Governance & Compliance Insider

The House Financial Services Committee to Hold a Hearing on Financial CHOICE Act 2.0 this Wednesday – Here’s a Summary of Governance and Executive Compensation Provisions

Cam C. Hoang

While passage in the House seems likely, the Financial Choice Act may undergo significant changes before it may pass in the Senate. Here is a summary of certain governance and executive compensation provisions that are included in the discussion draft: Prohibit Universal Proxy Ballots. Currently, companies are not required to use a universal proxy ballot in the event of a proxy contest, so shareholders receive...

Unexpected Risks of Early Exercise Incentive Stock Options

Jamison Klang

Companies that permit the grant of early exercise incentive stock options (“ISOs”) do so primarily to limit the impact of the alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). However, due to fairly counterintuitive tax regulations, structuring options in this fashion can expose optionees to negative tax consequences in the event of a disqualifying disposition. Read more about the tax effects of early exercise ISOs and how the tax...

Compensation to Newsletter Writers Must Be Disclosed

Kenneth G. Sam

On April 10, 2017, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement brought enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind various alleged stock promotion schemes. These actions arose when public companies, through promoters or communications firms, hired newsletter writers to generate publicity for their securities without publicly disclosing that the writers were being paid. While it is not illegal to hire newsletter writers, Section 17(b) of the...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting for Companies with More Than 250 Employees in Great Britain

Jason Brenkert

Beginning April 2017, companies with 250 or more employees in England, Wales and Scotland on April 5th should be aware of a requirement to begin publishing annually on their own website and on a government website the following four figures: Gender pay gap (mean and median averages) Gender bonus gap (mean and median averages) Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses Proportion of men and...

SEC Issues Final Rules to Make JOBS Act Inflation Adjustments and Amendments to Forms and Rules to Accommodate Emerging Growth Companies

Jason Brenkert

On March 31, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued final rules regarding inflation adjustments and other technical amendments under Title I and III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Under the inflation adjustments, the SEC adjusted the gross revenue threshold for an issuer to lose its status as an Emerging Growth Company (EGC) from $1.0 billion to $1.07 billion, a $70...

Disclosure Alert: Consider Transitional Disclosure on Revenue Recognition Standard

Gary L. Tygesson

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to encourage companies to provide useful disclosure to investors with regard to the new revenue recognition standard that will apply for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. The new standard not only changes the method for measuring revenue and the timing of revenue recognition, but also requires expanded disclosures to enable users of financial...

The Danger of Paying Finder’s Fees to Unregistered Broker-Dealers

Kenneth G. Sam

We get asked from time-to-time whether it is advisable for issuers to pay fees to unregistered “finders” for introducing potential investors in the United States to the issuer in connection with securities offerings. The short answer is “no.” Most finders are engaged by issuers under finder’s, advisory, or other arrangements, which typically require payment of “success fees” upon completion of a financing transaction. While these...

SEC Adopts T+2 Settlement Cycle

Jason Brenkert

On March 22, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted an amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) to shorten by one business day the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer securities transactions.  Currently, the standard settlement cycle for these transactions is three business days, known as T+3.  The amended rule shortens the settlement cycle to two business days, T+2. The amended rule will take effect on September...

Senate Banking Committee Focused on Deregulation

Jason Brenkert

On March 9, 2017, the Senate Banking Committee passed a series of four bills focused on deregulation, including one that would make it easier for privately held companies to issue stock awards through equity compensation plans. Each of the bills was a bipartisan effort. One bill eases certain restrictions on reporting on exchange traded funds (ETFs). The bill would address securities laws and regulations that...

SEC Adopts Use of Exhibit Hyperlinks in Filings

Steven Khadavi

We reported in September 2016 on proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rules requiring the use of hyperlinks to exhibits in most registration statements and periodic and current reports. On March 1, 2017, the SEC adopted final rules, largely in line with the proposed rules, amending Item 601 of Regulation S-K and Rules 102 and 105 of Regulation S-T. Read more in our eUpdate here: https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2017/03/sec-adopts-use-of-exhibit-hyperlinks-in-filings