Securities Exchange Act of 1934

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed an exemption from broker-dealer registration requirements for certain “finders” who raise capital for issuers in private offerings and receive transaction-based compensation for doing so (i.e., a “success fee”).
Continue Reading SEC Proposes Allowing ‘Finders’ to Raise Capital Without Registering as Broker-Dealers

On September 21, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI) addressing, and limiting, the ability of shell companies, including special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), to use Form S-3 during the 12 months following a business combination.
Continue Reading SEC Issues C&DI on Use of Form S-3 by SPACs

On September 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt amendments to the rules governing the process for the submission of shareholder proposals to be included in a registrant’s proxy statement. Rule 14a-8 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) requires registrants holding a shareholder meeting that is subject to the Exchange Act proxy rules to include in their proxy statement proposals submitted by shareholders, so long as the applicable procedural and substantive requirements are met.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Amendments to Shareholder Proposal Rules

On September 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) Rule 15c2-11 to modernize the rule, including by recognizing advances in communications technology. The rule requires broker-dealers to review key, basic issuer information before initiating or resuming quotations for the issuer’s security in the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
Continue Reading SEC Amends Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 to Enhance Retail Investor Protections and Modernize Governing Quotations for Over-the-Counter Securities

On September 9, the Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission amended CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 7 providing guidance to address alternatives for handling expiring “traditional” confidential treatment requests. This guidance amends and supplements Topic No. 7 issued by the Division on December 19, 2019.

The Division notes in Topic 7 that a company that previously has obtained a confidential treatment order with respect to a particular contract have three choices of what to do when the order is about to expire.
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Additional Guidance Related to Expiring Confidential Treatment Orders

On July 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the adoption of amendments (the Amendments) to the SEC’s rules governing proxy solicitations that are intended to “facilitate the ability of those who use proxy voting advice — investors and others who vote on investors’ behalf — to make informed voting decisions without imposing undue costs or delays that could adversely affect the timely provision of proxy voting advice.” The Amendments represent a modified version of the amendments the SEC originally proposed in November 2019, which were previously discussed in the November 8, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Amendments and Issues Guidance Related to Proxy Voting Advice

On June 22, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Brett Redfearn, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, spoke together on an SEC-sponsored virtual forum about modernizing the US Equity Market Structure. Chairman Clayton identified the market for thinly traded securities, retail fraud and National Market System (NMS) market data and access as three current targets for SEC initiatives.
Continue Reading SEC Chairman Speaks on Modernizing US Equity Market Structure

On June 17, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a series of proposed rule changes (Rule Changes) that aim to support the partial return of Designated Market Makers (DMMs) to NYSE’s New York trading floor. For a temporary period that begins on June 17, 2020, and ends on the earlier of a full reopening of the New York trading floor facilities to DMMs or after the NYSE closes on June 30, 2020 (Covered Period), the following Rule Changes would apply:
Continue Reading NYSE Proposes Rule Changes Regarding the Partial Re-Opening of the Trading Floor

On May 28, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments to NFA Interpretive Notice 9050 regarding risk disclosure statements for security futures contracts. NFA Compliance Rule 2-30(b) and Interpretive Notice 9050 require NFA Members and Associates, who are registered as brokers or dealers under Section 15(b)(11) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, to provide a uniform disclosure statement for security futures products (SFPs) to a customer at or before the time the Member approves the account to trade SFPs.
Continue Reading NFA Proposes Amendments to Interpretive Notice on Disclosures for Security Futures Contracts