I realize this probably happens more than I think, while at the same time something people in the industry don't talk about out in the open.
A contact of mine in the business mentioned to me a few years back that he had completed an acquisition for his firm at the time, whereby his firm had supplied the 90% LP equity piece to a developer on a ground up development project. He told me that due to an existing relationship with the sponsor, he was given a piece of the acquisition fee from the development post closing, as well as a piece of the developers promote, in exchange for getting his firm to commit to the deal. However it was done, it certainly sounds to me like a definition of a "kick back".
He told me that he knows of similar situations occurring within the CRE/Acquisitions side of the business. Similarly, he claims that he has worked deals with brokers who bring him off market deals, similarly, the broker giving him a piece of the buyer-paid fee on the deal in exchange for him getting his firm to commit.
Just curious if others on the board have heard about this happening as well, obviously not looking for anyone to spill the beans or name names, but just curious in general if this type of stuff is par for the course in the business.