Governance & Compliance Insider

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...

SEC Approves NASDAQ Rule Requiring Disclosure of “Golden Leash” Arrangements

Kimberley R. Anderson

Do your directors have a “golden leash”? If so, NASDAQ-listed companies will be required to publicly disclose those arrangements as a result of newly adopted rules. “Golden leash” arrangements are compensation arrangements between activist shareholders and their director nominee in connection with his or her service on, or candidacy for, a company’s board of directors, usually in connection with a proxy fight. In a typical...

SEC Releases Proposed Rules on Incentive-Based Compensation for Investment Advisers and Registered Broker Dealers

Cam C. Hoang

The SEC has issued its proposed rules on incentive-based compensation for investment advisers and registered broker dealers:https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2016-89.html. Comments are due by July 22, 2016.  The rules are part of a joint interagency rulemaking required by Dodd-Frank Act Section 956, which directs the agencies to prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risk-taking: (1) by providing an executive officer, employee, director, or principal shareholder of the...

SEC Issues Guidance to Tighten Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Kimberley R. Anderson

Many companies rely on non-GAAP financial measures to help explain company performance. The SEC is paying attention to the use of non-GAAP numbers and has provided more guidance to issuers. See our summary here: https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/05/tighten-use-of-non-gaap-financial-measures

Board Refreshment: Investors Respond to Trends in Mandatory Retirement Age and Tenure with More Stringent Voting Policies

Cam C. Hoang

Investors are making board refreshment a priority issue – they and companies are thinking creatively about term limits and other tools for board refreshment, as reported in this memo, which also provides a summary of current investor policies on director tenure: https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/04/investors-mandatory-retirement-age-and-tenure

Companies Accelerate Adoption of Proxy Access as SEC Continues to Grant No-Action Relief

Cam C. Hoang

Proxy access adoption has accelerated through the current proxy season.  According to the Office of the New York City Comptroller,as of April 2016, more than 210 companies had adopted proxy access bylaws, many in response to shareholder demands. Read Dorsey’s eUpdate for further information: https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/03/accelerate-proxy-access-sec-grant-no-action-relief