On September 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), which requires a publicly held corporation with shares listed on “a major United States stock exchange” and whose principal executive offices are located in California (as reported on the corporation’s annual report on Form 10-K) (Covered Corporations) to have at least one female director serving on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. By December 31, 2021, a Covered Corporation must have at least (a) three female directors if its board consists of six or more members, (b) two female directors if its board consists of five members or (c) one female director if its board consists of four or fewer members. Under SB 826, a female is defined as any individual who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of such individual’s designated sex at birth.

Continue Reading

On August 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the adoption of proposed rule amendments (Amendments) to update and simplify certain disclosure requirements that “have become redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated or superseded” in light of (1) US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); (2) International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); (3) other SEC disclosure requirements; or (4) changes in the information environment, noting that the Amendments are intended to reduce the compliance burden for registrants without “significantly altering the total mix of information available to investors.” The SEC first proposed (and requested comment on) the Amendments in July 2016, as previously reported in the July 22, 2016 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest. The Amendments are part of the SEC’s ongoing efforts to review and improve disclosure requirements for the benefit of investors and issuers, as well as implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
Continue Reading

On August 17, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that, after speaking with “some of the world’s top business leaders” concerning ideas to improve business in the US, he has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to study the current requirement that publicly traded companies report financial results on a quarterly basis and explore the

On August 10, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission published A Small Entity Compliance Guide for Issuers (the Guide), which summarizes and explains rules adopted by the SEC with respect to the recently amended definition of “smaller reporting company” and the accommodations available to smaller reporting companies. The Guide is one of a

As previously reported in the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of June 1, 2018, on May 24, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the Act), Section 507 of which directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt an amendment to Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933. Rule 701 generally provides an exemption from the registration requirement imposed by the Securities Act for issuances of securities by a company that is not subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to its employees, directors and consultants under compensatory benefit plans. Pursuant to Section (e) of Rule 701, if the aggregate sales price or amount of securities sold by an issuer to investors in reliance on Rule 701 during any 12-month period exceeds $5 million, the issuer is required to deliver to investors an additional disclosure, including specified financial statements and risk factors. On July 18, consistent with the mandate under the Act, the SEC issued a final rule amending Section (e) of Rule 701 to increase the threshold for providing enhanced disclosure from $5 million to $10 million (subject to inflation adjustment every five years).
Continue Reading

On May 24, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. While the Act primarily serves to relieve smaller financial institutions from the burden of complying with certain requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Act also directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt amendments to Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and so-called “Regulation A+,” as summarized below.  
Continue Reading

On May 11, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Staff) issued 45 Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) that relate to the proxy rules and proxy statements, replacing the Staff’s prior interpretations that were published in the Proxy Rules and Schedule 14A Manual of Publicly Available Telephone Interpretations (the Manual) and the March 1999 Supplement to the Manual (the Supplement). Thirty-five of the C&DIs reiterate prior guidance from the Manual and the Supplement. This article highlights the six C&DIs that reflect substantive changes and the four C&DIs that reflect technical changes to the prior guidance in the Manual and the Supplement. The Staff also noted that it is in the process of updating other previously published interpretations relating to the proxy rules.
Continue Reading

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) recently launched the ISS Help Center, its new online communications portal that will help facilitate inquiries of ISS from investors, companies (issuers) and company advisors, including law firms and proxy solicitors, as well as responses from ISS to such inquiries. The ISS Help Center will provide a framework to submit

As previously discussed in the September 1edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) had issued Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-310, in which the FASB had proposed to remove its definition of materiality established in Concepts Statement No. (CON) 8, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, in favor

On November 6, the Division of Corporation Finance (Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI) 271.25 to address permissible safeguards for protection of Rule 701(e) electronic disclosures. Rule 701 provides an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 for offers and sales of securities under written compensatory benefit plans and contracts to an issuer’s employees, directors, consultants and advisors. Rule 701(e) requires an issuer relying on the Rule 701 exemption to deliver to each investor a copy of the applicable benefit plan or contract. In addition, if the issuer sells securities with a value in excess of $5 million during any consecutive 12-month period, then, a reasonable period of time before the date of sale, the issuer must deliver additional information listed in Rule 701(e) (including financial statements and information about the risks associated with the investment), which requirement may be satisfied by an issuer delivering such information electronically.
Continue Reading