Stephen M. Quinlivan

Stephen M. Quinlivan

Stinson Leonard Street

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SEC Proposes JOBS Act Rules for Exchange Act Registration Requirements

As mandated by the JOBS Act, the SEC has issued proposed amendments to revise the rules related to the thresholds for registration, termination of registration, and suspension of reporting under Section 12(g) of the Exchange...more

12/19/2014 - Accredited Investors Equity Compensation Issuer Exemption JOBS Act Proposed Amendments Registration Safe Harbors SEC Securities Exchange Act

What Really Happened to the Swap Pushout Rule and Dodd-Frank Sleepers From Cromnibus

The swap pushout rule was originally embodied in Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, it prohibited “federal assistance” to any “swaps entity.” Insured depository institutions were subject to this...more

12/18/2014 - Appropriations Bill Banks Dodd-Frank Financial Institutions Swaps

Study Concludes ISS Data on Voting Against Hostile Takeovers is Flawed

On October 22, 2014, ISS published a note on the financial consequences for shareholders to vote “NO” to a proposed hostile takeover. ISS claimed to have demonstrated that those shareholders who voted “No” to a proposed...more

12/18/2014 - Hostile Takeover ISS Shareholder Votes

SEC Distances Itself From Janus and Adopts Expansive View of Rule 10b-5(a) and (c)

The SEC recently rendered an opinion in an enforcement action against two persons, John P. Flannery and James D. Hopkins, associated with an investment adviser. In so doing, it sought to limit the Supreme Court’s holding in...more

12/17/2014 - Investment Adviser Investors Janus Capital Group Material Misstatements Personal Liability Rule 10b-5 SEC Securities Securities Fraud

Streamlined Regulation for Insurance Companies

The Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014 has been presented to President Obama for signature. The bill will: Add language to Section 171 of Dodd-Frank to clarify that, in establishing minimum capital...more

12/16/2014 - Bank Holding Company Dodd-Frank Federal Reserve Insurers Pending Legislation

More Small Bank Holding Companies to be Eligible for Regulatory Relief

A bill has been presented to President Obama for signature that will make more small bank holding companies eligible for regulatory relief. The bill directs the Federal Reserve to increase the qualifying asset threshold of...more

12/16/2014 - Bank Holding Company Federal Reserve Pending Legislation Regulatory Standards

CFPB Addresses Medical Debt

The CFPB released a report that found medical debt has a significant impact on consumer credit, as 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. The CFPB is concerned that the systems for incurring,...more

12/15/2014 - CFPB Credit Reporting Agencies Medical Debt

SEC Commissioner Wonders Whether Harvard Violated Securities Laws

SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and Joseph A. Grundfest, Stanford Law School, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, have just published a paper titled “Did Harvard Violate Federal Securities Law? The Campaign Against...more

12/12/2014 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Harvard University SEC Securities Shareholder Proposals

SEC Makes Municipal Advisor Compliance Transcript Available

On November 3, 2014, the SEC, MSRB and FINRA held a compliance outreach program for municipal advisors. The SEC has made an unofficial transcript of the event...more

12/10/2014 - FINRA MSRB Municipal Advisers SEC

SEC Files Brief in Conflict Minerals Rehearing

The SEC has filed its brief in the conflict minerals rehearing. Amnesty International also filed its brief as intervenor and Free Speech for People filed an amicus brief....more

12/9/2014 - American Meat Institute Amnesty International Conflict Mineral Rules First Amendment Form SD SEC

SEC and PCAOB Collar 15 For Independence Violations in Audits of Broker-Dealers

The SEC and PCAOB collectively charged 15 audit firms for violating independence requirements in connection with audits of broker dealers. Under SEC independence rules, which apply to audits of broker-dealers whether or not...more

12/9/2014 - Auditors Broker-Dealer Financial Statements Independence Rules PCAOB SEC

Court Says SEC Wrong to Permit Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that the SEC was incorrect when it rendered a no-action letter permitting exclusion of a shareholder proposal submitted under Rule 18a-8 in Trinity Wall...more

12/8/2014 - Charter No-Action Letters Proposed Amendments SEC Shareholder Proposals Wal-Mart

First Issuer Completes NASAA Coordinated Review Program

There has been somewhat of a controversy surrounding the SEC’s rulemaking in connection with Regulation A+ under the JOBS Act. Should larger Tier 2 offerings preempt state blue sky regulation (my preference) or be subject to...more

12/8/2014 - Blue Sky Laws JOBS Act NASAA Preemption Public Offerings Rulemaking Process SEC

Rule 506 Bad Actor Waivers – The New Normal?

SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein gave a speech where she described a recently granted Rule 506 bad actor waiver. According to Ms. Stein, “The waiver was for a limited time, and only if certain conditions were met, creating...more

12/5/2014 - Rule 506 Offerings SEC Waivers

OFR Annual Report Highlights Some Increasing Threats to Financial Stability

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established the Office of Financial Research, or OFR, within the Treasury Department to improve the quality of financial data available to policymakers and to...more

12/5/2014 - Dodd-Frank Financial Markets Financial Stability Acts OFR Risk Assessment U.S. Treasury

Whole Foods Can Exclude Proxy Access Proposal

The SEC has granted Whole Foods no action relief to exclude a proxy access proposal submitted under Rule 14a-8. The proponent’s proposal sought a non-binding shareholder resolution to request that the Whole Food’s Board of...more

12/4/2014 - Board of Directors Bylaws No-Action Relief Proxy Access Rule SEC Whole Foods

Loan Syndicators Sue to Invalidate Risk Retention Rules

The Loan Syndications and Trading Association, or LSTA, is a not-for-profit trade association representing members participating in the syndicated corporate loan market. The LSTA has petitioned the United States Court of...more

12/1/2014 - Dodd-Frank Federal Reserve Risk Retention SEC Trade Associations

CFTC Gives Treasury Affiliates More Relief From Clearing Requirements

The CFTC issued a no-action letter providing further relief for eligible treasury affiliates that enter into swaps that are subject to the clearing requirement in section 2(h)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act, or CEA, and...more

12/1/2014 - CFTC Commodities Exchange Act FSOC No-Action Letters

CFTC Grants Family Offices Relief From Registration as Commodity Trading Advisors

The CFTC previously granted family offices no-action relief from registration as commodity pool operators. That letter did not provide an exemption from registration as a commodity trading advisor. However, the CFTC has...more

11/26/2014 - CFTC CPOs Family Offices Investment Adviser No-Action Letters No-Action Relief Registration

CFPB Takes Action Against ‘Buy-Here, Pay-Here’ Auto Dealer

The CFPB took its first action against a “buy-here, pay-here” car dealer. The CFPB alleged that the dealer, DriveTime, harmed consumers by making harassing debt collection calls and providing inaccurate credit information...more

11/21/2014 - Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Car Dealerships CFPB Debt Collection DriveTime Enforcement Actions FDCPA

Do I Need to Update My D&O Questionnaire for 2015?

One of the most frequent questions we get this time of year is issuers asking whether there are any needed updates to director and officer questionnaires. Necessary modifications are usually driven by changes to stock...more

11/20/2014 - Corporate Governance Corporate Officers Directors Disclosure Requirements Issuers SEC

Panel to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has granted the petition for a panel rehearing (as opposed to an en banc rehearing) in the conflict minerals case. The court asked the parties to file briefs...more

11/19/2014 - American Meat Institute Amnesty International Appeals Conflict Mineral Rules Department of Agriculture Disclosure Requirements First Amendment SEC Statement of Facts

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

11/17/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Appeals DOL Halliburton Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

CFPB Finds Violation of Loan Originator Compensation Rule

The CFPB and Franklin Loan Corporation have asked a federal court to approve a consent order regarding alleged violations by Franklin Loan of the loan originator compensation rule. Franklin Loan did not admit or deny the...more

11/17/2014 - CFPB Consent Order Loan Originator Compensation Rule Popular

NYC Pension Fund Submits 75 Proxy Access Proposals

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to give shareowners who...more

11/14/2014 - Board of Directors Bylaws Diversity Executive Compensation Oil & Gas Pensions Private Utility Proxy Access Rule Proxy Season Shareholder Rights Shareholders

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