Rolf Zaiss

Rolf Zaiss

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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SEC Adopts Final Pay Ratio Rules

On August 5, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-2 to approve its controversial pay ratio rules. The rules were adopted pursuant to the mandate of Section 953(b)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform...more

8/13/2015 - Covered Entities Cross-Border Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Exemptions Form 10-K Pay Ratio Privacy Laws Regulation S-K SEC Wages

SEC Proposes New Compensation Clawback Rules

On July 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new rules pursuant to Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which, if adopted, would require national...more

7/10/2015 - Clawbacks Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Emerging Growth Companies Executive Compensation Form 10-K Incentive Compensation Listing Standards Proposed Regulation Publicly-Traded Companies SEC

SEC Proposes New Compensation Clawback Rules

On July 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new rules pursuant to Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which, if adopted, would require national...more

7/8/2015

What Price Love?

Apparently, about $1 million if you are the CEO of Johnson Controls, Inc. At least, that is one possible takeaway from the action of the board of directors of Johnson Controls with respect to the behavior of its CEO, Alex...more

2/13/2015 - Board of Directors C-Suite Executives CEOs Corporate Counsel Executive Compensation Proxy Statements

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015: Explore New Trends in Reducing Corporate Health Care Costs

The increasing cost of healthcare is a significant concern for companies that provide health care benefits to their employees. With certain key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known...more

2/4/2015 - Affordable Care Act Board of Directors Corporate Management Corporate Officers Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Health Insurance Strategic Planning Wellness Programs

IRS Internal Memorandum Advises That Self-Employment Tax Applies to Profits From an Investment Manager

On September 5, 2014, the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an internal generic legal advice memorandum advising an IRS field agent that the statutorily provided “limited partner” exception to...more

9/11/2014 - Income Taxes Investment Adviser IRS Self-Employment Tax

Share-Based Compensation Update to SEC’s Financial Reporting Manual

In February 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance updated Section 9520 of its Financial Reporting Manual. Section 9520 is part of Topic 9, which provides guidance for...more

3/6/2014 - Equity Compensation Executive Compensation IPO SEC Stocks

Is It Time to Adopt a Forum Selection Bylaw?

The boards of all public companies should consider adopting a forum selection bylaw, if they have not already put one in place. The purpose of such a provision is to designate an exclusive venue for stockholder derivative...more

1/8/2014 - Board of Directors Bylaws Corporate Governance Forum Selection Clause

Address Boardroom Confidentiality

Bill Ackman’s public disclosure earlier this year of confidential JC Penney board deliberations not only outraged his fellow directors but also stunned the corporate community. His actions, however, were not without...more

1/6/2014 - Board of Directors Confidential Information Confidentiality Corporate Counsel Corporate Governance

Dealing with Activist Investors

Shareholder activism is on the rise. Through the first three quarters of 2013, activist investors submitted 91 initial Schedule 13D filings, well on pace to eclipse the 109 filings made in all of 2012. In addition, proxy...more

1/3/2014 - Investors Proxies Proxy Contests Shareholder Activism Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Push to Diversify Boards Picks Up Steam

In addition to heightened focus on director tenure, companies are facing increasing pressure to diversify their boards. The SEC requires companies to disclose whether and how the board or nominating committee considers...more

1/2/2014 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Diversity EU SEC

Director Tenure Draws Increasing Investor Attention

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted director tenure in an article titled “The 40-Year Club: America’s Longest Serving Directors.” While the article noted that fewer than 30 public company directors have at least 40...more

12/31/2013 - Board of Directors Corporate Counsel Corporate Governance Directors Independent Boards Proxy Season S&P

Split Decision: Whether to Separate the CEO and Board Chair Positions

Whether to separate the CEO and chairman positions is one of the most hotly debated issues in corporate governance. During the 2013 proxy season, calls for an independent board chair were the second most frequent proposal...more

12/30/2013 - Board of Directors CEOs Corporate Governance JPMorgan Chase

Changing Healthcare Landscape Poses Challenges for Directors

Despite the continuing legal challenges and political hardball, as well as the delays and technical glitches, it appears that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, is here to stay. ...more

12/27/2013 - Affordable Care Act Board of Directors Compliance Directors Employer Mandates Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Healthcare Reform Pay or Play

Executive Compensation Considerations for 2014

Executive compensation is a topic that just won’t go away, particularly with pay disparity and pay for performance regulations still looming. We highlight below some of the matters directors should be considering as they...more

12/26/2013 - Board of Directors CEOs Chief Compliance Officers Clawbacks Compensation Committee Corporate Counsel Directors Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Pay Ratio Pay-for-Performance Proxy Advisors Proxy Voting Guidelines Sarbanes-Oxley Say-on-Pay SEC

Growing Demands of Compliance Oversight Weighing Down Directors

Constantly changing and overlapping legislative and regulatory requirements are weighing down corporations and usurping more and more board time. It is a telling sign when, according to a recent survey, directors ranked...more

12/26/2013 - Board of Directors Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Corporate Counsel Corporate Governance Directors Whistleblowers

Cybersecurity on Radar Screen of Boards of Directors

Cybersecurity has become one of the hottest topics in the boardroom as companies wrestle with ever increasing threats to their information systems and intellectual property. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that...more

12/17/2013 - Board of Directors Corporate Counsel Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Framework Risk Management

SEC Proposes CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules

On September 18, 2013, the SEC commissioners voted 3-2 to propose a new rule that would amend existing executive compensation disclosure rules by requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of a CEO’s annual total...more

9/20/2013 - CEOs Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Pay Ratio Transparency

Appeals Court Reverses ERISA “Trade or Business” Ruling Favoring Private Equity Funds; Creates Uncertainty on Controlled Group...

In our November 9, 2012, client alert, we examined an apparent victory for private equity firms resulting from the District Court of Massachusetts decision that held that two related private equity funds were not liable on a...more

7/30/2013 - Controlled Groups ERISA Federal Taxes Investment Portfolios PBGC Pensions Private Equity Private Funds Sun Capital Partners

Employee Benefits Challenges After the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

The ruling on Wednesday by the Supreme Court of the United States, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, will immediately extend to legally married same-sex couples a host of federal...more

7/1/2013 - COBRA Discrimination DOMA Due Process Employee Benefits Equal Protection Health Insurance Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Survivorship US v Windsor

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