Posts tagged Securities Law.

This is an update to KMK’s original blog post on December 4, 2020.

On December 1, 2020, Nasdaq filed a rule proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that would require listed companies to have, or explain why their boards do not include, diverse directors. In a response to comments from the SEC, Nasdaq filed an amendment to the rule proposal on February 26, 2021. The Nasdaq proposal needs SEC approval to take effect.

In a notice posted on its website on March 10, 2021, the SEC said it would take additional time to rule on the Nasdaq proposal, while also seeking further ...

On Dec. 1, 2020, Nasdaq filed a rule proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that would require listed companies to disclose board diversity statistics using Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Matrix. Nasdaq would require companies to provide this disclosure in proxy materials or on company websites within one year of the SEC’s approval of the rules. The rules also would require listed companies to have, or explain why their boards do not include, diverse directors as follows:

  • All listed companies would be expected to have one diverse director within two years of the ...

On October 7, 2020, the SEC proposed a limited, conditional exemption from broker registration requirements for "finders" who assist issuers with raising capital in private markets from accredited investors. Finders identify and often solicit potential investors in order to connect issuers with investors in private placements of securities. The proposal responds to the lack of clarity regarding the regulatory status of finders which has developed through case law, no action letters and other SEC guidance.

On May 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is providing temporary, conditional relief intended to expedite the offer and sale of securities to be issued by smaller companies affected by COVID-19 that are looking to meet their urgent funding needs through a Regulation Crowdfunding offering. The temporary rules are intended to expedite the offering process. The temporary rules apply to securities offerings initiated under Regulation Crowdfunding between May 4, 2020, and August 31, 2020.

SEC Provides Guidance on Earnings Disclosures & COVID-19 Impacts

On April 8, 2020, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the SEC, and William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, issued a statement discussing the importance of disclosures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in anticipation of upcoming earnings releases and investor calls. In order to encourage more robust disclosures and shareholder engagement on this topic, the statement outlines, among others, several areas of observation and concern for companies:

  • Disclosures should reflect the general ...

On March 25, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) extended its March 4, 2020 Order (the “Extended Order”) granting exemptions to reporting and proxy delivery requirements for public companies. The Extended Order (described in our advisory here) provides reporting relief for public companies with reports due on or before July 1, 2020.

As the disease known as COVID-19 (the “Coronavirus”) continues to increase its impact on commerce, human health and capital markets, all public companies should assess the impact of the Coronavirus on their SEC filings and shareholder engagement.

It is important for companies to take into consideration the following when preparing annual reports and proxy statements in 2020.

On December 18, 2019, the SEC announced it voted to propose amendments to the definition of “accredited investor” to add new categories of individuals and entities.

On December 19, 2019, the SEC issued guidance regarding the process for applying for confidential treatment of information filed with the SEC. The guidance offers an alternative to the SEC’s rules issued in April 2019 under Regulation S-K Item 601(b) permitting companies to file redacted material contracts without applying for confidential treatment of the redacted information provided the redacted information (i) is not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed.

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