Governance & Compliance Insider

Nasdaq Doesn’t Require Shareholder Approval of Equity Compensation Plan Amendments to Increase Tax Withholding

Kimberley R. Anderson

Material amendments to equity compensation plans require shareholder approval under Nasdaq rules. Last week, Nasdaq posted a new FAQ #1269 regarding amendments to equity compensation plans to increase the tax withholding rate.  FAQ #1269 is set forth below. “Generally, an amendment to increase the withholding rate to satisfy tax obligations would not be considered a material amendment to an equity compensation plan. Allowing the holder...

Hyperlinks Proposed for SEC Filings

Steven Khadavi

On August 31, 2016, as part of the SEC’s continued Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative, the SEC proposed amendments that would require the inclusion of hyperlinks to exhibits to most registration statements and periodic and current reports. The proposed rules would also require these filings to be in HTML format. Read more in our full summary here:  https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/09/hyperlinks-proposed-for-sec-filings

NYSE Clarifies Answers to Certain FAQs on Equity Compensation Plans

Cam C. Hoang

Rule 303A.08 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual requires that shareholders must be given the opportunity to vote on all equity-compensation plans and material revisions to such plans, with limited exceptions specified in the Rule. The NYSE issued clarifications to certain FAQs on the Rule on August 18, 2016, which are summarized in the following memo: https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/08/nyse-clarifies-answers-to-certain-faqs

Comment Period Extended by a Month for Proposed Mining Property Disclosure Rules

Kimberley R. Anderson

On June 16, 2016, the SEC proposed new rules to update disclosure requirements for mining properties.  The intent of the extensive and complex proposed rules is to align them more closely with current industry and global standards, specifically disclosure standards based on the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards.  The SEC’s current disclosure requirements for mining properties, Industry Guide 7 (Mining Operations), are woefully...

Can you design better compensation disclosure? The SEC wants your thoughts on S-K Item 402 – and the rest of Subpart 400

Kimberley R. Anderson

As part of its Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative, the SEC has previously requested comments on parts of Regulation S-K and Regulation S-X.  On August 25th, the SEC requested comment on Subpart 400 of Regulation S-K.  Subpart 400 covers a lot of territory, including disclosure requirements on management, compensation and corporate governance.   The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) required the SEC to review Regulation S-K...

SEC Proposes Amendments to Update and Simplify Disclosure Requirements

Randal R. Jones

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently announced proposed amendments in order to update and simplify its disclosure requirements. The proposed amendments are intended to simplify compliance efforts and reduce the disclosure burden on companies subject to the SEC’s public reporting requirements, while maintaining the integrity of publicly disclosed information available to market participants. The proposed amendments address a number of SEC disclosure requirements...

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.;...

Can a shareholder who is unable to rely on the HSR passive investor exemption still file a Schedule 13G? Maybe, says the SEC Staff in new guidance

Kimberley R. Anderson

Last Tuesday, the US Department of Justice announced a record $11 million fine against an activist investment firm for improperly claiming an exemption from Hart-Scott-Rodino’s notification and waiting period provisions reserved for passive investors.  Two days later, in the wake of the DOJ’s announcement, the SEC Staff issued guidance stating that the inability to rely on the HSR passive investor exemption (relating to the acquisition...

2016 Proxy Season Review: Shareholder Proposals

Cam C. Hoang

With most of the 2016 proxy season in the rear-view mirror, it’s clear that shareholder proposals continue to be a preferred vehicle for certain kinds of shareholder activism, though with limited effectiveness unless the company and the shareholder reach a negotiated outcome. Proxy access proved to be the notable exception. Overall, the total number of shareholder proposals submitted (916) was down from the all-time high...

2016 Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law

Kimberley R. Anderson

The DGCL was amended in June.  Most notably, the amendments (i) broadened the availability of Section 251(h) mergers consummated without stockholder approval following a first-step tender or exchange offer for all shares entitled to vote on the merger, (ii) eliminated de minimis appraisal claims under Section 262, and (iii) allows companies to make a pre-judgment payment to dissenting stockholders to reduce interest costs in connection...