Posts tagged Securities Regulation.

On March 21, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) at a virtual open meeting proposed rules to expand and standardize issuers’ climate-related disclosures. The proposed rules would utilize mandatory, prescriptive disclosures in periodic reports and registration statements to address topics related to greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and global climate change. The Commission acknowledged that in 2010, the SEC required disclosure of climate-related impacts on issuers’ businesses but since then, awareness of climate-related incidents, GHG ...

On November 29, 2021, the SEC updated accounting guidance for public companies issuing equity awards to executives ahead of market-moving information. Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 120 cautions issuers to pay particular attention to non-routine spring-loaded awards.

Spring-loaded awards are a type of equity compensation granted by a public company shortly before the announcement of material non-public information such as an earnings release with positive results or the announcement of a material transaction.

The FASB rule known as Topic 718 generally requires that ...

In another victory for ESG proponents with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on November 3, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance issued Staff Legal Bulletin 14L which rescinds previously issued interpretive guidance related to a company’s ability to exclude ESG-related shareholder proposals from its proxy statement. Bulletin 14L effectively realigns the staff’s approach for determining whether a shareholder proposal relates to “ordinary business” which, under Rule 14a-8(i)(7) can serve as the basis for a company’s exclusion of a shareholder proposal.

On March 5, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it charged AT&T, Inc. and three of its investor relations executives with selectively disclosing material nonpublic information to research analysts in violation of Regulation FD. The SEC’s complaint alleges that to avoid falling short of the consensus revenue estimates for the third consecutive quarter, AT&T investor relations executives made private, one-on-one phone calls to analysts at several firms.  According to the complaint, on these calls, the executives disclosed internal smartphone ...

On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to its rules and forms governing the financial information registrants are required to provide for significant acquisitions and divestitures. We expect the amendments will decrease the time and cost of preparing financial statements required in business combinations.

When a registrant acquires a significant business, other than a real estate operation, SEC rules generally require the registrant to provide separate audited annual and unaudited interim pre-acquisition financial statements of ...

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.

On December 11, 2019, in response to the SEC’s rejection of its initial primary direct listing proposal, the NYSE filed a revised rule change proposal that would allow issuers to sell newly issued primary shares in a direct listing. A direct listing refers to the listing of a privately held company’s stock for trading on a national stock exchange without conducting an underwritten offering, spin-off or transfer quotation from another regulated stock exchange. The proposal would delay, until 90 trading days after the direct listing, the requirement that an issuer have 400 round lot holders at the time of listing.

As we explained in our September 2019 Snapshot, on August 21, 2019, the SEC issued new guidance regarding the role of proxy advisors in the proxy voting process. We expect this guidance to play an important role in the upcoming 2020 proxy season, as the SEC further defines the voting obligations of registered investment advisors and seeks to promote greater accountability on the part of the proxy advisory firms. Read more here.

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