Author: Cam C. Hoang

Cam C. Hoang

Cam helps clients with corporate matters including governance and SEC compliance, equity plans and executive compensation, securities offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to her return to Dorsey, Cam was Senior Counsel and Assistant Secretary at General Mills, Inc., where she helped the company achieve its corporate governance and SEC compliance objectives, worked on securities offerings and M&A transactions, risk management, foundation governance, and general corporate and commercial matters. Before joining General Mills in 2005, Cam was an associate for five years in the Dorsey Corporate Group in Minneapolis.

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Johnson & Johnson May Exclude Shareholder Proposal for Binding Arbitration on Securities Claims

Cam C. Hoang

On February 11, 2019, the Staff of the Division of Corporation Finance granted no-action relief permitting Johnson & Johnson to omit a a shareholder proposal from its proxy statement relating to mandatory arbitration of shareholder claims arising under the federal securities laws. The Staff granted the request under Rule 14a-8(i)(2), which permits exclusion of a proposal that, if implemented, would cause the company to violate...

When It Comes to Self-Identified Diversity: Trust But Verify

Cam C. Hoang

On February 6, 2019, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance released Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (identical Questions 116.11 and 133.13) advising companies on how they should disclose directors’ self-identified specific diversity characteristics (such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or cultural background) in proxy statements. In brief, Corp Fin would expect the company’s discussion of directors’ experience, qualifications, attributes or skills pursuant...

Did you catch these developments for the 2019 proxy statement and Form 10-K?

Cam C. Hoang

The 10-K and proxy season begins in a little over a month for companies with calendar fiscal year-ends.  The following governance and disclosure developments should be considered in the course of preparing these filings. For additional background, see our presentation and supplemental materials for Preparing for the 2019 SEC Reporting Season. Proxy Statement Impact of the government shutdown: During the government shut down, the SEC is...

ISS Updates FAQs on US Compensation Policies

Cam C. Hoang

ISS released its annual update of frequently asked questions on its US Compensation Policies on December 20, 2018 (preliminary updates had been released in November). The updates are effective for shareholder meetings occurring on or after February 1, 2019. There are nine new or materially updated questions, which are summarized below: #19 Will any of the quantitative pay-for-performance screens change in 2019?  No.  The screens...

SEC Requests Comments on Earnings Releases and Quarterly Reporting

Cam C. Hoang

The SEC issued a request for comment on the nature and timing of disclosures that reporting companies must provide in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, including when the requirements overlap with earnings releases furnished on Form 8-K.  Comments will be due within 90 days of publication of this request in the Federal register.  Comments may be submitted through the SEC’s Internet comment form on its...

SEC Clarifies Effective Date for Disclosure Simplification Rules

Cam C. Hoang

In August, the SEC adopted amendments updating and simplifying disclosure rules. See our prior summary here. Notable amendments included: the extension of a previously annual requirement to interim periods, to present a statement of changes in shareholders’ equity and to disclose the amount of dividends per share for each class of shares (vs common shares only) (either in a separate statement or a footnote)(revised Rules...

SEC Withdraws No Action Letters on Proxy Advisory Firms

Cam C. Hoang

In order to facilitate discussion on the role of proxy advisory firms at the upcoming Roundtable on the Proxy Process, which is scheduled for November 2018, the SEC staff has determined to withdraw two no action letters that provided comfort to investment advisers in relying on proxy advisory firm recommendations: In Egan-Jones Proxy Services (May 27, 2004), the staff had confirmed that by voting based on the...

New SEC Rules Eliminates Duplicative, Overlapping, Outdated Disclosure Requirements

Cam C. Hoang

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced last Friday that it has adopted amendments to certain disclosure requirements that have become duplicative, overlapping, or outdated in light of other Commission disclosure requirements, US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), or changes in the information environment.   These amendments were originally proposed in 2016, in order to implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  ...

SEC Issues $1.75 Million Penalty Over Perks Disclosures

Cam C. Hoang

A recent SEC consent order against The Dow Chemical Company reminds companies that when evaluating whether or not to disclose a payment or benefit to an executive as a perk in a proxy statement, the fact that the item has a tangential business purpose, or is convenient for the company, is insufficient grounds to exclude the item as a perk.  In order to be excluded as...

SEC Approves Series of Final and Proposed Rules in Line with Stated Priorities

Cam C. Hoang

The SEC held a very busy open meeting yesterday, voting on the following final and proposed rules: Adoption of amendments to modernize the definition of “smaller reporting company,” which was established in 2008.  See our previous discussion of the amendments.   Adoption of amendments to require the use of the Inline XBRL format in certain filings, which were proposed in 2017 and have been under...