Underwritten Offering pursuant to an effective Shelf Registration Statement.

WKSI” means any Securities Act registrant that is a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act at the most recent eligibility determination date specified in paragraph (2) of that definition.

2.2 Other Interpretive Provisions.

(i) The meanings of defined terms are equally applicable to the singular and plural forms of the defined terms.

(ii) The words “hereof”, “herein”, “hereunder” and similar words refer to this Agreement as a whole and not to any particular provision of this Agreement; and any subsection and Section references are to this Agreement unless otherwise specified.

(iii) The term “including” is not limiting and means “including without limitation.”

 

8


(iv) The captions and headings of this Agreement are for convenience of reference only and shall not affect the interpretation of this Agreement.

(v) Whenever the context requires, any pronouns used herein shall include the corresponding masculine, feminine or neuter forms.

ARTICLE III

REGISTRATION RIGHTS

The Company will perform and comply, and cause each of its subsidiaries to perform and comply, with such of the following provisions as are applicable to them. Each Holder will perform and comply with such of the following provisions as are applicable to such Holder.

3.1 Demand Registration.

(a) Request for Demand Registration.

(i) Any of the Qualified Holders has the right, for itself or together with one or more other Holders, to make a written request from time to time (a “Demand Registration Request”) to the Company for Registration of all or part of the Registrable Securities held by that Qualified Holder (a “Demand Registration”); provided that, unless approved by the Board of Directors in its sole discretion, any Person who is a Qualified Holder solely by virtue of clause (f) of the definition of Qualified Holder may not make demand for an Underwritten Offering pursuant to either this Section 3.1(a) or Section 3.2 below.

(ii) Each Demand Registration Request shall specify (x) the aggregate amount of Registrable Securities proposed to be registered, (y) the intended method or methods of disposition thereof, and (z) whether the Demand Registration Request is for an Underwritten Offering or a Shelf Registration (a “Shelf Registration Request”).

(iii) If a Demand Registration Request is for a Shelf Registration, and the Company is eligible to file a Registration Statement on Form S-3, the Company shall promptly file with the SEC a shelf Registration Statement on Form S-3 pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act relating to the offer and sale of Registrable Securities by the initiating Qualified Holders from time to time in accordance with the methods of distribution elected by such Qualified Holders, subject to all applicable provisions of this Agreement.

(iv) If the Demand Registration Request is for a Shelf Registration and the Company is not eligible to file a Registration Statement on Form S-3, the Company shall promptly file with the SEC a Shelf Registration Statement on Form S-1 or any other form that the Company is then permitted to use pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act (or such other Registration Statement as the Board of Directors may determine to be appropriate) relating to the offer and sale of Registrable Securities by the initiating Qualified Holders from time to time in accordance with the methods of distribution elected by such Qualified Holders.

 

9


(v) If on the date of the Shelf Registration Request the Company is a WKSI, then any Shelf Registration Statement may (if the Board of Directors determines it to be appropriate to do so) include an unspecified amount of Registrable Securities to be sold by unspecified Holders; if on the date of the Shelf Registration Request the Company is not a WKSI, then the Shelf Registration Request shall specify the aggregate amount of Registrable Securities to be registered.

(b) Limitation on Registrations. The Company shall not be obligated to take any action to effect any Demand Registration if (i) a Demand Registration or Piggyback Registration was declared effective or an Underwritten Offering was consummated by either the Company or the Qualified Holders within the preceding 90 days; (ii) the Company has filed another Registration Statement (other than on Form S-8 or Form S-4 or any successor thereto) that has not yet become effective; (iii) the value of the Registrable Securities proposed to be sold by the initiating Qualified Holders is not reasonably expected (in the good faith judgment of the Board of Directors) to yield net proceeds of at least $25 million, or in the case of an Underwritten Offering, of at least $50 million. Unless otherwise approved by the Company’s Board of Directors, no Demand Registration Request may cover Registrable Securities that are issuable upon exchange under and pursuant to the terms of the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement or the Class D Exchange Agreement if such agreement would not, on the date of the Demand Registration Request, then permit such Class B Exchange, Class C Exchange or Class D Exchange, as applicable.

(c) Demand Notice. Promptly upon receipt of a Demand Registration Request pursuant to Section (a) (but in no event more than ten Business Days thereafter), the Company shall deliver a written notice of the Demand Registration Request to all other Qualified Holders offering each such Qualified Holder the opportunity to include in the Demand Registration that number of Registrable Securities as the Qualified Holder may request in writing. Subject to Sections 3.1(g) and 3.1(h), the Company shall include in the Demand Registration all such Registrable Securities with respect to which the Company has received written requests for inclusion therein within five Business Days after the date that the Demand Notice was delivered.

(d) Demand Withdrawal. Each Qualified Holder that has requested the inclusion of Registrable Securities in a Registration (other than a Registration in connection with a Public Offering) pursuant to Section 3.1(c) may withdraw all or any portion of its Registrable Securities from that registration at any time prior to the effectiveness of the applicable Registration Statement by delivering written notice to the Company. Upon receipt of a notice or notices withdrawing (i) all of the Registrable Securities included in that Registration Statement by the initiating Qualified Holder(s) or (ii) a number of such Registrable Securities so as to cause the expected net proceeds to fall below the applicable threshold set forth in Section 3.1(b), the Company shall cease all efforts to secure effectiveness of the applicable Registration Statement.

(e) Effectiveness.

(i) The Company shall use commercially reasonable efforts to cause any Registration Statement filed by it pursuant to this Agreement to become effective as promptly as practicable, subject to all applicable provisions of this Agreement.

 

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(ii) The Company shall use commercially reasonable efforts to keep any Shelf Registration Statement filed on Form S-3 continuously effective under the Securities Act to permit the Prospectus forming a part of it to be usable by Holders until the earlier of: (A) the date as of which all Registrable Securities have been sold pursuant to that Shelf Registration Statement or another Registration Statement filed under the Securities Act (but in no event prior to the applicable period referred to in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act and Rule 174 thereunder); (B) the date as of which no Holder whose Registrable Securities are registered on such Form S-3 holds Registrable Securities; (C) any date reasonably determined by the Board of Directors of the Company to be appropriate, excluding any date that is fewer than 180 days after the effectiveness of the Registration Statement; and (D) the third anniversary of the effectiveness of the Registration Statement.

(iii) If the Registration Statement filed is a Shelf Registration Statement on any form other than Form S-3, or if the Registration Statement is filed in connection with an Underwritten Offering, the Company shall use commercially reasonable efforts to keep the Registration Statement effective for a period of at least 180 days after the effective date thereof, such other period as the underwriters for any Underwritten Offering may determine to be appropriate, or such shorter period during which all Registrable Securities included in the Registration Statement have actually been sold; provided that such period shall be extended for a period of time equal to the period the Holders of Registrable Securities may be required to refrain from selling any securities included in the Registration Statement at either the request of the Company or an underwriter of the Company pursuant to the provisions of this Agreement.

(f) Delay in Filing; Suspension of Registration. If the filing, initial effectiveness or continued use of a Registration Statement at any time would require the Company to make an Adverse Disclosure, the Company may, upon giving prompt written notice of such action to the Holders, delay the filing or initial effectiveness of, or suspend use of, the Registration Statement (a “Suspension”); provided, however, that the Company shall use all commercially reasonable efforts to avoid exercising a Suspension (i) for a period exceeding 60 days on any one occasion or (ii) for an aggregate of more than 120 days in any 12-month period. In the case of a Suspension, the Holders agree to suspend use of the applicable Prospectus in connection with any sale or purchase, or offer to sell or purchase, Registrable Securities, upon receipt of the notice referred to above. The Company shall immediately notify the Holders in writing upon the termination of any Suspension. The Company shall, if necessary, amend or supplement the Prospectus so it does not contain any untrue statement or omission and furnish to the Holders such numbers of copies of the Prospectus as so amended or supplemented as the Holders may reasonably request. The Company shall, if necessary, supplement or amend the Registration Statement, if required by the registration form used by the Company for the Registration Statement or by the instructions applicable to such registration form or by the Securities Act or the rules or regulations promulgated thereunder or as may reasonably be requested by the Holders of a majority of Registrable Securities that are included in such Registration Statement.

(g) Priority of Securities Registered Pursuant to Shelf Registrations. If the Board of Directors of the Company concludes in good faith that the number of securities requested to be included in a Shelf Registration exceeds the number that

 

11


can be sold without being likely to have an adverse effect on the price, timing or distribution of the securities offered or the market for the securities offered, then the securities to be included in such Registration shall be (x) first, allocated to each Holder that has requested to participate in such Registration an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the number of such Registrable Securities requested to be registered or sold by such Holder, and (ii) a number of such shares equal to such Holder’s Pro Rata Portion, and (y) second, and only if all the securities referred to in clause (x) have been included, the number of other securities that, in the opinion of such managing underwriter or underwriters can be sold without having such adverse effect. If a cutback pursuant to this Section 3.1(g) or (h) would causes an applicable dollar threshold set forth in Section 3.1(b)(iii) not to be met with respect to the Demand Registration, Section 3.1(b)(iii) shall not apply to that Demand Registration.

(h) Priority of Securities in Underwritten Offerings. If the managing underwriter or underwriters of any proposed Underwritten Offering advise the Company in writing that, in its or their opinion, the number of securities requested to be included in the proposed offering exceeds the number that can be sold in that offering without being likely to have an adverse effect on the price, timing or distribution of the securities offered or the market for the securities offered, the number of Registrable Securities to be included shall be (x) first, allocated to each Holder that has requested to participate in such Underwritten Offering an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the number of such Registrable Securities requested to be registered or sold by such Holder, and (ii) a number of such shares equal to such Holder’s Pro Rata Portion, and (y) second, and only if all securities referred to in clause (x) have been included, the number of other securities that, in the opinion of such managing underwriter or underwriters, can be sold without having such adverse effect.

(i) No Person may participate in any Underwritten Offering hereunder unless that Person agrees to sell the Registrable Securities it desires to have covered by the applicable Registration Statement on the basis provided in any underwriting arrangements in customary form and completes and executes all questionnaires, powers of attorney, indemnities, underwriting agreements, and other documents required under the terms of the underwriting arrangements; provided that no Person shall be required to make representations and warranties other than those related to title and ownership of their shares and as to the accuracy and completeness of statements made in a Registration Statement, prospectus, offering circular, or other document in reliance upon and conformity with written information furnished to the Company or the managing underwriter by such Person.

(j) Resale Rights. In the event that a Holder that is a partnership, limited liability company, trust or similar entity requests to participate in a Registration pursuant to this Section 3.1 in connection with a distribution of Registrable Securities to its partners, members or beneficiaries, the Registration shall provide for resale by such partners, members or beneficiaries, if approved by the Board of Directors.

3.2 Shelf Takedowns.

(a) At any time the Company has an effective Shelf Registration Statement with respect to Registrable Securities, a Qualified Holder, by notice to the Company specifying the intended method or methods of disposition thereof, may make a

 

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written request (a “Shelf Takedown Request”) that the Company effect an Underwritten Shelf Takedown of all or a portion of such Qualified Holder’s Registrable Securities that are registered on such Shelf Registration Statement, and as soon as practicable thereafter, the Company shall amend or supplement the Shelf Registration Statement as necessary for such purpose, subject to all applicable provisions of this Agreement.

(b) Promptly upon receipt of a Shelf Takedown Request (but in no event more than two Business Days thereafter (or such shorter period as may be reasonably requested in connection with an underwritten “block trade”) for any Underwritten Shelf Takedown), the Company shall deliver a notice (a “Shelf Takedown Notice”) to each other Holder with Registrable Securities covered by the applicable Registration Statement, or to all other Holders if such Registration Statement is undesignated (each a “Potential Takedown Participant”). The Shelf Takedown Notice shall offer each such Potential Takedown Participant the opportunity to include in any Underwritten Shelf Takedown such number of Registrable Securities as each such Potential Takedown Participant may request in writing. The Company shall include in the Underwritten Shelf Takedown all such Registrable Securities with respect to which the Company has received written requests for inclusion therein within three Business Days (or such shorter period as may be reasonably requested in connection with an underwritten “block trade”) after the date that the Shelf Takedown Notice has been delivered. Any Potential Takedown Participant’s request to participate in an Underwritten Shelf Takedown shall be binding on the Potential Takedown Participant; provided that each such Potential Takedown Participant that elects to participate may condition its participation on the Underwritten Shelf Takedown being completed within 10 Business Days of its acceptance at a price per share (after giving effect to any underwriters’ discounts or commissions) to such Potential Takedown Participant of not less than ninety percent (90%) (or such lesser percentage specified by such Potential Takedown Participant) of the closing price for the shares on their principal trading market on the Business Day immediately prior to such Potential Takedown Participant’s election to participate (the “Participation Conditions”). Notwithstanding the delivery of any Shelf Takedown Notice, but subject to the Participation Conditions (to the extent applicable), all determinations as to whether to complete any Underwritten Shelf Takedown and as to the timing, manner, price and other terms of any Underwritten Shelf Takedown contemplated by this Section 3.2 shall be determined by the initiating Qualified Holders.

3.3 Piggyback Registration.

Participation. If the Company at any time proposes to file a Registration Statement under the Securities Act to conduct a Public Offering with respect to any offering of its equity securities for its own account or for the account of any other Persons (other than for an Excluded Offering), then as soon as practicable (but in no event less than 10 Business Days prior to the proposed date of filing of such Registration Statement or, in the case of a Public Offering under a Shelf Registration Statement, the anticipated pricing or trade date), the Company shall give written notice (a “Piggyback Notice”) of such proposed filing or Public Offering to all Qualified Holders and Class D Holders who, in each case, then hold Registrable Securities (collectively, such Qualified Holders and Class D Holders, the “Piggyback Holders”), and such Piggyback Notice shall offer the Piggyback Holders the opportunity to register under such Registration Statement, or to sell in such Public Offering, such number of Registrable Securities as each such Piggyback Holder may request in writing (a “Piggyback Registration”). The Company shall not be required to provide a Piggyback Notice to Holders of any Registrable Securities that

 

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are already registered pursuant to an effective registration statement. Subject to Section (b), the Company shall include in such Registration Statement or in such Public Offering as applicable, all such Registrable Securities that are requested to be included therein within five Business Days after the receipt by such Piggyback Holder of any such notice; provided, however, that if at any time after giving written notice of its intention to register or sell any securities and prior to the effective date of the Registration Statement filed in connection with such Registration, or the pricing or trade date of a Public Offering under a Shelf Registration Statement, the Company determines for any reason not to register or sell or to delay Registration or the sale of such securities, the Company shall give written notice of such determination to each Piggyback Holder and, thereupon, (i) in the case of a determination not to register or sell, shall be relieved of its obligation to register or sell any Registrable Securities in connection with such Registration or Public Offering (but not from its obligation to pay the Registration Expenses in connection therewith), without prejudice, however, to the rights of any Holders entitled to request that such Registration or sale be effected as a Demand Registration under Section 3.1 or an Underwritten Shelf Takedown, as the case may be, and (ii) in the case of a determination to delay Registration or sale, in the absence of a request for a Demand Registration or an Underwritten Shelf Takedown, as the case may be, shall also be permitted to delay registering or selling any Registrable Securities. Any Holder shall have the right to withdraw all or part of its request for inclusion of its Registrable Securities in a Piggyback Registration by giving written notice to the Company of its request to withdraw prior to such Registration the securities being registered in such Piggyback Registration.

(a) Priority of Piggyback Registration. If the managing underwriter or underwriters of any proposed offering of Registrable Securities included in a Piggyback Registration informs the Company and the participating Holders in writing that, in its or their opinion, the number of securities that such Holders and any other Persons intend to include in such offering exceeds the number that can be sold in such offering without being likely to have a significant adverse effect on the price, timing or distribution of the securities offered or the market for the securities offered, then the securities to be included in such Registration shall be (i) first, one hundred percent (100%) of the securities that the Company proposes to sell, and (ii) second, and only if all the securities referred to in clause (i) have been included, the number of Registrable Securities that, in the opinion of such managing underwriter or underwriters, can be sold without having such adverse effect, with such number to be allocated among the Holders that have requested to participate in such Registration based on an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the number of such Registrable Securities requested to be sold by such Holder, and (ii) a number of such shares equal to such Holder’s Pro Rata Portion and (iii) third, and only if all of the Registrable Securities referred to in clause (ii) have been included in such Registration, any other securities eligible for inclusion in such Registration.

(b) No Effect on Other Registrations. No Registration of Registrable Securities effected pursuant to a request under this Section 3.3 shall be deemed to have been effected pursuant to Section 3.1 or shall relieve the Company of its obligations under Section 3.1.

3.4 Lock-Up Agreements. In connection with each Registration or sale of Registrable Securities pursuant to Section 3.1 or 3.3 conducted as an Underwritten Offering, each Holder agrees hereby not to, and agrees to execute and deliver

 

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a lock-up agreement with the underwriter(s) of such Public Offering restricting such Holder’s right to, (a) Transfer, directly or indirectly, any equity securities of the Company held by such Holder or (b) enter into any swap or other arrangement that transfers to another any of the economic consequences of ownership of such securities during the period commencing on the date of the final Prospectus relating to such Public Offering and ending on the date specified by the underwriters (such period not to exceed 90 days); provided, no Holder shall be subject to the foregoing lock-up or required to deliver a lock-up agreement if such Holder is not participating in the Underwritten Offering and the managing underwriters in such offering do not require such Holder to sign a lock-up agreement; provided, further, that if such Holder is not participating in the Underwritten Offering and such Holder is not a director or officer of the Company and is not a record or beneficial holder of more than 10% of the then-outstanding Class A Common Stock, then then the Company shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to negotiate with the managing underwriters to ensure such Holder shall not be subject to the foregoing lockup. The terms of such lock-up agreements shall be negotiated among the Holders, the Company and the underwriters, shall include customary carve-outs from the restrictions on Transfer set forth therein, and shall be on substantially the same terms with no more favorable treatment to any officer or director of the Company or any Holder unless mutually agreed by the Company and such Holders.

3.5 Registration Procedures.

(a) Requirements. In connection with the Company’s obligations under Sections 3.1 and 3.3, the Company shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to effect such Registration and to permit the sale of such Registrable Securities in accordance with the intended method or methods of distribution thereof as expeditiously as reasonably practicable, and in connection therewith the Company shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to:

(i) as promptly as practicable, prepare the required Registration Statement, including all exhibits and financial statements required under the Securities Act to be filed therewith and Prospectus, and, before filing a Registration Statement or Prospectus or any amendments or supplements thereto, (x) furnish to the underwriters, if any, and to the Holders of the Registrable Securities covered by such Registration Statement, copies of all documents prepared to be filed, which documents shall be subject to the review of such underwriters and such Holders and their respective counsel, (y) make such changes in such documents concerning the Holders prior to the filing thereof as such Holders, or their counsel, may reasonably request and (z) except in the case of a Registration under Section 3.3, not file any Registration Statement or Prospectus or amendments or supplements thereto to which participating Qualified Holders, in such capacity, or the underwriters, if any, shall reasonably object;

(ii) prepare and file with the SEC such amendments and post-effective amendments to such Registration Statement and supplements to the Prospectus as may be (x) reasonably requested by any participating Qualified Holder with Registrable Securities covered by such Registration Statement, (y) reasonably requested by any participating Holder (to the extent such request relates to information relating to such Holder), or (z) necessary to keep such Registration Statement effective for the period of time required by this Agreement, and comply with provisions of the applicable securities laws with respect to the sale or other disposition of all securities covered by such Registration

 

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Statement during such period in accordance with the intended method or methods of disposition by the sellers thereof set forth in such Registration Statement;

(iii) notify the participating Holders and the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, and (if requested) confirm such notice in writing and provide copies of the relevant documents, as soon as reasonably practicable after notice thereof is received by the Company (a) when the applicable Registration Statement or any amendment thereto has been filed or becomes effective, and when the applicable Prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto has been filed, (b) of any written comments by the SEC, or any request by the SEC or other federal or state governmental authority for amendments or supplements to such Registration Statement or such Prospectus, or for additional information (whether before or after the effective date of the Registration Statement) or any other correspondence with the SEC relating to, or which may affect, the Registration, (c) of the issuance by the SEC of any stop order suspending the effectiveness of such Registration Statement or any order by the SEC or any other regulatory authority preventing or suspending the use of any preliminary or final Prospectus or the initiation or threatening of any proceedings for such purposes, (d) if, at any time, the representations and warranties of the Company in any applicable underwriting agreement cease to be true and correct in all material respects and (e) of the receipt by the Company of any notification with respect to the suspension of the qualification of the Registrable Securities for offering or sale in any jurisdiction or the initiation or threatening of any proceeding for such purpose;

(iv) promptly notify each selling Holder and the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, when the Company becomes aware of the happening of any event as a result of which the applicable Registration Statement or the Prospectus included in such Registration Statement (as then in effect) contains any untrue statement of a material fact or omits to state a material fact necessary to make the statements therein (in the case of such Prospectus or any preliminary Prospectus, in light of the circumstances under which they were made) not misleading, when any Issuer Free Writing Prospectus includes information that may conflict with the information contained in the Registration Statement, or, if for any other reason it shall be necessary during such time period to amend or supplement such Registration Statement or Prospectus in order to comply with the Securities Act and, as promptly as reasonably practicable thereafter, prepare and file with the SEC, and furnish without charge to the selling Holders and the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, an amendment or supplement to such Registration Statement or Prospectus, which shall correct such misstatement or omission or effect such compliance;

(v) to the extent the Company is eligible under the relevant provisions of Rule 430B under the Securities Act, if the Company files any Shelf Registration Statement, the Company shall include in such Shelf Registration Statement such disclosures as may be required by Rule 430B under the Securities Act (referring to the unnamed selling security holders in a generic manner by identifying the initial offering of the securities to the Holders) in order to ensure that the Holders may be added to such Shelf Registration Statement at a later time through the filing of a Prospectus supplement rather than a post-effective amendment;

 

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(vi) prevent, or obtain the withdrawal of, any stop order or other order or notice preventing or suspending the use of any preliminary or final Prospectus;

(vii) promptly incorporate in a Prospectus supplement, Issuer Free Writing Prospectus or post-effective amendment such information as the managing underwriter or underwriters and the participating Holders agree should be included therein relating to the plan of distribution with respect to such Registrable Securities; and make all required filings of such Prospectus supplement, Issuer Free Writing Prospectus or post-effective amendment as soon as reasonably practicable after being notified of the matters to be incorporated in such Prospectus supplement, Issuer Free Writing Prospectus or post-effective amendment;

(viii) furnish to each selling Holder and each underwriter, if any, without charge, as many conformed copies as such Holder or underwriter may reasonably request of the applicable Registration Statement and any amendment or post-effective amendment or supplement thereto, including financial statements and schedules, all documents incorporated therein by reference and all exhibits (including those incorporated by reference);

(ix) deliver to each selling Holder and each underwriter, if any, without charge, as many copies of the applicable Prospectus (including each preliminary Prospectus) and any amendment or supplement thereto and such other documents as such Holder or underwriter may reasonably request in order to facilitate the disposition of the Registrable Securities by such Holder or underwriter (it being understood that the Company shall consent to the use of such Prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto by each of the selling Holders and the underwriters, if any, in connection with the offering and sale of the Registrable Securities covered by such Prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto);

(x) on or prior to the date on which the applicable Registration Statement becomes effective, use its commercially reasonable efforts to register or qualify, and cooperate with the selling Holders, the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, and their respective counsel, in connection with the Registration or qualification of such Registrable Securities for offer and sale under the securities or “Blue Sky” laws of each state and other jurisdiction as any such selling Holder or managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, or their respective counsel reasonably request in writing and do any and all other acts or things reasonably necessary or advisable to keep such Registration or qualification in effect for such period as required by Section 3.1, as applicable, provided that the Company shall not be required to qualify generally to do business in any jurisdiction where it is not then so qualified or to take any action which would subject it to taxation or general service of process in any such jurisdiction where it is not then so subject;

 

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(xi) cooperate with the selling Holders and the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, to facilitate the timely preparation and delivery of certificates representing Registrable Securities to be sold and not bearing any restrictive legends; and enable such Registrable Securities to be in such denominations and registered in such names as the managing underwriters may request prior to any sale of Registrable Securities to the underwriters;

(xii) cause the Registrable Securities covered by the applicable Registration Statement to be registered with or approved by such other U.S. governmental agencies or authorities as may be necessary to enable the seller or sellers thereof or the underwriter or underwriters, if any, to consummate the disposition of such Registrable Securities;

(xiii) make such representations and warranties to the Holders being registered, and the underwriters or agents, if any, in form, substance and scope as are customarily made by issuers in public offerings similar to the offering then being undertaken;

(xiv) enter into such customary agreements (including underwriting and indemnification agreements) and take all such other actions as the participating Holders or the managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, reasonably request in order to expedite or facilitate the Registration and disposition of such Registrable Securities;

(xv) in the case of an Underwritten Offering, obtain for delivery to the underwriter or underwriters, if any, an opinion or opinions from counsel for the Company dated the date of the closing under the underwriting agreement, in customary form, scope and substance, which opinions shall be reasonably satisfactory to such underwriters and their counsel;

(xvi) in the case of an Underwritten Offering, obtain for delivery to the Company and the managing underwriter or underwriters, with copies to the Holders included in such Registration or sale, a comfort letter from the Company’s independent certified public accountants or independent auditors (and, if necessary, any other independent certified public accountants or independent auditors of any subsidiary of the Company or any business acquired by the Company for which financial statements and financial data are, or are required to be, included in the Registration Statement) in customary form and covering such matters of the type customarily covered by comfort letters as the managing underwriter or underwriters reasonably request, dated the date of execution of the underwriting agreement and brought down to the closing under the underwriting agreement;

(xvii) cooperate with each seller of Registrable Securities and each underwriter, if any, participating in the disposition of such Registrable Securities and their respective counsel in connection with any filings required to be made with FINRA;

(xviii) comply with all applicable securities laws and, if a Registration Statement was filed, make available to its security holders, as soon as reasonably

 

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practicable, an earnings statement satisfying the provisions of Section 11(a) of the Securities Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder;

(xix) provide and cause to be maintained a transfer agent and registrar for all Registrable Securities covered by the applicable Registration Statement;

(xx) to cause all Registrable Securities covered by the applicable Registration Statement to be listed on each securities exchange on which any of the Company’s equity securities are then listed or quoted and on each inter-dealer quotation system on which any of the Company’s equity securities are then quoted.

(xxi) make available upon reasonable notice at reasonable times and for reasonable periods for inspection by any underwriter participating in any disposition to be effected pursuant to such Registration Statement and by any attorney, accountant or other agent retained by any such underwriter, all pertinent financial and other records and pertinent corporate documents and properties of the Company, and cause all of the Company’s officers, directors and employees and the independent public accountants who have certified its financial statements to make themselves available to discuss the business of the Company and to supply all information reasonably requested by any such Person in connection with such Registration Statement;

(xxii) in the case of an Underwritten Offering, cause the senior executive officers of the Company to participate in the customary “road show” presentations that may be reasonably requested by the managing underwriter or underwriters in any such offering and otherwise to facilitate, cooperate with, and participate in each proposed offering contemplated herein and customary selling efforts related thereto;

(xxiii) take no direct or indirect action prohibited by Regulation M under the Exchange Act; and

(xxiv)  take all such other commercially reasonable actions as are necessary or advisable in order to expedite or facilitate the disposition of such Registrable Securities in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

(b) Company Information Requests. The Company may require each seller of Registrable Securities as to which any Registration or sale is being effected to furnish to the Company such information regarding the distribution of such securities and such other information relating to such Holder and its ownership of Registrable Securities as the Company may from time to time reasonably request in writing and the Company may exclude from such Registration or sale the Registrable Securities of any such Holder who unreasonably fails to furnish such information within a reasonable time after receiving such request. Each Holder agrees to furnish such information to the Company and to cooperate with the Company as reasonably necessary to enable the Company to comply with the provisions of this Agreement.

(c) Discontinuing Registration. Each Holder agrees that, upon receipt of any notice from the Company of the happening of any event of the kind described in Section 3.5(a)(iv), such Holder will discontinue disposition of Registrable Securities pursuant to such Registration Statement until such Holder’s receipt of the copies of the supplemented or amended

 

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Prospectus contemplated by Section 3.5(a)(iv), or until such Holder is advised in writing by the Company that the use of the Prospectus may be resumed, and has received copies of any additional or supplemental filings that are incorporated by reference in the Prospectus, or any amendments or supplements thereto, and if so directed by the Company, such Holder shall deliver to the Company (at the Company’s expense) all copies, other than permanent file copies then in such Holder’s possession, of the Prospectus covering such Registrable Securities current at the time of receipt of such notice. In the event the Company shall give any such notice, the period during which the applicable Registration Statement is required to be maintained effective shall be extended by the number of days during the period from and including the date of the giving of such notice to and including the date when each seller of Registrable Securities covered by such Registration Statement either receives the copies of the supplemented or amended Prospectus contemplated by Section 3.5(a)(iv) or is advised in writing by the Company that the use of the Prospectus may be resumed.

3.6 Underwritten Offerings.

(a) Shelf and Demand Registrations. If requested by the underwriters for any Underwritten Offering, pursuant to a Registration or sale under Section 3.1, the Company shall enter into an underwriting agreement with such underwriters, such agreement to be reasonably satisfactory in substance and form to each of the Company, the participating Holders and the underwriters, and to contain such representations and warranties by the Company and such other terms as are generally prevailing in agreements of that type, including indemnities no less favorable to the recipient thereof than those provided in Section 3.9. The Holders of the Registrable Securities proposed to be distributed by such underwriters shall cooperate with the Company in the negotiation of the underwriting agreement and shall give consideration to the reasonable suggestions of the Company regarding the form thereof, and such Holders shall complete and execute all questionnaires, powers of attorney and other documents reasonably requested by the underwriters and required under the terms of such underwriting arrangements. Any such Holder shall not be required to make any representations or warranties to or agreements with the Company or the underwriters other than representations, warranties or agreements regarding such Holder, such Holder’s title to the Registrable Securities, such Holder’s intended method of distribution and any other representations to be made by the Holder as are generally prevailing in agreements of that type, and the aggregate amount of the liability of such Holder under such agreement shall not exceed such Holder’s proceeds from the sale of its Registrable Securities in the offering, net of underwriting discounts and commissions but before expenses.

(b) Piggyback Registrations. If the Company proposes to register or sell any of its equity securities under the Securities Act for its own account or for the account of any other Persons (other than for an Excluded Offering) as contemplated by Section 3.3 and such securities are to be distributed through one or more underwriters, the Company shall (but with respect to Registrable Securities of Qualified Holders, only if requested by any Qualified Holder pursuant to Section 3.3), and subject to the provisions of Section 3.3(b), use its commercially reasonable efforts to arrange for such underwriters to include on the same terms and conditions that apply to the other sellers in such Registration or sale all the Registrable Securities to be offered and sold by such Qualified Holder or other Piggyback Holder among the securities of the Company to be distributed by such underwriters in such Registration or sale. The Holders of

 

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Registrable Securities to be distributed by such underwriters shall be parties to the underwriting agreement between the Company and such underwriters and shall complete and execute all questionnaires, powers of attorney and other documents reasonably requested by the underwriters and required under the terms of such underwriting arrangements. Any such Holder shall not be required to make any representations or warranties to or agreements with the Company or the underwriters other than representations, warranties or agreements regarding such Holder, such Holder’s title to the Registrable Securities, such Holder’s intended method of distribution and any other representations to be made by the Holder as are generally prevailing in agreements of that type, and the aggregate amount of the liability of such Holder shall not exceed such Holder’s proceeds from the sale of its Registrable Securities in the offering, net of underwriting discounts and commissions but before expenses.

(c) Selection of Underwriters; Selection of Counsel. In the case of an Underwritten Offering under Section 3.1 or Section 3.2, the managing underwriter or underwriters to administer the offering shall be determined by the Company; provided that such underwriter or underwriters shall be reasonably acceptable to the Qualified Holders holding a majority of the Registrable Securities being sold by such Qualified Holders.

3.7 No Inconsistent Agreements. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries shall hereafter enter into, and neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries is currently a party to, any agreement with respect to its securities that is inconsistent with the rights granted to the Holders by this Agreement.

3.8 Registration Expenses. All expenses incident to the Company’s performance of or compliance with this Agreement shall be paid by the Company, including (i) all registration and filing fees, and any other fees and expenses associated with filings required to be made with the SEC or FINRA, (ii) all fees and expenses in connection with compliance with any securities or “Blue Sky” laws (including reasonable fees and disbursements of counsel for the underwriters in connection with blue sky qualifications of the Registrable Securities), (iii) all printing, duplicating, word processing, messenger, telephone, facsimile and delivery expenses (including expenses of printing certificates for the Registrable Securities in a form eligible for deposit with The Depository Trust Company and of printing prospectuses), (iv) all fees and disbursements of counsel for the Company and of all independent certified public accountants or independent auditors of the Company and any subsidiaries of the Company (including the expenses of any special audit and comfort letters required by or incident to such performance), (v) all fees and expenses incurred in connection with the listing of the Registrable Securities on any securities exchange or quotation of the Registrable Securities on any inter-dealer quotation system, (vi) all fees and expenses of any special experts or other Persons retained by the Company in connection with any Registration or sale, (vii) all of the Company’s internal expenses (including all salaries and expenses of its officers and employees performing legal or accounting duties) and (viii) all expenses related to the “road show” for any Underwritten Offering (including the reasonable out-of-pocket expenses of the Holders and underwriters, if so requested). All such expenses are referred to herein as “Registration Expenses.” The Company shall not be required to pay any fees and disbursements to underwriters not customarily paid by the issuers of securities in an offering

 

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similar to the applicable offering, including underwriting discounts and commissions and transfer taxes, if any, attributable to the sale of Registrable Securities.

3.9 Indemnification.

(a) Indemnification by the Company. The Company shall indemnify and hold harmless, to the full extent permitted by law, each Holder, each shareholder, member, limited or general partner of such Holder, each shareholder, member, limited or general partner of each such shareholder, member, limited or general partner, each of their respective Affiliates, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, advisors, and agents and each Person who controls (within the meaning of the Securities Act or the Exchange Act) such Persons and each of their respective Representatives from and against any and all losses, penalties, judgments, suits, costs, claims, damages, liabilities and expenses, joint or several (including reasonable costs of investigation and legal expenses) (each, a “Loss” and collectively “Losses”) arising out of or based upon (i) any untrue or alleged untrue statement of a material fact contained in any Registration Statement under which such Registrable Securities are registered or sold under the Securities Act (including any final, preliminary or summary Prospectus contained therein or any amendment thereof or supplement thereto or any documents incorporated by reference therein), or (ii) any omission or alleged omission to state therein a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein (in the case of a Prospectus or preliminary Prospectus, in light of the circumstances under which they were made) not misleading; provided, that no selling Holder shall be entitled to indemnification pursuant to this Section 3.9(a) in respect of any untrue statement or omission contained in any information relating to such selling Holder furnished in writing by such selling Holder to the Company specifically for inclusion in a Registration Statement and used by the Company in conformity therewith (such information, “Selling Stockholder Information”). This indemnity shall be in addition to any liability the Company may otherwise have. Such indemnity shall remain in full force and effect regardless of any investigation made by or on behalf of such Holder or any indemnified party and shall survive the Transfer of such securities by such Holder and regardless of any indemnity agreed to in the underwriting agreement that is less favorable to the Holders. The Company shall also indemnify underwriters, selling brokers, dealer managers and similar securities industry professionals participating in the distribution, their officers and directors and each Person who controls such Persons (within the meaning of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act) to the same extent as provided above (with appropriate modification) with respect to the indemnification of the indemnified parties.

(b) Indemnification by the Selling Holders. Each selling Holder agrees (severally and not jointly) to indemnify and hold harmless, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Company, its directors and officers and each Person who controls the Company (within the meaning of the Securities Act or the Exchange Act) from and against any Losses resulting from (i) any untrue statement of a material fact in any Registration Statement under which such Registrable Securities were registered or sold under the Securities Act (including any final, preliminary or summary Prospectus contained therein or any amendment thereof or supplement thereto or any documents incorporated by reference therein) or (ii) any omission to state therein a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein (in the case of a Prospectus or preliminary Prospectus, in light of the circumstances under which they were made) not misleading, in each case to the extent, but only to the extent, that such untrue statement or omission is contained in such selling Holder’s Selling Stockholder

 

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Information. In no event shall the liability of any selling Holder hereunder be greater in amount than the dollar amount of the proceeds from the sale of its Registrable Securities in the offering giving rise to such indemnification obligation, net of underwriting discounts and commissions but before expenses, less any amounts paid by such Holder pursuant to Section 3.9(d) and any amounts paid by such Holder as a result of liabilities incurred under the underwriting agreement, if any, related to such sale.

(c) Conduct of Indemnification Proceedings. Any Person entitled to indemnification hereunder shall (i) give prompt written notice to the indemnifying party of any claim with respect to which it seeks indemnification (provided that any delay or failure to so notify the indemnifying party shall relieve the indemnifying party of its obligations hereunder only to the extent, if at all, that it is actually and materially prejudiced by reason of such delay or failure) and (ii) permit such indemnifying party to assume the defense of such claim with counsel reasonably satisfactory to the indemnified party; provided, however, that any Person entitled to indemnification hereunder shall have the right to select and employ separate counsel and to participate in the defense of such claim, but the fees and expenses of such counsel shall be at the expense of such Person unless (i) the indemnifying party has agreed in writing to pay such fees or expenses, (ii) the indemnifying party shall have failed to assume the defense of such claim within a reasonable time after receipt of notice of such claim from the Person entitled to indemnification hereunder and employ counsel reasonably satisfactory to such Person, (iii) the indemnified party has reasonably concluded (based upon advice of its counsel) that there may be legal defenses available to it or other indemnified parties that are different from or in addition to those available to the indemnifying party, or (iv) in the reasonable judgment of any such Person (based upon advice of its counsel) a conflict of interest may exist between such Person and the indemnifying party with respect to such claims (in which case, if the Person notifies the indemnifying party in writing that such Person elects to employ separate counsel at the expense of the indemnifying party, the indemnifying party shall not have the right to assume the defense of such claim on behalf of such Person). If the indemnifying party assumes the defense, then no indemnifying party shall, without the written consent of the indemnified party, effect the settlement or compromise of, or consent to the entry of any judgment with respect to, any pending or threatened action or claim in respect of which indemnification or contribution may be sought hereunder (whether or not the indemnified party is an actual or potential party to such action or claim) unless such settlement, compromise or judgment (i) includes an unconditional release of the indemnified party from all liability arising out of such action or claim and (ii) does not include a statement as to or an admission of fault, culpability or a failure to act, by or on behalf of any indemnified party. If such defense is not assumed by the indemnifying party, the indemnifying party will not be subject to any liability for any settlement made without its prior written consent, but such consent may not be unreasonably withheld. It is understood that the indemnifying party or parties shall not, except as specifically set forth in this Section 3.9(c), in connection with any proceeding or related proceedings in the same jurisdiction, be liable for the reasonable fees, disbursements or other charges of more than one separate firm admitted to practice in such jurisdiction at any one time unless (x) the employment of more than one counsel has been authorized in writing by the indemnifying party or parties, (y) an indemnified party has reasonably concluded (based on the advice of counsel) that there may be legal defenses available to it that are different from or in addition to those available to the other indemnified parties or (z) a conflict or potential conflict exists or may exist (based upon advice of counsel to an

 

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indemnified party) between such indemnified party and the other indemnified parties, in each of which cases the indemnifying party shall be obligated to pay the reasonable fees and expenses of such additional counsel or counsels.

(d) Contribution. If for any reason the indemnification provided for in Sections 3.9(a) and (b) is unavailable to an indemnified party or insufficient in respect of any Losses referred to therein (other than as a result of exceptions or limitations on indemnification contained in Sections 3.9(a) and (b)), then the indemnifying party shall contribute to the amount paid or payable by the indemnified party as a result of such Loss in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect the relative fault of the indemnifying party on the one hand and the indemnified party or parties on the other hand in connection with the acts, statements or omissions that resulted in such Losses, as well as any other relevant equitable considerations. In connection with any Registration Statement filed with the SEC by the Company, the relative fault of the indemnifying party on the one hand and the indemnified party on the other hand shall be determined by reference to, among other things, whether any untrue or alleged untrue statement of a material fact or the omission or alleged omission to state a material fact relates to information supplied by the indemnifying party or by the indemnified party and the parties’ relative intent, knowledge, access to information and opportunity to correct or prevent such statement or omission. The parties hereto agree that it would not be just or equitable if contribution pursuant to this Section 3.9(d) were determined by pro rata allocation or by any other method of allocation that does not take account of the equitable considerations referred to in this Section 3.9(d). No Person guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation (within the meaning of Section 11(f) of the Securities Act) shall be entitled to contribution from any Person who was not guilty of such fraudulent misrepresentation. The amount paid or payable by an indemnified party as a result of the Losses referred to in Sections 3.9(a) and (b) shall be deemed to include, subject to the limitations set forth above, any legal or other expenses reasonably incurred by such indemnified party in connection with investigating or defending any such action or claim. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 3.9(d), in connection with any Registration Statement filed by the Company, a selling Holder shall not be required to contribute any amount in excess of the dollar amount of the proceeds from the sale of its Registrable Securities in the offering giving rise to such contribution obligation, net of underwriting discounts and commissions but before expenses, less any amounts paid by such Holder pursuant to Section 3.9(b) and any amounts paid by such Holder as a result of liabilities incurred under the underwriting agreement, if any, related to such sale. If indemnification is available under this Section 3.9, the indemnifying parties shall indemnify each indemnified party to the full extent provided in Sections 3.9(a) and (b) hereof without regard to the provisions of this Section 3.9(d). The remedies provided for in this Section 3.9 are not exclusive and shall not limit any rights or remedies which may otherwise be available to any indemnified party at law or in equity.

3.10 Rules 144 and 144A and Regulation S. The Company shall file the reports required to be filed by it under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations adopted by the SEC thereunder (or, if the Company is not required to file such reports, it will, upon the request of any Holder, make publicly available such necessary information for so long as necessary to permit sales that would otherwise be permitted by this Agreement pursuant to Rule 144, Rule 144A or Regulation S under the Securities Act, as such rules may be amended from time to time or any similar rule or regulation hereafter adopted by the SEC), and it will take such further action as any Holder may reasonably request, all to the

 

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extent required from time to time to enable such Holder to sell Registrable Securities without Registration under the Securities Act in transactions that would otherwise be permitted by this Agreement and within the limitation of the exemptions provided by (i) Rule 144, Rule 144A or Regulation S under the Securities Act, as such rules may be amended from time to time, or (ii) any similar rule or regulation hereafter adopted by the SEC. Upon the request of any Holder, the Company will deliver to such Holder a written statement as to whether it has complied with such requirements and, if not, the specifics thereof.

3.11 Existing Registration Statements. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary and subject to applicable law and regulation, the Company may satisfy any obligation hereunder to file a Registration Statement or to have a Registration Statement become effective by a specified date by designating, by notice to the Qualified Holders or Piggyback Holders, a Registration Statement that previously has been filed with the SEC or become effective, as the case may be, as the relevant Registration Statement for purposes of satisfying such obligation, and all references to any such obligation shall be construed accordingly; provided that such previously filed Registration Statement may be, and is, amended or, subject to applicable securities laws, supplemented to add the number of Registrable Securities, and, to the extent necessary, to identify as selling stockholders those Qualified Holders or Piggyback Holders demanding the filing of a Registration Statement pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. To the extent this Agreement refers to the filing or effectiveness of other Registration Statements, by or at a specified time and the Company has, in lieu of then filing such Registration Statements or having such Registration Statements become effective, designated a previously filed or effective Registration Statement as the relevant Registration Statement for such purposes, in accordance with the preceding sentence, such references shall be construed to refer to such designated Registration Statement, as amended or supplemented in the manner contemplated by the immediately preceding sentence.

ARTICLE IV

MISCELLANEOUS

4.1 Authority: Effect. Each party hereto represents and warrants to and agrees with each other party that the execution and delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly authorized on behalf of such party and do not violate any agreement or other instrument applicable to such party or by which its assets are bound. This Agreement does not, and shall not be construed to, give rise to the creation of a partnership among any of the parties hereto, or to constitute any of such parties members of a joint venture or other association. The Company and its subsidiaries shall be jointly and severally liable for all obligations of each such party pursuant to this Agreement.

4.2 Notices. Any notices, requests, demands and other communications required or permitted in this Agreement shall be effective if in writing and (i) delivered personally, (ii) sent by facsimile or e-mail, or (iii) sent by overnight courier, in each case, addressed as follows:

If to the Company to:

StepStone Group Inc.

 

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4225 Executive Square, Suite 1600

La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone:

Attention: Chief Legal Officer

with a copy (which shall not constitute notice to the Company) to:

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Telephone:

Facsimile:

Attention: Eric Scarazzo

If to a Holder, to the address on file in the Company’s records.

Notice to the holder of record of any Registrable Securities shall be deemed to be notice to the holder of such securities for all purposes hereof.

Unless otherwise specified herein, such notices or other communications shall be deemed effective (i) on the date received, if personally delivered, (ii) on the date received if delivered by facsimile or e-mail on a Business Day, or if not delivered on a Business Day, on the first Business Day thereafter and (iii) two Business Days after being sent by overnight courier. Each of the parties hereto shall be entitled to specify a different address by giving notice as aforesaid to each of the other parties hereto.

4.3 Termination and Effect of Termination. This Agreement shall terminate upon the date on which no Holder holds any Registrable Securities, except for the provisions of Sections 3.9 and 3.10, which shall survive any such termination. No termination under this Agreement shall relieve any Person of liability for breach or Registration Expenses incurred prior to termination. In the event this Agreement is terminated, each Person entitled to indemnification rights pursuant to Section 3.9 hereof shall retain such indemnification rights with respect to any matter that (i) may be an indemnified liability thereunder and (ii) occurred prior to such termination.

4.4 Permitted Transferees. The rights of a Holder hereunder may be assigned (but only with all related obligations as set forth below) in connection with a Transfer of Registrable Securities to a Permitted Transferee of that Holder. Without prejudice to any other or similar conditions imposed hereunder with respect to any such Transfer, no assignment permitted under the terms of this Section 4.4 will be effective unless the Permitted Transferee to which the assignment is being made, if not a Holder, has delivered to the Company a written acknowledgment and agreement in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to the Company that the Permitted Transferee will be bound by, and will be a party to, this Agreement. A Permitted Transferee to whom rights are transferred pursuant to this Section 4.4 may not again transfer those rights to any other Permitted Transferee, other than as provided in this Section 4.4.

4.5 Remedies. The parties to this Agreement shall have all remedies available at law, in equity or otherwise in the event of any breach or violation of this Agreement or any default hereunder. The parties acknowledge and agree that in the

 

26


event of any breach of this Agreement, in addition to any other remedies that may be available, each of the parties hereto shall be entitled to specific performance of the obligations of the other parties hereto and, in addition, to such other equitable remedies (including preliminary or temporary relief) as may be appropriate in the circumstances. No delay of or omission in the exercise of any right, power or remedy accruing to any party as a result of any breach or default by any other party under this Agreement shall impair any such right, power or remedy, nor shall it be construed as a waiver of or acquiescence in any such breach or default, or of any similar breach or default occurring later; nor shall any such delay, omission nor waiver of any single breach or default be deemed a waiver of any other breach or default occurring before or after that waiver.

4.6 Amendments. This Agreement may not be orally amended, modified, extended or terminated, nor shall any oral waiver of any of its terms be effective. This Agreement may be amended, modified, extended or terminated, and the provisions hereof may be waived, only by an agreement in writing signed by the Company and the Holders of a majority of the Registrable Securities under this Agreement; provided, however, that any amendment, modification, extension or termination that disproportionately and adversely affects any Holder shall require the prior written consent of such Holder; provided, further, that any amendment, modification, extension or termination that disproportionately and adversely affects the Class D Holders shall require the prior written consent of the Class D Majority; provided, further, that no amendment may disproportionately and adversely affect the rights of a Class D Holder compared to the rights of other Class D Holders without the consent of such affected Class D Holder; provided, further, that no rights, preferences or priorities of any Class D Holder arising pursuant to Section 3.6(b) with respect to an underwritten offering that is, in whole or in part, for the account of Persons other than the Company, may be amended, modified, extended or terminated without the prior written consent of each such Class D Holder. Each such amendment, modification, extension or termination shall be binding upon each party hereto. In addition, each party hereto may waive any right hereunder by an instrument in writing signed by such party.

4.7 Governing Law. This Agreement and all claims arising out of or based upon this Agreement or relating to the subject matter hereof shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the domestic substantive laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to any choice or conflict of laws provision or rule that would cause the application of the domestic substantive laws of any other jurisdiction.

4.8 Consent to Jurisdiction. Each party to this Agreement, by its execution hereof, (i) hereby irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts sitting in the State of Delaware and the County of New Castle for the purpose of any action, claim, cause of action or suit (in contract, tort or otherwise), inquiry, proceeding or investigation arising out of or based upon this Agreement or relating to the subject matter hereof, (ii) hereby waives to the extent not prohibited by applicable law, and agrees not to assert, and agrees not to allow any of its subsidiaries to assert, by way of motion, as a defense or otherwise, in any such action, any claim that it is not subject personally to the jurisdiction of the above-named courts, that its property is exempt or immune from attachment or execution, that any such proceeding brought in one of the above-named courts is improper, or that this Agreement or the subject matter hereof or thereof may not be enforced in or by such court and (iii) hereby agrees not to commence or maintain any action, claim, cause of action or suit (in contract, tort or otherwise), inquiry,

 

27


proceeding or investigation arising out of or based upon this Agreement or relating to the subject matter hereof or thereof other than before one of the above-named courts nor to make any motion or take any other action seeking or intending to cause the transfer or removal of any such action, claim, cause of action or suit (in contract, tort or otherwise), inquiry, proceeding or investigation to any court other than one of the above-named courts whether on the grounds of inconvenient forum or otherwise. Notwithstanding the foregoing, to the extent that any party hereto is or becomes a party in any litigation in connection with which it may assert indemnification rights set forth in this Agreement, the court in which such litigation is being heard shall be deemed to be included in clause (i) above. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any party to this Agreement may commence and maintain an action to enforce a judgment of any of the above-named courts in any court of competent jurisdiction. Each party hereto hereby consents to service of process in any such proceeding in any manner permitted by Delaware law, and agrees that service of process by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at its address specified pursuant to Section 4.2 hereof is reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

4.9 WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL. TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW WHICH CANNOT BE WAIVED, EACH PARTY HERETO HEREBY WAIVES AND COVENANTS THAT IT WILL NOT ASSERT (WHETHER AS PLAINTIFF, DEFENDANT OR OTHERWISE) ANY RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY FORUM IN RESPECT OF ANY ISSUE OR ACTION, CLAIM, CAUSE OF ACTION OR SUIT (IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE), INQUIRY, PROCEEDING OR INVESTIGATION ARISING OUT OF OR BASED UPON THIS AGREEMENT OR THE SUBJECT MATTER HEREOF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH OR RELATED OR INCIDENTAL TO THE TRANSACTIONS CONTEMPLATED HEREBY, IN EACH CASE WHETHER NOW EXISTING OR HEREAFTER ARISING. EACH PARTY HERETO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE OTHER PARTIES HERETO THAT THIS SECTION 4.9 CONSTITUTES A MATERIAL INDUCEMENT UPON WHICH THEY ARE RELYING AND WILL RELY IN ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT. ANY PARTY HERETO MAY FILE AN ORIGINAL COUNTERPART OR A COPY OF THIS SECTION 4.9 WITH ANY COURT AS WRITTEN EVIDENCE OF THE CONSENT OF EACH SUCH PARTY TO THE WAIVER OF ITS RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY.

4.10 Merger; Binding Effect, Etc. This Agreement, along with the Class B Exchange Agreement, the Class C Exchange Agreement and the Class D Exchange Agreement, as applicable, and the Transaction Agreements, constitutes the entire agreement of the parties with respect to its subject matter, supersedes all prior or contemporaneous oral or written agreements or discussions with respect to such subject matter, and shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and thereto and their respective heirs, representatives, successors and permitted assigns. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, no Holder or other party hereto may assign any of its respective rights or delegate any of its respective obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the other parties hereto, and any attempted assignment or delegation in violation of the foregoing shall be null and void.

4.11 Counterparts. This Agreement may be signed in counterparts (which may include counterparts delivered by any standard form of telecommunication), each of which shall be an original and all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument. Delivery of an executed counterpart of a signature page to this Agreement by telecopier, facsimile or other

 

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electronic transmission shall be effective as delivery of a manually executed counterpart thereof. The words “execution,” “signed,” “signature,” “delivery,” and words of like import in or relating to this Agreement or any document to be signed in connection with this Agreement shall be deemed to include electronic signatures, deliveries or the keeping of records in electronic form, each of which shall be of the same legal effect, validity or enforceability as a manually executed signature, physical delivery thereof or the use of a paper-based recordkeeping system, as the case may be, and the parties hereto consent to conduct the transactions contemplated hereunder by electronic means.

4.12 Severability. In the event that any provision hereof would, under applicable law, be invalid or unenforceable in any respect, such provision shall be construed by modifying or limiting it so as to be valid and enforceable to the maximum extent compatible with, and possible under, applicable law. The provisions hereof are severable, and in the event any provision hereof should be held invalid or unenforceable in any respect, it shall not invalidate, render unenforceable or otherwise affect any other provision hereof.

[Signature pages follow]

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the undersigned has duly executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.

 

StepStone Group Inc.
By:  

 

Name:  
Title:  
Previously executed, as of September 18, 2020, by the Class B Holders
Previously executed, as of September 20, 2021, by the Class C Holders:
Approved by the Holders of a majority of the Registrable Securities under this Agreement as of the date hereof

 

[Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement – Signature Page]


Signed by each Asset Class Head, as attorney-in-fact on behalf of each Seller identified in the Transaction Agreement naming such Asset Class Head
SIRA Asset Class Head:
By:  

 

Name:  
Title:  
SRE Asset Class Head:
By:  

 

Name:  
Title:  

 

[Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement – Signature Page]


SC PARTNER LP

acting by its General Partner, SC General

Partner Limited
By:  

  

Name:
Title:
STEPSTONE GROUP PRIVATE DEBT AG
By:  

  

Name:
Title:

 

OTHER HOLDERS:
By:  
Name:  
Title:  

[Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement – Signature Page]

EX-10.3

Exhibit 10.3

Execution Version

CLASS D EXCHANGE AGREEMENT

This CLASS D EXCHANGE AGREEMENT (this “Agreement”), dated as of May 31, 2024, is hereby entered into by and among StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), and the Partnership Unitholders (as defined herein).

RECITALS

WHEREAS, on February 7, 2024, the Company and certain Partnership Unitholders entered into Transaction Agreements (“Transaction Agreements”), pursuant to which certain partners of StepStone Group Real Estate LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“SRE”) and StepStone Group Real Assets LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“SIRA”) agreed to sell their equity interests in SRE and SIRA, as applicable, in exchange for Class D Units; and

WHEREAS, the parties hereto desire to provide for the exchange of Exchangeable Units (as defined herein) for cash or shares of Class A Common Stock, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth herein.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and undertakings contained herein and for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto hereby agree as follows:

ARTICLE I

DEFINITIONS

Section 1.1  Definitions. The following capitalized terms shall have the meanings specified in this Section 1.1. Other terms are defined in the text of this Agreement and those terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them.

Agreement” has the meaning set forth in the Preamble.

Board of Directors” means the board of directors of the Company.

Business Day” means any day, other than a Saturday, Sunday or any other day on which commercial banks located in New York City, New York are authorized or required to close.

Cash Settlement” means immediately available funds in U.S. dollars in an amount equal to the product of (x) the number of shares of Class A Common Stock that would otherwise be delivered to a Partnership Unitholder in an Exchange, multiplied by (y) the price per share, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, at which Class A Common Stock is issued by the Company in an underwritten offering or block trade commenced in anticipation of the applicable Exchange for purposes of providing liquidity for Partnership Unitholders (a “Liquidity Offering”); or (z) if no such Liquidity Offering in which the exchanging Partnership Unitholder participates occurs within 60 days after the receipt of the Exchange Notice, the arithmetic average of the volume weighted average prices for a share of Class A Common Stock on the principal U.S. securities exchange or automated or electronic quotation system on which the Class A Common Stock trades, as reported by The Wall Street Journal or its successor, for each of the three (3) consecutive full Trading Days ending on and including the last full Trading Day immediately prior to the Exchange Date, in each case subject to appropriate and equitable adjustment for any stock splits, reverse splits, stock dividends, stock combinations, recapitalizations, reorganizations, mergers, consolidations, other business combinations or similar events affecting the Class A Common Stock. If the Class A Common Stock no longer trades on a securities exchange or automated or electronic quotation system, then the amount specified in clause (y) shall be reasonably determined in good faith by a committee of the Board of Directors composed of a majority of the directors of the Company and who do not have an interest in the Exchangeable Units and shares of Class B Common Stock being Exchanged.

Class A Common Stock” means the Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share, of the Company.

Class B Committee” has the meaning set forth in the Stockholders’ Agreement.

 

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Class B Common Stock” means the Class B Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share, of the Company.

Class B Holder” shall have the meaning set forth in the Stockholders’ Agreement.

Class D Holder Restriction” means that a holder of Class D Units may only Exchange (other than pursuant to a Mandatory Exchange) as follows:

(i)  except as set forth in (ii) below:

(a)  during the first six months after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, none of such Exchangeable Units may be Exchanged;

(b) after six months and until the first anniversary after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, the holder may Exchange up to a cumulative number of such Exchangeable Units equal to (A) (x) 50% of the Adjusted Exchange Value, less (y) the cash amount delivered in such Transaction Agreement Exchange, divided by (B) the STEP 30-Day VWAP, in each case as calculated for such Transaction Agreement Exchange pursuant to the applicable Transaction Agreement;

(c) after the first anniversary after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, all of such Exchangeable Units may be Exchanged;

(ii) if a Transaction Agreement Exchange constitutes an Acceleration Exchange (as defined in the applicable Transaction Agreement), then in lieu of the limitations in clause (i):

(a) during the first six months after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, none of such Exchangeable Units may be Exchanged;

(b) after six months and until the first anniversary after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, up to a cumulative number of one third (1/3) of such Exchangeable Units;

(c) after the first anniversary and until the second anniversary after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, up to a cumulative number of two thirds (2/3) of such Exchangeable Units;

(d) after the second anniversary after the Transaction Agreement Closing Date pursuant to which the Exchangeable Units are issued, all of such Exchangeable Units may be Exchanged;

provided, that (x) Exchangeable Units delivered with respect to an “Upward Adjustment Amount,” “Upward Acceleration Exchange Adjustment Amount” or “Holdback” (in each case as defined in the applicable Transaction Agreement) will not be subject to the limitations above and may be Exchanged at any time after delivery of such Exchangeable Units to the Partnership Unitholder; and (y) the Board of Directors (or a committee to which the Board of Directors has delegated such authority) may, in its sole discretion and subject to conditions, release all or a portion of such Exchangeable Units from the foregoing restriction.

Class D Unit” means each Class D Unit (or other interest in the Partnership that may be issued by the Partnership in the future that is designated by the Partnership as a “Class D Unit”) including any interest in the Partnership converted into or exchanged for a Class D Unit.

Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Common Stock” means shares of the Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock.

Company” has the meaning set forth in the Preamble.

 

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Elective Exchange” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(i)(A).

Elective Exchange Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(i)(D).

Elective Exchange Notice” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(i)(B).

Exchange” means any Elective Exchange or Mandatory Exchange.

Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Exchange Consideration” shall mean, in the case of any Exchange, either (x) the number of shares of Class A Common Stock that is equal to the product of the number of Exchangeable Units surrendered in the Exchange multiplied by the Exchange Rate, or (y) the Cash Settlement.

Exchange Date” means an Elective Exchange Date or Mandatory Exchange Date.

Exchange Notice” means an Elective Exchange Notice or Mandatory Exchange Notice.

Exchange Rate” means, in respect of any Exchange, a ratio, expressed as a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the number of shares of Class A Common Stock outstanding immediately prior to the Exchange and the denominator of which shall be the number of Partnership Units owned by the Company immediately prior to the Exchange. On the date of this Agreement, the Exchange Rate shall be 1, subject to adjustment pursuant to Section 2.2.

Exchangeable Unit” means each Class D Unit held by a party to this Agreement.

General Partner” has the meaning set forth in the Partnership Agreement.

Mandatory Exchange” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(ii)(A).

Mandatory Exchange Date” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(ii)(A).

Mandatory Exchange Notice” has the meaning set forth in Section 2.1(a)(ii)(A).

Minimum Exchangeable Amount” means the lesser of (a) Exchangeable Units estimated to have a fair value of at least $100,000 at the time the Exchange Notice is delivered and (b) all of the Exchangeable Units held by such Partnership Unitholder; provided, that the Board of Directors may in its discretion authorize a Minimum Exchangeable Amount that is less than (a) or (b).

Notice” has the meaning set forth in Section 4.3.

Partnership” has the meaning set forth in the Preamble.

Partnership Agreement” means the Tenth Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of StepStone Group LP, as the same may be further amended or restated from time to time in accordance with the terms thereof.

Partnership Unitholder” means each holder of one or more Exchangeable Units that is a party hereto as of the date hereof or that becomes a party to this Agreement pursuant Section 4.1.

Partnership Units” means all units not subject to vesting, including Class A Units, Class B Units, Class C Units and Class D Units issued by the Partnership and outstanding from time to time.

Permitted Transferee” has the meaning set forth in Section 4.1.

 

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Person” means an individual, corporation, company, limited liability company, association, estate, partnership, joint venture, organization, business, trust or any other entity or organization, including a government or any subdivision or agency thereof.

Policies” means the policies or guidelines set by the Company from time to time that shall be applicable to, and applied consistently with respect to, all unitholders in the Partnership (including policies intended to ensure orderly liquidity for exchanging Partnership Unitholders, stability in the trading market for the Partnership’s securities and compliance with laws restricting the trading in securities while in possession of material non-public information). As of the date of this Agreement, it is expected that the policies or guidelines will generally permit one Exchange Date each calendar quarter; provided that, unless otherwise approved by the Partnership, no Elective Exchange Date may occur earlier than five Business Days after delivery of an Elective Exchange Notice and no Mandatory Exchange Date may occur earlier than ten Business Days after delivery of a Mandatory Exchange Notice; and provided further that the Board of Directors may from time to time specify additional Exchange Dates. For the avoidance of doubt, the Company may modify or replace its applicable policies at any time, which policies will be made available to the Partnership Unitholders.

Retraction Deadline” has the meaning set forth in Section 1.1(a)(i)(E).

Retraction Event” means a 5% or greater drop in the reported closing trading price of a share of Class A Common Stock on the principal U.S. securities exchange or automated or electronic quotation system on which the Class A Common Stock trades, as reported by The Wall Street Journal or its successor.

Retraction Notice” has the meaning set forth in Section 1.1(a)(i)(E).

Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Stockholders’ Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Stockholders’ Agreement, dated September 20, 2021, among the Company, the Partnership and the other Persons party thereto, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated from time to time.

Takeover Laws” has the meaning set forth in Section 3.1.

Tax Receivable Agreement” means one or more of those certain Tax Receivable Agreements, dated on or about the date hereof, among the Company, the Partnership, each of the TRA Partners and the TRA Representative (each as defined therein), as the same may be further amended from time to time.

Trading Day” means a day on which the principal U.S. securities exchange on which the Class A Common Stock is listed or admitted to trading is open for the transaction of business (unless such trading shall have been suspended for the entire day).

Transaction Agreement Closing Date” means the “Closing Date” (as defined in the applicable Transaction Agreement) with respect to a particular Transaction Agreement Exchange.

Transaction Agreement Exchange” means an “Exchange” (as defined in the applicable Transaction Agreement) resulting in the issuance of Class D Units.

ARTICLE II

EXCHANGES

Section 2.1 Exchange of Exchangeable Units for Class A Common Stock.

(a) The Exchanges.

(i) Elective Exchanges.

 

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(A) Subject to Section 2.1(c), and otherwise upon the terms and subject to the conditions hereof and of the Partnership Agreement, each Partnership Unitholder shall have the right from time to time (but subject to the Class D Holder Restriction) to surrender Exchangeable Units in at least the Minimum Exchangeable Amount (in each case, free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, rights of first refusal and similar restrictions, except for those arising under this Agreement, the Policies and the Partnership Agreement) to the Partnership and to thereby cause the Partnership to deliver to that Partnership Unitholder (or its designee) the Exchange Consideration as set forth herein (an “Elective Exchange”).

(B) A Partnership Unitholder shall exercise its right to an Elective Exchange by delivering to the Partnership, with a contemporaneous copy delivered to the Company, in each case during normal business hours at the principal executive offices of the Partnership and the Company, respectively, a written election of exchange in respect of the Exchangeable Units to be exchanged substantially in the form of Exhibit A hereto (an “Elective Exchange Notice”), duly executed by such Partnership Unitholder.

(C) A Partnership Unitholder may specify, in an applicable Elective Exchange Notice, that the Elective Exchange is to be contingent (including as to timing) upon the occurrence of any transaction or event, including the consummation of a purchase by another Person (whether in a tender or exchange offer, an underwritten offering, block trade, change of control transaction or otherwise) of shares of Class A Common Stock or any merger, consolidation or other business combination. The termination of a transaction or event specified in the preceding sentence, prior to the consummation thereof, shall terminate all of the exchanging Partnership Unitholder’s, Partnership’s and Company’s rights and obligations under this Section 2.1(a)(i) arising from that particular Elective Exchange Notice, and all actions taken to effect the Elective Exchange contemplated by that Elective Exchange Notice shall be deemed rescinded.

(D) After the Elective Exchange Notice has been delivered to the Partnership, and unless such Partnership Unitholder timely has delivered a Retraction Notice pursuant to Section 1.1(a)(i)(E) or the Partnership has refused to honor the request in full pursuant to Section 2.1(b)(i), the Partnership will effect the Elective Exchange in accordance with the Policies and inform the Partnership Unitholder of the effective date of such Elective Exchange (the “Elective Exchange Date”).

(E) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, if a Retraction Event occurs after the delivery of an Elective Exchange Notice and prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on the Business Day immediately prior to the applicable Elective Exchange Date (the “Retraction Deadline”), a Partnership Unitholder may withdraw or amend its Elective Exchange Notice, in whole or in part, by giving written notice at any time prior to the Retraction Deadline (a “Retraction Notice”) to the Partnership (with a copy to the Company) specifying (A) the number of withdrawn Exchangeable Units and (B) the number of Exchangeable Units as to which the Elective Exchange Notice remains in effect. The timely delivery of a Retraction Notice indicating an entire withdrawal of the Elective Exchange Notice shall terminate all of the exchanging Partnership Unitholder’s, Partnership’s and Company’s rights and obligations under this Section 2.1(a)(i) arising from that particular Elective Exchange Notice, and all actions taken to effect the Elective Exchange contemplated by that Elective Exchange Notice shall be deemed rescinded.

(ii) Mandatory Exchanges. Upon the occurrence of any of the circumstances set out in Section 7.8.2 of the Partnership Agreement and in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof, the General Partner or the Class B Committee, as applicable, may exercise its right to cause a mandatory exchange of a Partnership Unitholder’s Exchangeable Units (a “Mandatory Exchange”) by delivering to the Partnership Unitholder a written notice pursuant to the notice provisions of the Partnership Agreement (an “Mandatory Exchange Notice”) specifying the basis for the Mandatory Exchange, the Exchangeable Units of the Partnership to which the Mandatory Exchange applies and the effective date of such Mandatory Exchange (the “Mandatory Exchange Date”), which shall be no earlier than ten (10) Business Days after delivery of the Mandatory Exchange Notice. Upon the Mandatory Exchange Date, unless the Partnership has determined such Mandatory Exchange would be in breach of Section 2.1(b)(i), the Partnership will effect the Mandatory Exchange in accordance with the Policies.

 

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(b) Additional Terms Applying to Exchanges.

(i) For the avoidance of doubt, and notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement or the Partnership Agreement to the contrary: (A) the Company may elect to settle an Exchange, in whole or in part, by delivery of the Cash Settlement as to all or any portion of the total number of Exchangeable Units being surrendered and delivery of Class A Common Stock as to any remaining portion not satisfied by the Cash Settlement; and (B) the Board of Directors (or a committee to which the Board of Directors has delegated such authority) may, in its reasonable discretion, deny or limit, in whole or in part, any Exchange that fails to comply with any requirements therefor that the Company, the Partnership, or the Board of Directors may have established, or that, if effected, would adversely affect the trading markets in the Company’s Common Stock as determined by the Board of Directors (or a committee thereof to which the Board of Directors has delegated such authority) in its reasonable discretion. In particular, a Partnership Unitholder shall not be entitled to an Exchange, and the Company and Partnership shall have the right to refuse to honor any request for an Exchange, at any time or during any period if the Company or the Partnership determines, after consultation with counsel, that such Exchange (x) would be prohibited by law or regulation (including, without limitation, the unavailability of a registration of such Exchange under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements thereof) or (y) would not be permitted under any agreement with the Company, the Partnership or any of their subsidiaries to which the applicable Partnership Unitholder is party (including, without limitation, the Partnership Agreement) or (solely in the case of an Exchange requested by an officer, director or other personnel of the Company, the Partnership or any of their subsidiaries) any written policies of the Company related to restrictions on trading applicable to its officers, directors or other personnel.

(ii) On an Exchange Date, all rights of the exchanging Partnership Unitholder as a holder of the Exchangeable Units shall cease, and unless the Company has elected Cash Settlement as to all Exchangeable Units tendered, such Partnership Unitholder (or its designee) shall be treated for all purposes as having become the record holder of the shares of Class A Common Stock to be received by the exchanging Partnership Unitholder in respect of such Exchange.

(iii) At least two Business Days before the Exchange Date, the Company shall give written notice (the “Contribution Notice”) to the Partnership (with a copy to the exchanging Partnership Unitholders) of its intended settlement method; provided that if the Company does not timely deliver a Contribution Notice, the Company shall be deemed not to have elected the Cash Settlement method.

(c) Exchange Consideration. On or promptly after an Exchange Date, provided the Partnership Unitholder has satisfied its obligations under Section 2.1(b)(i), the Company shall cause the Transfer Agent to register electronically in the name of such Partnership Unitholder (or its designee) in book-entry form the shares of Class A Common Stock issuable upon the applicable Exchange, or, if the Company has so elected, shall deliver or cause to be delivered to such Partnership Unitholder (or its designee), the Cash Settlement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company shall have the right but not the obligation (in lieu of the Partnership) to have the Company acquire Exchangeable Units directly from an exchanging Partnership Unitholder in exchange for shares of Class A Common Stock or, at the option of the Company, the Cash Settlement. If an exchanging Partnership Unitholder receives the shares of Class A Common Stock or the Cash Settlement that such Partnership Unitholder is entitled to receive from the Company pursuant to this Section 2.1(c), the Partnership Unitholder shall have no further right to receive shares of Class A Common Stock from the Partnership or the Company in connection with that Exchange. Notwithstanding anything set forth in this Section 2.1(c) to the contrary, to the extent the Class A Common Stock is settled through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company, the Partnership or the Company will, pursuant to the Exchange Notice submitted by the Partnership Unitholder, deliver the shares of Class A Common Stock deliverable to such exchanging Partnership Unitholder through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company to the account of the participant of The Depository Trust Company designated by such exchanging Partnership Unitholder in the Exchange Notice. Upon any Exchange, the Partnership or the Company, as applicable, shall take such actions as (A) may be required to ensure that such Partnership Unitholder receives the shares of Class A Common Stock or the Cash Settlement that such exchanging Partnership Unitholder is entitled to receive in connection with such Exchange pursuant to this Section 2.1 and (B) may be reasonably within its control that would cause such Exchange to be treated for purposes of the Tax Receivable Agreement as an “Exchange” (as such term is defined in the Tax Receivable Agreement). Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Agreement to the contrary, in the event that the Company elects a Cash Settlement, the Company shall only

 

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be obligated to contribute to the Partnership (or, if the Company elects to settle directly pursuant to Section 2.1(a)(ii), settle directly for an amount equal to), an amount in respect of such Cash Settlement equal to the net proceeds (after deduction of any underwriters’ discounts and commissions) from the sale by the Company of a number of shares of Class A Common Stock equal to the number of Exchangeable Units being Exchanged for such Cash Settlement. Except as otherwise required by applicable law, the Company shall, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, be treated as paying an appropriate portion of the selling expenses described in the previous sentence as agent for and on behalf of the exchanging Partnership Unitholder.

(d) Expenses. Subject to any other arrangement or agreement among the Partnership and an applicable Partnership Unitholder, the Company, the Partnership, and each exchanging Partnership Unitholder shall bear their own expenses in connection with the consummation of any Exchange, whether or not any such Exchange is ultimately consummated, except that the Company shall bear any transfer taxes, stamp taxes or duties, or other similar taxes in connection with, or arising by reason of, any Exchange; provided, however, that if any shares of Class A Common Stock are to be delivered pursuant to an Elective Exchange in a name other than that of the Partnership Unitholder that requested the Exchange (or The Depository Trust Company or its nominee for the account of a participant of The Depository Trust Company that will hold the shares for the account of such Partnership Unitholder) or the Cash Settlement is to be paid to a Person other than the Partnership Unitholder that requested the Exchange, then such Partnership Unitholder or the Person in whose name such shares are to be delivered or to whom the Cash Settlement is to be paid shall pay to the Company the amount of any transfer taxes, stamp taxes or duties, or other similar taxes in connection with, or arising by reason of, such Exchange or shall establish to the reasonable satisfaction of the Company that such tax has been paid or is not payable.

(e) Publicly Traded Partnership. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, if the General Partner of the Partnership determines that an Exchange would pose a material risk that the Partnership would become a “publicly traded partnership” under Section 7704 of the Code, the Exchange shall be null and void.

Section 2.2  Adjustment. To the extent not reflected in an adjustment to the Exchange Rate, if there is any stock split, reverse split, stock dividend, stock combination, reclassification, recapitalization, reorganization, merger, consolidation, other business combination or other similar event or transaction relating to, affecting or in respect of the Class A Common Stock (an “Adjustment Transaction”), including any Adjustment Transaction in which the Class A Common Stock is converted or changed or exchanged into or for another security, securities or other property, then upon any subsequent Exchange, an exchanging Partnership Unitholder shall be entitled to receive the amount of such security, securities or other property that such exchanging Partnership Unitholder would have received if such Exchange had occurred immediately prior to the effective date of such Adjustment Transaction, including taking into account any adjustment as a result of any subdivision (by any split, distribution or dividend, reclassification, reorganization, recapitalization or otherwise) or combination (by reverse split, reclassification, recapitalization or otherwise) of such security, securities or other property that occurs after the effective time of such Adjustment Transaction. For the avoidance of doubt, if there is any Adjustment Transaction in which the Class A Common Stock is converted or changed or exchanged into or for another security, securities or other property, this Section 2.2 shall continue to be applicable, mutatis mutandis, with respect to such security or other property.

Section 2.3  Class A Common Stock to be Issued.

(a) Class A Common Stock Reserve. The Company shall at all times reserve and keep available out of its authorized but unissued Class A Common Stock, solely for the purpose of issuance upon an Exchange, such number of shares of Class A Common Stock as shall be deliverable under this Agreement upon all such Exchanges; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude the Company from satisfying its obligations in respect of any such Exchange by delivery of unencumbered purchased shares of Class A Common Stock (which may or may not be held in the treasury of the Company or any subsidiary thereof).

(b) Rule 16(b) Exemption. The Company has taken and will take all such steps as may be required to cause to qualify for exemption under Rule 16b-3(d) or (e), as applicable, under the Exchange Act, and be exempt for purposes of Section 16(b) under the Exchange Act, any acquisitions or dispositions of equity securities of the Company (including derivative securities with respect thereto) and any securities that may be deemed to be equity securities or derivative securities of the Company for such purposes that result from the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, by each director or officer of the Company (including directors-by-deputization) who may reasonably be expected to be subject to the reporting requirements of Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act with respect to the Company upon the registration of any class of equity security of the Company pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act.

 

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(c) Takeover Law. If any Takeover Law or other similar law or regulation becomes or is deemed to become applicable to this Agreement or any of the transactions contemplated hereby, the Company shall use its reasonable best efforts to render such law or regulation inapplicable to all of the foregoing.

(d) Validity of Class A Common Stock. The Company covenants that all shares of Class A Common Stock issued upon an Exchange will, upon issuance, be validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable and not subject to any preemptive right of stockholders of the Company or to any right of first refusal or other right in favor of any Person.

Section 2.4  Withholding.

(a) Withholding of Class A Common Stock Permitted. If the Company or the Partnership shall be required to withhold any amounts by reason of any federal, state, local or foreign tax laws or regulations in respect of any Exchange, the Company or the Partnership, as the case may be, shall be entitled to take such action as it deems appropriate in order to ensure compliance with such withholding requirements, including, at its option, withholding shares of Class A Common Stock with a fair market value equal to the amount of any taxes that the Company or the Partnership, as the case may be, may be required to withhold with respect to such Exchange. To the extent that amounts are (or property is) so withheld and paid over to the appropriate taxing authority, such withheld amounts (or property) shall be treated for all purposes of this Agreement as having been paid (or delivered) to the applicable Partnership Unitholder.

(b) Notice of Withholding. If the Company or the Partnership determines that any amounts by reason of any federal, state, local or foreign tax laws or regulations are required to be withheld in respect of any Exchange, the Company or the Partnership, as the case may be, shall use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly notify the exchanging Partnership Unitholder and shall consider in good faith any theories, positions or alternative arrangements that such Partnership Unitholder raises (reasonably in advance of the date on which the Company or the Partnership believes withholding is required) as to why withholding is not required or that may avoid the need for such withholding, provided that none of the Company or the Partnership is required to incur additional costs as a result of such obligation and this Section 2.4(b) shall not in any manner limit the authority of the Company or the Partnership to withhold taxes with respect to an exchanging Partnership Unitholder pursuant to Section 2.4(a).

Section 2.5  Tax Treatment. Unless otherwise required by applicable law, the parties hereto acknowledge and agree that an Exchange with the Partnership or the Company shall be treated as a direct exchange between the Company and the Partnership Unitholder for U.S. federal and applicable state and local income tax purposes. The parties hereto intend to treat any Exchange consummated hereunder as a taxable exchange for U.S. federal and applicable state and local income tax purposes except as otherwise agreed to in writing by the exchanging Partnership Unitholder and the Company or required by applicable law. This Agreement shall be treated as part of the partnership agreement of the Partnership as described in Section 761(c) of the Code and Sections 1.704-1(b)(2)(ii)(h) and 1.761-1(c) of the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

Section 2.6  Contribution of the Company. In connection with any Exchange between a Partnership Unitholder and the Partnership, the Company shall contribute to the Partnership the shares of Class A Common Stock or Cash Settlement that the Partnership Unitholder is entitled to receive in such Exchange. Unless the Partnership Unitholder has timely delivered a Retraction Notice as provided in Section 1.1(a)(i)(E), on the Exchange Date (to be effective immediately prior to the close of business on the Exchange Date) (i) the Company shall make a capital contribution to the Partnership (in the form of the shares of Class A Common Stock or the Cash Settlement that the Partnership Unitholder is entitled to receive in such Exchange) required under this Section 2.6 and (ii) the Partnership shall issue to the Company a number of Class A Units equal to the number of Exchangeable Units surrendered by the Partnership Unitholder. The timely delivery of a Retraction Notice shall terminate all of the Partnership’s and the Company’s rights and obligations under this Section 2.6 arising from the Exchange Notice.

 

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Section 2.7  Apportionment of Distributions. Distributions with a Distribution Record Date (as defined in Section 4.7.1 of the Partnership Agreement) on or before the Exchange Date shall be made to the Exchanging Partnership Unitholder.

Section 2.8  Nature of Determinations. All determinations, interpretations, calculations, adjustments and other actions of the Partnership, the Company, the Board of Directors (or a committee to which the Board of Directors has delegated such authority), the General Partner or a designee of any of the foregoing that are within such Person’s authority hereunder shall be reasonable and made in good faith.

ARTICLE III

REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES

Section 3.1  Representations and Warranties of the Company. The Company represents and warrants that (i) it is a corporation duly incorporated and is existing and in good standing under the laws of the State of Delaware, (ii) it has all requisite corporate power and authority to enter into and perform this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated hereby and to issue the Class A Common Stock in accordance with the terms hereof, (iii) the execution and delivery of this Agreement by the Company and the consummation by it of the transactions contemplated hereby (including the issuance of the Class A Common Stock) have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate action on the part of the Company, including all actions determined by the Board of Directors to be reasonably necessary to ensure that the acquisition of shares of Class A Common Stock pursuant to an Exchange shall not be subject to any “moratorium,” “control share acquisition,” “business combination,” “fair price” or other form of anti-takeover laws and regulations of any United States jurisdiction that may purport to be applicable to this Agreement or the transactions contemplated hereby (collectively, “Takeover Laws”) to the extent permitted by applicable law, (iv) this Agreement constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of the Company enforceable against the Company in accordance with its terms, except as enforcement may be limited by equitable principles or by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium, or similar laws relating to or limiting creditors’ rights generally, and (v) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by the Company and the consummation by the Company of the transactions contemplated hereby will not (A) result in a violation of the certificate of incorporation of the Company or the bylaws of the Company or (B) conflict with, or constitute a default (or an event that with notice or lapse of time or both would become a default) under, or give to others any rights of termination, amendment, acceleration or cancellation of, any agreement, indenture or instrument to which the Company is a party, or (C) based on the representations to be made by each Partnership Unitholder pursuant to the written election in the form of Exhibit A attached hereto in connection with Exchanges made pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, result in a violation of any law, rule, regulation, order, judgment or decree applicable to the Company or by which any property or asset of the Company is bound or affected, except with respect to clause (B) or (C) for any conflicts, defaults, accelerations, terminations, cancellations or violations that would not reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on the Company or its business, financial condition or results of operations.

Section 3.2  Representations and Warranties of the Partnership. The Partnership represents and warrants that (i) it is a limited partnership duly formed and is existing and in good standing under the laws of the State of Delaware, (ii) it has all requisite power and authority to enter into and perform this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated hereby, (iii) the execution and delivery of this Agreement by the Partnership and the consummation by it of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly authorized by all necessary action on the part of the Partnership, (iv) this Agreement constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of the Partnership enforceable against the Partnership in accordance with its terms, except as enforcement may be limited by equitable principles or by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium, or similar laws relating to or limiting creditors’ rights generally, and (v) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by the Partnership and the consummation by the Partnership of the transactions contemplated hereby will not (A) result in a violation of the Partnership Agreement or the certificate of limited partnership of the Partnership or (B) conflict with, or constitute a default (or an event that with notice or lapse of time or both would become a default) under, or give to others any rights of termination, amendment, acceleration or cancellation of, any agreement, indenture or instrument to which the Partnership is a party, or (C) result in a violation of any law, rule, regulation, order, judgment or decree applicable to the Partnership or by which any property or asset of the Partnership is bound or affected, except with respect to clause (B) or (C) for any conflicts, defaults, accelerations, terminations, cancellations or violations that would not reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on the Partnership or its business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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Section 3.3  Representations and Warranties of the Partnership Unitholders. Each Partnership Unitholder, severally and not jointly, represents and warrants that (i) if it is not a natural person, that it is duly incorporated or formed and, to the extent such concept exists in its jurisdiction of organization, is existing and in good standing under the laws of such jurisdiction, (ii) it has all requisite legal capacity and authority to enter into and perform this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated hereby, (iii) if it is not a natural person, the execution and delivery of this Agreement by it and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate or other entity action on the part of such Partnership Unitholder, (iv) this Agreement constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of such Partnership Unitholder enforceable against it in accordance with its terms, except as enforcement may be limited by equitable principles or by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium, or similar laws relating to or limiting creditors’ rights generally and (v) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by such Partnership Unitholder and the consummation by such Partnership Unitholder of the transactions contemplated hereby will not (A) if it is not a natural person, result in a violation of the certificate of incorporation, bylaws or other organizational documents of such Partnership Unitholder, (B) conflict with, or constitute a default (or an event that with notice or lapse of time or both would become a default) under, or give to others any rights of termination, amendment, acceleration or cancellation of, any agreement, indenture or instrument to which such Partnership Unitholder is a party or by which any property or asset of such Partnership Unitholder is bound or affected, or (C) result in a violation of any law, rule, regulation, order, judgment or decree applicable to such Partnership Unitholder, except with respect to clause (B) or (C) for any conflicts, defaults, accelerations, terminations, cancellations or violations that would not in any material respect result in the unenforceability against such Partnership Unitholder of this Agreement.

ARTICLE IV

MISCELLANEOUS

Section 4.1  Additional Partnership Unitholders. If a Partnership Unitholder validly transfers any or all of such holder’s Class D Units to another Person in a transaction in accordance with, and not in contravention of, the Partnership Agreement, then such transferee (each, a “Permitted Transferee”) shall, as a condition to such transfer, (i) deliver a written notice of such transfer to the Company and (ii) be required to execute and deliver a joinder to this Agreement, substantially in the form of Exhibit B hereto, whereupon such Permitted Transferee shall become a Partnership Unitholder hereunder. To the extent the Partnership issues Exchangeable Units in the future to a Person who is not a Partnership Unitholder, then the Partnership shall, as a condition to such issuance, require each holder of such Exchangeable Units to execute and deliver a joinder to this Agreement, substantially in the form of Exhibit B hereto, whereupon such holder shall become a Partnership Unitholder hereunder. Other than to a Permitted Transferee, a Partnership Unitholder may not assign or transfer any of its rights or obligations under this Agreement. No Person shall have any rights hereunder until he, she, or it has executed this Agreement (including by executing a joinder thereto).

Section 4.2  Term; Termination. This Agreement shall remain in effect (i) as to the Partnership and the Company, until the date on which no Class D Units remain outstanding and there exist no rights to acquire Exchangeable Units, and (ii) as to any Partnership Unitholder, until the date such Partnership Unitholder no longer holds or has any right to acquire Exchangeable Units.

Section 4.3  Notifications. Any notice, demand, consent, election, approval, request, or other communication (collectively, a “notice”) required or permitted under this Agreement must be in writing or electronic form and either delivered personally, sent by certified or registered mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested or sent by recognized overnight delivery service, electronically or by facsimile transmittal. A notice must be addressed:

If to the Company or the Partnership at:

StepStone Group Inc.

4225 Executive Square, Suite 1600

La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone:

E-mail:

Attention: Chief Legal Officer

 

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with a copy (which shall not constitute notice to the Company or the Partnership) to:

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

200 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10166

Telephone:

Email:

Attention: Eric Scarazzo

If to any Partnership Unitholder, to the address and other contact information set forth in the records of the Partnership from time to time.

A notice delivered personally will be deemed given only when accepted or refused by the Person to whom it is delivered. A notice that is sent by mail will be deemed given: (i) three Business Days after such notice is mailed to an address within the United States of America or (ii) seven Business Days after such notice is mailed to an address outside of the United States of America. A notice sent by recognized overnight delivery service will be deemed given when received or refused. A notice sent electronically or by facsimile shall be deemed given upon receipt of a confirmation of such transmission, unless such receipt occurs after normal business hours, in which case such notice shall be deemed given as of the next Business Day. The Partnership or the Company may designate, by notice to all of the Partnership Unitholders, substitute addresses or addressees for notices; thereafter, notices are to be directed to those substitute addresses or addressees. Partnership Unitholders may designate, by notice to the Partnership and the Company, substitute addresses or addressees for notices; thereafter, notices are to be directed to those substitute addresses or addressees.

Section 4.4  Complete Agreement. This Agreement, together with the Partnership Agreement and the Tax Receivable Agreement, constitutes the entire agreement and understanding among the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and thereof, and supersedes all prior agreements or arrangements (written and oral), including any prior representation, statement, condition or warranty between the parties relating to the subject matter hereof and thereof.

Section 4.5  Applicable Law; Venue; Waiver of Jury Trial.

(a) Applicable Law. The parties hereto hereby agree that all questions concerning the construction, validity and interpretation of this Agreement and the performance of the obligations imposed by this Agreement shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the internal laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law provision or rule, notwithstanding that public policy in Delaware or any other forum jurisdiction might indicate that the laws of that or any other jurisdiction should otherwise apply based on contacts with such state or otherwise.

(b) Venue. Each of the parties hereto submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware (or, if (but only if) such court lacks jurisdiction, any state or federal court of the State of Delaware) in any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Agreement and agrees that all claims in respect of the action or proceeding may be heard and determined solely and exclusively in such court and the appellate courts therefrom. Each party hereto also agrees not to bring any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Agreement in any court other than as aforesaid. Each of the parties hereto waives any defense of inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any action or proceeding so brought and waives any bond, surety, or other security that might be required of any other party hereto with respect thereto. The parties hereto each agree that final judgment in any such suit, action or proceeding brought in such a court shall be conclusive and binding on it and may be enforced in any court to the jurisdiction of which it is subject by a suit upon such judgment.

(c) Waiver of Jury Trial. EACH PARTY HERETO ACKNOWLEDGES AND AGREES THAT ANY CONTROVERSY THAT MAY ARISE UNDER THIS AGREEMENT IS LIKELY TO INVOLVE COMPLICATED AND DIFFICULT ISSUES, AND THEREFORE EACH SUCH PARTY HEREBY IRREVOCABLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVES ANY RIGHT SUCH PARTY MAY HAVE TO A TRIAL BY JURY IN RESPECT OF ANY LITIGATION DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT, OR THE BREACH, TERMINATION OR VALIDITY OF THIS AGREEMENT, OR THE TRANSACTIONS CONTEMPLATED BY THIS AGREEMENT. EACH PARTY HERETO CERTIFIES AND ACKNOWLEDGES THAT (A) NO REPRESENTATIVE, AGENT OR ATTORNEY

 

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OF ANY OTHER PARTY HAS REPRESENTED, EXPRESSLY OR OTHERWISE, THAT SUCH OTHER PARTY WOULD NOT, IN THE EVENT OF LITIGATION, SEEK TO ENFORCE THE FOREGOING WAIVER, (B) EACH SUCH PARTY UNDERSTANDS AND HAS CONSIDERED THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS WAIVER, (C) EACH SUCH PARTY MAKES THIS WAIVER VOLUNTARILY, AND (D) EACH SUCH PARTY HAS BEEN INDUCED TO ENTER INTO THIS AGREEMENT BY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MUTUAL WAIVERS AND CERTIFICATIONS IN THIS SECTION 4.5.

Section 4.6  References to this Agreement; Headings. Unless otherwise indicated, “Sections,” “clauses” and “Exhibits” mean and refer to designated Sections, clauses, and Exhibits of this Agreement. Words such as “herein,” “hereby,” “hereinafter,” “hereof,” “hereto,” and “hereunder” refer to this Agreement as a whole, unless the context indicates otherwise. All headings in this Agreement are for convenience of reference only and are not intended to define or limit the scope or intent of this Agreement. All exhibits and schedules referred to herein, and as the same may be amended from time to time, are by this reference made a part hereof as though fully set forth herein.

Section 4.7  Binding Provisions. This Agreement is binding upon, and inures to the benefit of, the parties hereto and their respective personal and legal representatives, heirs, executors, successors and Permitted Transferees.

Section 4.8  Construction. Common nouns and pronouns and any variations thereof shall be deemed to refer to masculine, feminine, or neuter, singular or plural, as the identity of the Person, Persons or other reference in the context requires. Every covenant, term and provision of this Agreement shall be construed simply according to its fair meaning and not strictly for or against any party hereto. Any reference to any statute, law, or regulation, form or schedule shall include any amendments, modifications, or replacements thereof. Any reference to any agreement, contract or schedule, unless otherwise stated, shall include any amendments, modifications, or replacements thereof. Whenever used herein, (i) “or” shall include both the conjunctive and disjunctive unless the context requires otherwise, (ii) “any” shall mean “one or more,” and (iii) “including”, “include” and “includes” shall be deemed followed by the words “without limitation.”

Section 4.9  Severability. It is expressly understood and agreed that if any provision of this Agreement or the application of any such provision to any party or circumstance shall be determined by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable to any extent, the remainder of this Agreement, or the application of such provision to any party or circumstance other than those to which it is so determined to be invalid or unenforceable, shall not be affected thereby, and each provision hereof shall be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law so long as the economic or legal substance of the matters contemplated by this Agreement is not affected in any manner materially adverse to any party. If the final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction declares or finds that any term or provision hereof is invalid or unenforceable, the parties hereto agree that the court making the determination of invalidity or unenforceability shall have the power to reduce the scope, duration or portion of the term or provision, or to delete specific words or phrases, and to replace any invalid or unenforceable term or provision with a term or provision that is valid and enforceable and that comes closest to expressing the intention of the invalid or unenforceable term or provision, and this Agreement shall be enforceable as so modified. If such court of competent jurisdiction does not so replace an invalid or unenforceable term or provision, the parties hereto will negotiate in good faith to modify this Agreement so as to effect the original intent of the parties as closely as possible in an acceptable manner to the end that the matters contemplated hereby are fulfilled to the fullest extent possible.

Section 4.10  Counterparts. This Agreement and any amendments may be executed simultaneously in two or more counterparts and delivered via facsimile or .pdf, each of which shall be deemed an original and all of which, when taken together, shall constitute one and the same document. The signature of any party to any counterpart shall be deemed a signature to, and may be appended to, any other counterpart.

Section 4.11  No Third-Party Beneficiaries. Each Partnership Unitholder on the date hereof is expected to become a party to this Agreement. Each of their Permitted Transferees and each Person who is or becomes a Partnership Unitholder may become a party hereto, subject to their execution and delivery to the Partnership and the Company of an executed joinder to this Agreement in form and substance acceptable to the Partnership and the Company. This Agreement is not otherwise intended to, and does not, provide or create any rights or benefits in any Person.

 

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Section 4.12  Mutual Drafting. The parties hereto are sophisticated and have been advised by attorneys throughout the transactions contemplated hereby who have carefully negotiated the provisions hereof. As a consequence, the parties do not intend that the presumptions of laws or rules relating to the interpretation of contracts against the drafter of any particular clause should be applied to this Agreement or any agreement or instrument executed in connection herewith, and therefore waive their effects.

Section 4.13  Rights and Remedies Cumulative. The rights and remedies provided by this Agreement are cumulative and the use of any one right or remedy by any party shall not preclude or waive the right to use any or all other remedies. Such rights and remedies are given in addition to any other rights the parties may have by law, statute, ordinance or otherwise. No failure by any party to insist upon the strict performance of any covenant, duty, agreement or condition of this Agreement or to exercise any right or remedy consequent upon a breach thereof shall constitute a waiver of any such breach or any other covenant, duty, agreement or condition.

Section 4.14  Amendment. The provisions of this Agreement may be amended only by an instrument in writing approved by the affirmative vote or written or electronic consent of each of (i) the Company, (ii) the Partnership, and (iii) Partnership Unitholders holding a majority of the then outstanding Class D Units held by such Partnership Unitholders; provided that no amendment may disproportionately and adversely affect the rights of a Partnership Unitholder in respect of the Class D Units compared to the rights of other Partnership Unitholders in respect of the Class D Units without the consent of such affected Partnership Unitholder

Section 4.15  Specific Performance. The parties recognize that irreparable injury will result from a breach of any provision of this Agreement and that money damages would be inadequate to fully remedy the injury. Accordingly, in the event of a breach or threatened breach of one or more of the provisions of this Agreement, any party that may be injured (in addition to any other remedies that may be available to that party) shall be entitled (without the need to post any bond, surety, or other security) to one or more preliminary or permanent orders (a) restraining and enjoining any act that would constitute a breach or (b) compelling the performance of any obligation that, if not performed, would constitute a breach.

Section 4.16  Independent Nature of Partnership Unitholders’ Rights and Obligations. The obligations of each Partnership Unitholder hereunder are several and not joint with the obligations of any other Partnership Unitholder, and no Partnership Unitholder shall be responsible in any way for the performance of, or failure to perform, the obligations of any other Partnership Unitholder hereunder. The decision of each Partnership Unitholder to enter into this Agreement has been made by such Partnership Unitholder independently of any other Partnership Unitholder. Nothing contained herein, and no action taken by any Partnership Unitholder pursuant hereto, shall be deemed to constitute the Partnership Unitholders as a partnership, an association, a joint venture or any other kind of entity, or create a presumption that the Partnership Unitholders are in any way acting in concert or as a group with respect to such obligations or the transactions contemplated hereby and the Company acknowledges that the Partnership Unitholders are not acting in concert or as a group, and the Company will not assert any such claim, with respect to such obligations or the transactions contemplated hereby.

Section 4.17  Share Legends and Transfer of Class A Common Stock. Each Class D Holder acknowledges that the Company may, as a condition to issuing Class A Common Stock in an Exchange without a private placement legend or as a condition to acknowledging any transfer of Class A Common Stock issued in an Exchange, require an opinion of counsel and a certificate of the Class D Holder, in each case reasonably satisfactory to the Company, establishing, as applicable, that the shares are not “restricted securities” under the U.S. federal securities laws or the proposed transfer does not result in a violation of the Securities Act or applicable state securities laws; provided, however, that if the Company’s transfer agent requires a legal opinion in connection with a transaction made in compliance with Rule 144 under the Securities Act, then the Company shall cause its counsel to issue a legal opinion to the transfer agent, which opinion may rely on the certificate of the Class D Holder, covering the removal of any private placement legend borne by such shares of Class A Common Stock; provided, further, that the Company will use its commercially reasonable efforts to cooperate with, and process on its transfer books, any proposed transfer of Class A Common Stock by a Class D Holder to the equityholders of such Class D Holder, if made pro rata to such equityholders’ economic interest for no consideration and not in violation of applicable securities laws. Without limiting the foregoing, the Company agrees that under applicable securities law and “no action” letters in effect as of the date of this Agreement that the holding period under Rule 144(d) with respect to any shares of Class A Common Stock issued to be in exchange for Class D Units hereunder shall be deemed to have commenced upon the initial issuance date of such Class D Units.

[Signature Page Follows]

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Agreement to be duly executed and delivered, all as of the date first set forth above.

 

STEPSTONE GROUP INC.

By:

 

/s/ Scott Hart           

Name:

 

Scott Hart

Title:

 

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

STEPSTONE GROUP LP

By:

 

StepStone Group Holdings LLC, its general partner

By:

 

/s/ Scott Hart           

Name:

 

Scott Hart

Title:

 

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

 

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Signed by each Asset Class Head, as attorney-in-fact on behalf of each Seller identified in the Transaction Agreement naming such Asset Class Head

SIRA Asset Class Head:

By:

 

/s/ James O’Leary     

 

Name: James O’Leary

 

Title:  Attorney-in-fact

SRE Asset Class Head:

By:

 

/s/ Jeffrey Giller      

 

Name: Jeffrey Giller

 

Title:  Attorney-in-fact

 

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EXHIBIT A

FORM OF

CLASS D ELECTIVE EXCHANGE NOTICE

StepStone Group Inc.

4225 Executive Square, Suite 1600

La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone:

E-mail:

Attention: Chief Legal Officer

StepStone Group LP

4225 Executive Square, Suite 1600

La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone:

E-mail:

Attention: Chief Legal Officer

Reference is hereby made to the Class D Exchange Agreement, dated as of May 31, 2024 (the “Class D Exchange Agreement”), among StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), and the Partnership Unitholders (as defined therein) from time to time party thereto. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein shall have the meanings given to them in the Exchange Agreement.

The undersigned Partnership Unitholder hereby transfers to the Partnership or the Company (in the event that the Company determined to effect a direct exchange with the undersigned Partnership Unitholder) the number of Exchangeable Units set forth below, in Exchange for either shares of Class A Common Stock to be issued in its name (or the name of its designee) as set forth below or, at the option of the Company, the Cash Settlement payable to the account set forth below, in accordance with the terms of the Class D Exchange Agreement.

Legal Name of Partnership Unitholder1:

 

 

 

 

Maximum Number of Class D Units to be Exchanged (which amount is estimated to have a fair value of at least $100,000 or represents all Class D Units held by the undersigned):

 

 

Limitation on Tax Benefit Payments under Section 2.01(d) of the Tax Receivable Agreement (choose one of the below):

    % of the amount realized

$     (specify dollar amount)

    % of the Basis Adjustment with respect to the Adjusted Assets as a result of the Exchange

Partnership Unitholder desires to have the shares of Class A Common Stock be settled through delivery to the holder’s brokerage account with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). The Company is authorized to deliver such Class A Common Stock to the account specified by Morgan Stanley. The Partnership’s transfer agent may request further information from the Partnership Unitholder.

[Include bracketed language if entering into a Rule 10b5-1 plan.] [The Partnership Unitholder has entered into a Rule 10b5-1 plan (“Plan”) with Morgan Stanley on or about the date hereof. Partnership Unitholder

 

1 If the holder is an entity, such as an LLC or a trust, please indicate the formal legal name of the holder.

 

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acknowledges and agrees that to the extent Class A Common Stock is to be sold pursuant to the Plan, the shares delivered upon Exchange shall be used first for such purpose. The Partnership Unitholder acknowledges that if it enters into a Rule 10b5-1 plan to sell shares of Class A Common Stock delivered upon Exchange, such Partnership Unitholder cannot withdraw or amend this Exchange Notice despite the provisions for revocation set out in the Exchange Agreement.]

Exercise Contingencies: In accordance with Section 2.1(a)(i)(C) of the Exchange Agreement, the undersigned Partnership Unitholder notifies the Company that this election to exchange is contingent upon:

(1) the Exchange occurring on [DATE] (or as soon thereafter as the Company can effect such Exchange) (“Exchange Date”); and

(2) [add other conditions, as desired, for example, to track the Rule 10b5-1 plan] [the closing price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock is at least $[XX.XX] per share on the last trading day prior to the Exchange Date].2

If the undersigned Partnership Unitholder is not a U.S. person, such Partnership Unitholder understands and agrees that (i) the Company or its affiliates is required to withhold taxes due in connection with an Exchange and pay such taxes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service within 20 calendar days following such Exchange, (ii) the Partnership Unitholder is ultimately responsible for the payment of applicable withholding taxes and must pay the requisite amount to the Company within 15 calendar days following such Exchange, (iii) to the extent the Partnership Unitholder determines to sell a portion of the Exchanged Class A Common Stock via Morgan Stanley in order to have the cash to satisfy such withholding taxes, it shall enter into a Variable Standing Letter of Authorization with Morgan Stanley to direct that the relevant amount be paid directly to the Company from the proceeds of such sale, (iv) to the extent there is any shortfall in amounts paid to the Company necessary to satisfy applicable withholding taxes within 15 calendar days following such Exchange, the Partnership Unitholder agrees to pay to the Company any such shortfall no later than the 18th calendar day following such Exchange, (v) should the Company not receive the requisite amount to satisfy the relevant withholding tax obligation by the 20th calendar day following such Exchange, such Partnership Unitholder agrees that the Company or the relevant affiliate will withhold such amount from any amounts due to it, including from Partnership distributions.

The undersigned Partnership Unitholder hereby represents and warrants that (i) the Partnership Unitholder has all requisite legal capacity and authority to execute and deliver this Exchange Notice and to perform the undersigned’s obligations hereunder; (ii) the execution and delivery of this Exchange Notice and the consummation of the Exchange have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate or other entity action on the part of the Partnership Unitholder; (iii) this Exchange Notice constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of the undersigned Partnership Unitholder enforceable against it in accordance with its terms, except as enforcement may be limited by equitable principles or by bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium or similar laws relating to or limiting creditors’ rights generally; (iv) the Exchangeable Units subject to this Exchange Notice are being transferred to the Partnership or the Company, as applicable, free and clear of any pledge, lien, security interest, encumbrance, equities or claim; (v) no consent, approval, authorization, order, registration or qualification of any third party or with any court or governmental agency or body having jurisdiction over the undersigned or the Exchangeable Units subject to this Exchange Notice is required to be obtained by the undersigned for the transfer of such Exchangeable Units to the Partnership or the Company, as applicable; (vi) the Partnership Unitholder is an “accredited investor” within the meaning of Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act, and is not acquiring the shares of Class A Common Stock with the intent to distribute them in violation of the Securities Act; (vii) the Partnership Unitholder is not aware of or in possession of any material non-public information concerning the Company or the Class A Common Stock and (viii) either (x) the Class D Units being exchanged have been held by the undersigned for a period of at least one year (after taking into account the holding period allowed by Rule 144(d) under the Securities Act) or (y) (i) the Class D Units being exchanged have been held by the undersigned for a period of at least six months (after taking into account the holding period allowed by Rule 144(d) under the Securities Act), (ii) the undersigned acknowledges that

 

2 To the extent you are a non-U.S. Partnership Unitholder and choose to enter into a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan in order to sell Class A Common Stock to cover for withholding taxes, it is recommended that you do not set a minimum price for sale of such Class A Common Stock.

 

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the Class A Common Stock will upon issuance remain restricted securities (as term is used in Rule 144 of the Securities Act) and (iii) the undersigned agrees and covenants that it will comply with, and cause its broker to comply with, the requirements of Rule 144 in connection with any sale or transfer of the Shares, including any requirements applicable to the sale or transfer of control securities by an affiliate if the Shareholder is deemed an affiliate of the Company at the time of such sale or transfer.

The undersigned hereby irrevocably constitutes and appoints any officer of the Partnership as the attorney of the undersigned, with full power of substitution and resubstitution in the premises, to do any and all things and to take any and all actions that may be necessary to transfer the Partnership Units subject to this Exchange Notice and to deliver to the undersigned the shares of Class A Common Stock or the Cash Settlement to be delivered in Exchange therefor.

[Signature Page Follows]

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, by authority duly given, has caused this Exchange Notice to be executed and delivered by the undersigned or by its duly authorized attorney.

 

  

Partnership Unitholder:

  

                 

  

Name:

  

Authorized Signatory:

  

Dated:

 

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EXHIBIT B

FORM OF

JOINDER

This Joinder (“Joinder”) is a joinder to the Exchange Agreement, dated as of May 31, 2024 (the “Agreement”), among StepStone Group Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), StepStone Group LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), and each of the Partnership Unitholders from time to time party thereto. Capitalized terms used but not defined in this Joinder shall have the meanings given to them in the Agreement. The Partnership, the Company and the undersigned agree that all questions concerning the construction, validity and interpretation of this Joinder shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the law of the State of Delaware, without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule, notwithstanding that public policy in Delaware or any other forum jurisdiction might indicate that the laws of that or any other jurisdiction should otherwise apply based on contacts with such state or otherwise. In the event of any conflict between this Joinder and the Agreement, the terms of this Joinder shall control.

The undersigned, having acquired shares of Class D Units, hereby joins and enters into the Agreement. By signing and returning this Joinder to the Partnership and the Company, the undersigned (A) accepts and agrees to be bound by and subject to all of the terms and conditions of and agreements of a Partnership Unitholder contained in the Agreement, with all attendant rights, duties and obligations of a Partnership Unitholder thereunder and (B) makes each of the representations and warranties of a Partnership Unitholder set forth in Section 3.3 of the Agreement as fully as if such representations and warranties were set forth herein. The parties to the Agreement shall treat the execution and delivery hereof by the undersigned as the execution and delivery of the Agreement by the undersigned and, upon receipt of this Joinder by the Partnership and the Company, the signature of the undersigned set forth below shall constitute a counterpart signature to the signature page of the Agreement.

 

Unitholder Name:

By:

 

 

Name:

Title:

Address for notices:

Copies to:

 

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