On March 15, Acting Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Allison Herren Lee made a public statement (Statement) requesting public input from investors, registrants and other market participants regarding climate change disclosures. In light of increased demand for company disclosure regarding climate change risks, impacts and opportunities, Acting Chair Lee has requested SEC staff to evaluate the SEC’s disclosure rules with an emphasis on promoting disclosures that are consistent, comparable and reliable.
Continue Reading Acting SEC Chair Lee Provides Public Statement Welcoming Public Comment on Climate Change Disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted amendments to the definitions of “Accelerated Filer” and “Large Accelerated Filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The SEC originally proposed these amendments in May 2019, as summarized in a prior Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest article. As a result of these amendments, a greater number of smaller companies will be excluded from accelerated and large accelerated filer status, which will ease reporting burdens and reduce compliance costs for those companies.
Continue Reading SEC Amends the Definitions of “Accelerated Filer” and “Large Accelerated Filer”

On December 23, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) proposed amendments to Rule 5110, as modified by Partial Amendments No. 1 and No. 2 (Amended Rule 5110), on an accelerated basis in an effort to modernize, simplify and streamline the rule.
Continue Reading SEC Approves Amended Rule Change to FINRA Rule 5110

On November 12, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) published its U.S. 2020 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates, which will be effective for shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2020. In general, the updates involve clarification of guidelines and formalization of factors to codify ISS’s existing approach on recommendations relating to specific issuers.
Continue Reading ISS Releases 2020 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

On May 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to the accelerated filer and large accelerated filer definitions in Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 12b-2. The proposed amendments would exclude certain lower-revenues companies from being classified as accelerated or large accelerated filers, which would reduce costs for those companies.
Continue Reading SEC Proposes Amendments to Update the Accelerated and Large Accelerated Filer Definitions

As a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2015 request for comments on Regulation S-X, the SEC recently proposed amendments (the Proposal) to improve the financial disclosures provided to investors concerning an acquisition or disposition of a business. The Proposal is designed to reduce complexity and compliance costs and facilitate more timely access to capital for those complying with such rules.
Continue Reading SEC-Proposed Amendments to Financial Disclosures for Acquisitions and Dispositions of Businesses

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted final rules to modernize and simplify the disclosure requirements for public companies under Regulation S-K. This rulemaking was mandated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), and the final rules are substantially in the forms originally proposed by the SEC in October 2017 (as discussed in the October 20, 2017 edition of the Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest).

The final rules make several significant changes to Regulation S-K and related rules and forms. The following are some highlights:
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Rules to Modernize and Simplify Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that it had at last adopted final rules to implement Section 14(j) (Disclosure of Hedging by Employees and Directors) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which was enacted in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. New Item 407(i) of Regulation S-K will require a company to describe any practices or policies it has adopted regarding the ability of employees (including officers) or directors, or their designees, to purchase financial instruments, or otherwise engage in transactions, that hedge or offset, or are designed to hedge or offset, any decrease in the market value of equity securities of the company held directly or indirectly by employees or directors, including company equity securities granted as compensation. This disclosure will be required in proxy or information statements relating to the election of directors. The final rules specify that the disclosure requirement will apply to equity securities of the company, its parents, its subsidiaries and subsidiaries of the company’s parents, but do not define the term “designee” (instead requiring a facts and circumstances analysis).
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Final Rules for Disclosure of Hedging Policies

On July 31, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission released two new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs), in the Proxy Rules and Schedules 14A/14C section, providing guidance on the use of Notices of Exempt Solicitation.
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs Regarding Notices of Exempt Solicitation