Category: Investor Relations and Communications

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...

SEC Guidance on Cybersecurity Disclosure and Policies – Recap of Dorsey Webinar Presentation

Gary L. Tygesson

Earlier this week, Dorsey hosted a webinar panel presentation on the SEC’s recent guidance on cybersecurity disclosures and policies. The webinar provided a detailed walk-through of the SEC’s guidance, including issues related to enhanced disclosure, insider trading, and Reg FD policies. The panel also discussed the impact of the SEC’s guidance within the changing landscape of cybersecurity and current developments in shareholder litigation, SEC enforcement actions,...

NYSE Rule Change Requires Ten Minutes Advance Notice of Public Announcement of Dividends or Stock Distributions

Jason Brenkert

On August 14, 2017, the SEC approved an NYSE rule change that requires listed companies to give notice to the NYSE at least 10 minutes before any public announcement of dividends or stock distributions, even if such announcements occur outside the hours of the Exchange’s current immediate release policy. The rule change was effective immediately. The Exchange’s immediate release policy (Sections 202.05 and 202.06 of...

Shareholder Proposals Restricting Board/Management Access to Preliminary Voting Results May Be Excluded

Cam C. Hoang

On January 6, 2017, the SEC Staff granted no-action relief that would allow companies to exclude shareholder proposals preventing management or the board from accessing preliminary voting results on uncontested matters prior to the annual meeting, including a running tally of votes for and against, and using that information to solicit votes. See, The Boeing Company, Ferro Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc.,...

ISS Releases New and Updated FAQs on U.S. Equity Compensation Plans

Cam C. Hoang

Last Friday, ISS released new and updated FAQS on U.S. Equity Compensation Plans, as summarized below. These FAQs provide new and updated guidance on ISS’s evaluation of equity compensation plan proposals, including treatment of performance-based awards in burn rate calculations, bundling of plan amendment proposals, updates to ISS’s Equity Plan Scorecard (EPSC) policies, and the EPSC as it applies to newly public companies. Since 2015,...

ISS Releases Executive Summary of 2017 Proxy Voting Policies

Cam C. Hoang

ISS has published an executive summary of 2017 updates to its benchmark proxy voting policies for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific regions.  The updated policies will generally be applied to shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2017. U.S. policy changes are summarized below, and companies should keep them in mind as they consider policies on director compensation, dividend and vesting policies for stock awards,...

ISS Rebrands “QuickScore” to “QualityScore,” Adds and Updates Governance Factors

Cam C. Hoang

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is rebranding its governance scoring solution “ISS QuickScore” to “ISS QualityScore,” though the underlying methodology appears very similar.  As in the past, covered companies can review, verify and provide feedback on the data used to determine their scores via a complimentary Data Verification tool accessed through the Governance Analytics platform.  See instructions for accessing the Data Verification tool here. Data verification...

New CDIs Help Issuers With Pay Ratio Disclosure, A Little

Whitney Holmes

On October 19th, the SEC released five new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“CDIs”) relating to the upcoming “Pay Ratio Disclosure” requirements in Item 402(u) of Regulation S-K. Item 402(u) Pay Ratio Disclosure requirements, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, require each covered public company to make annual disclosure of the ratio of its principal executive officer’s total annual compensation to...

A Call to Action: Leading Executives issue “Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance”

Jonathan B. Abram

Citing the importance of publicly owned companies to the U.S. economy, a group of thirteen leading executives issued a set of principles, on July 21, 2016, outlining their vision for the critical elements of good corporate governance.  The report, entitled, Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance, was signed by a diverse group of executives ranging from Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase; Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.;...