Category: Investor Relations and Communications

SEC Adopts Proposed Rules for Procedural Requirements and Resubmission Thresholds for Shareholder Proposals and Exemptions from Proxy Rules for Proxy Voting Advisors

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At the SEC’s open meeting yesterday (November 5, 2019), the Commissioners approved two new proposed rules in their ongoing efforts to modernize proxy solicitation and shareholder proxy access, as follows: (1) amendments to certain procedural requirements, including ownership requirements, documentation requirements, meetings to discuss proposals and limitations on the number of proposals submitted, and resubmission thresholds for shareholder proposals, and (2) amendments to proxy rules...

SEC to Discuss Proxy Adviser Regulation and Resubmission Thresholds for Shareholder Proposals at November 5, 2019 Open Meeting

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Yesterday the SEC announced the agenda for its upcoming open meeting to be held on Tuesday, November 5 at 10:00 a.m. EST. All SEC open meetings are webcast and a hyperlink to the webcast will be posted to www.sec.gov shortly before the start of a meeting. The SEC has indicated that the agenda, in part, will focus on “continued efforts to facilitate constructive shareholder engagement and...

Observations and Recommendations on the SEC’s Recent Process Changes for Excluding Shareholder Proposals

Cam C. Hoang

Overview Earlier this month, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance announced that its staff may respond orally instead of in writing to some shareholder proposal no-action requests, beginning with the 2019-2020 proxy season.   Furthermore, the staff may now more frequently decline to state a view on the no-action request, whereas in the past, it had typically concurred or disagreed with a company’s asserted basis for...

SEC Charges TherapeuticsMD with Regulation FD Violations

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Last week, the SEC issued a reminder that Regulation FD remains a vital element of the federal securities regulations. In the first enforcement action regarding Regulation FD since 2013, the SEC charged TherapeuticsMD Inc., a pharmaceutical company, with violations of Regulation FD based on its sharing of material, nonpublic information with sell-side research analysts without also disclosing the same information to the public. The SEC’s...

SEC Updates FAQs Regarding the Ongoing Government Shutdown

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On January 10, 2019, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to handle certain filing matters during the U.S. government shutdown, which is now entering its fourth week. (See, sec.gov/page/corpfin-section-landing.) The staff revised questions 4 and 5 and added new questions 6 and 9. Question 4 was revised to emphasize that Rule 430A is...

SEC Fines ADT Inc. $100k for Non-GAAP Disclosure in Earnings Releases

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On December 26, 2018, the SEC filed a cease-and-desist order and fined ADT Inc. (“ADT”) $100,000 for its use of non-GAAP financial measures without giving equal or greater prominence to the comparable GAAP financial measures. The order serves as a reminder of the importance of the SEC’s “equal or greater prominence” rule when disclosing non-GAAP financial measures, even when comparable GAAP financial measures are also...

U.S. Government Shutdown Impacts SEC Operations, EDGAR and Other Filings, Enforcement and Regulatory Activities

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In response to the U.S. government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its Divisions of Corporation Finance and Investment Management published public guidance regarding the impacts on their operations. Although electronic filings will continue to be accepted in many cases, as described below, nearly all SEC operations, including the review and processing of filings and enforcement and...

ISS Provides 2019 Voting Policy Updates

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ISS recently announced the 2019 updates to its proxy voting policies, which can be found here and which will be applied to annual meetings held on or after February 1, 2019. Among the various updates provided by ISS, the following policies are particularly relevant for our clients, because they expand the circumstances in which ISS may recommend votes against director candidates: Absence of Board Gender...

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...