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The Bad Bet of Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in 401(k) Plans

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but the gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t...more

IRS Issues Guidance on the Applicability of Section 162(m) to CFO Compensation

Summary: The IRS recently informally revised its guidance regarding which officers of public companies must be considered when determining the compensation deduction limitation of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code...more

ISS Ignores Contrary Studies In Adopting Overboarding Policy Change

ISS released its 2016 Benchmark Policy Recommendations last Friday. I had previously criticized ISS for its proposal to change its recommendation on withholding votes with respect to directors who sit on too many boards...more

The Carrot or the Stick? New Ways to Explain Why Compliance Builds a Stronger Bottom Line

There is a well-known truth that most business leaders get: bad ethics are bad for business. The reasons are as obvious as last week’s headlines: fines, investigations, remediations, and the like can take a huge toll...more

Proxy Access Update—Preparing for the 2016 Proxy Season

Proxy access predominated corporate governance issues for the 2015 proxy season, with over 100 proposals submitted on the topic, compared to 18 in 2014. Shareholder proponents achieved significant success in 2015, with an...more

Deaf Ears: The Surprising Truth About Employee Whistleblowers

In some ways, whistleblowers represent the ultimate fear within a company: an employee goes to a watchdog to report something unethical, illegal, or otherwise improper, and a legal and organizational battle begins that sucks...more

End of Year Tips For Retirement Plan Sponsors

With the Holiday season about to start, we know that the end of the year will soon follow. While plan participants maybe more concerned about holiday shopping or the firm’s annual holiday party, it’s a great and necessary...more

Department of Labor Reissues Rules on Fiduciaries Investing in “Economically Targeted Investments”

The Department of Labor (DOL) has clarified the fiduciary implications of an employee benefit plan investing in so-called “socially responsible investments,” sometimes referred to as “impact investments” or “economically...more

Empathy and Communication by a Retirement Plan Provider Goes A Long Way

They say that game theory is the study of strategic decision making. It is “the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers.” I say I use game theory, but I really...more

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (I) the SOX...more

Defined benefits - A new conversation for financial sponsors and pension trustees on M&A processes.

For potential investors, pension plans, safeguarded by seemingly more powerful trustees, can be one of the most significant elements of a deal. There is a perception among potential investors that trustees attempt to hinder...more

Bundled vs. Unbundled 401(k) Plan Providers: The Choice Is Not Clear

In our lives, there are times when we have two important choices. It’s Coke vs. Pepsi, Mac vs. PC, Xbox vs. PlayStation (sorry Nintendo), Star Wars vs. Star Trek, and Marvel vs. DC. In the 401(k) space, it’s always bundled...more

It’s A 401(k) Revolution

’m a fan of Broadway musicals and my favorite of all time is Les Miserables. It may not be a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, but it’s always been my favorite since I saw it more than 20 years ago. I’ve seen it a few times on...more

Changes to French qualifying plans

On 7 August 2015, the Loi Macron introduced changes to French qualified restricted stock units ("RSUs"). It introduced a more favorable regime; however, in order to benefit from it companies will have to obtain shareholder...more

Final Regulations Will Affect Default Risk for Borrowers with Pension Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the PBGC) has adopted final regulations relieving certain sponsors of defined benefit pension plans from the obligation to report certain events that signal an increase in the plan’s...more

The Small Stuff Creates The Biggest Liability Pitfalls For 401(k) Plan Sponsors

When I was a kid, I had an Intellivision. For those people born after 1980, Intellivision was a video game console that had better graphics than an Atari 2600 that people just didn’t buy. You could say Intellivision was the...more

How To Operate A Retirement Plan Provider Practice on a Shoe String

I decided to start my own practice when another law firm stated that I could earn $150,000 if I brought them $450,000 billable work. I thought if I could bring in $450,000 of business, why would I need them and waste $300,000...more

Blog: Are Whistleblowers Just Out For The Big Bucks?

Given that, last year, the SEC awarded $30 million to one whistleblower alone, it looks like a pretty good gig. The previous year, the SEC awarded a whistleblower $14 million. That’s not too bad either....more

What Plan Sponsors Don’t Know, May Hurt Them

When I worked at a semi-prestigious law firm, one of the named partners (whose son was a respectable politician) asked me what my practice was. I told him it was ERISA, said he said didn’t know anything about it and walked...more

Proxy Access: Round 2 Begins

Shareholder proponent James McRitchie, who was successful in persuading the SEC to reconsider its no-action position with Whole Foods on proxy access, has hinted at his intentions for the upcoming proxy season, or at least...more

10 Things About Retirement Plans That Employers Should Know

A plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers. That may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA attorneys. Despite the fact that retirement plan sponsors...more

Preliminary Planning for the 2016 Proxy Season

Some will want to start preliminary planning for the 2016 proxy season. It has been a bewildering year of developments, but most will be thankful that there are relatively few new rules that must be implemented at this time....more

SEC Proposes Rules to Broaden Executive Compensation “Clawback” Policies Required by Dodd-Frank

In an effort to increase executive accountability and promote higher quality financial reporting, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued proposed Rule 10D-1 for comment on July 1, 2015. The SEC issued the...more

Successful Strategies for Doing Business in Asia: Singapore (Updated)


Retirement Plan Provider Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

I never took a marketing course in college and I probably should have if I was going to go on my own and start a law practice. While I never have taken a marketing course, I’ve been pretty good at it considering you’re...more

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