Governance & Compliance Insider

Proposed SEC Exemption for Certain Finders

Proposed SEC Exemption for Certain Finders

On October 7, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (”SEC”) proposed a new limited, conditional exemption from broker-dealer registration requirements of Section 15(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) for “finders” who assist issuers with raising capital in private markets from accredited investors. The proposed exemption would permit natural persons to engage in certain defined and limited activities involving...

It’s Time to Talk Diversity in D and O Questionnaires (with Sample Question)

It’s Time to Talk Diversity in D and O Questionnaires (with Sample Question)

Corporate secretaries of public companies will soon be updating their D&O questionnaires for the 2021 proxy season, and they should consider whether to include a question that allows directors to self-identify as diverse.  While companies may be hesitant to raise the issue, increasingly, they are being asked for diversity data on their boards and employees.   In recent news: The California governor has signed into law...

SEC Updates Accredited Investor and Qualified Institutional Investor Definitions

SEC Updates Accredited Investor and Qualified Institutional Investor Definitions

On August 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) adopted amendments to update the definition of “accredited investor” in the Commission’s rules governing certain kinds of private securities offerings, including securities offerings to natural persons and entities conducted pursuant to Rules 506(b) and 506(c) of Regulation D under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and the definition...

What Counts as a “Perk” During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What Counts as a “Perk” During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Companies have offered benefits to employees, including executive officers, to enable them to continue their work and otherwise to make their lives easier during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now the SEC has released additional guidance as to when these benefits constitute perquisites or personal benefits that should be included in executive compensation for proxy disclosure purposes.  See Question 219.05 of the SEC’s Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations. ...

SEC Updates Guidance on Expiring Confidential Treatment Orders

SEC Updates Guidance on Expiring Confidential Treatment Orders

On September 9, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance updated its guidance to outline three alternatives for handling an expiring confidential treatment order (“CTO”): 1) If the contract continues to be material but the previously redacted information is no longer confidential: refile the unredacted exhibit. 2) If the contract continues to be material, and the previously redacted information continues to be confidential, request to extend...

SEC Updates Requirements for Business, Legal Proceedings and Risk Factor Disclosures

SEC Updates Requirements for Business, Legal Proceedings and Risk Factor Disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has adopted amendments to Regulation S-K to update the description of business (Item 101), legal proceedings (Item 103), and risk factors (Item 105) that public companies are required to provide in certain registration statements and reports. These disclosure requirements have not undergone significant revisions in over 30 years. In related remarks, SEC Chair Jay Clayton emphasized the modernizing...

SEC Creates New File Transfer System for Supplemental Materials and Rule 83 Confidential Treatment Requests

SEC Creates New File Transfer System for Supplemental Materials and Rule 83 Confidential Treatment Requests

The SEC announced last week that in light of COVID-19 concerns, the Division of Corporation Finance is providing a temporary secure file transfer process for the submission of (i) supplemental materials that are requested by the SEC about registrants and their registration statements, reports and activities pursuant to Rules 418 and 12b-4 and (ii) information subject to Rule 83 confidential treatment requests. Rule 83 requests...

SEC Supplements COVID-19 Disclosure Guidance Ahead of Second Quarter Reports

SEC Supplements COVID-19 Disclosure Guidance Ahead of Second Quarter Reports

The Securities and Exchange Commission continues to encourage public companies to provide disclosures that allow investors to evaluate the current and expected impact of COVID-19 through the eyes of management and to proactively revise and update disclosures as facts and circumstances change. Ahead of public company reports of their second quarter results, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance has released a supplement to CF Disclosure...

SEC Adopts Amendments to Improve Financial Disclosures About Acquisitions and Dispositions of Businesses

SEC Adopts Amendments to Improve Financial Disclosures About Acquisitions and Dispositions of Businesses

On May 21, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced rule and form amendments that will affect registrants’ financial disclosures relating to business acquisitions and dispositions.  The amendments are intended to streamline the required disclosures, make more meaningful information available to investors and facilitate access to capital.  These amendments mark the culmination of a year-long effort by the SEC that began with proposed rules changes...

SEC Releases FAQs Relating to Use of Form S-3 Registration Statement in Light of COVID-19 Order

SEC Releases FAQs Relating to Use of Form S-3 Registration Statement in Light of COVID-19 Order

On May 4, 2020, the SEC issued three FAQs relating to the unique circumstances arising from COVID-19 and the use of Form S-3 registration statement.  The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance is not including them within their Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations since these responses relate to unique circumstances arising from COVID-19.  The staff may supplement or amend these responses. The FAQs should provide clarity to...