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Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

10-K Conundrum: 7th Circuit Holds Corporate Filings Can Lead To Employment Claims

A recent Seventh Circuit decision provides a cautionary tale for employers deciding what level of detail about litigated matters to include in publicly disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings. The court...more

PBGC Wants Reporting on Lump-Sum Pension Cash-Outs and Annuity Purchases

With pension buyouts continuing apace, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval to modify the PBGC’s 2015 premium payment forms to require reporting of...more

Expect Focus - Spot The Regulator, Volume IV, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Crisis Management: Five Steps to Take Before Providing That Comment - LIFE INSURANCE ..Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability to those with Ultimate...more

Heightened Scrutiny of Brokers – SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposed Background Check Rule

In recent years, questions have been raised in many quarters about how brokers with questionable backgrounds have been able to move among firms and remain in the industry. FINRA has responded by enhancing a broker-dealer’s...more

IRS Filing and Reporting Requirements for ISO Exercises and ESPP Stock Transfers

This Client Alert is intended to remind you of certain year-end reporting requirements under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), with respect to stock issued to employees (or former...more

Annual Notices for ISOs and ESPPs due February 2, 2015

Companies that grant incentive stock options (ISOs) are required to provide notices to current and former employees who exercised ISOs during the preceding calendar year. Similar notices must be given to current and former...more

Service Provider Not A Fiduciary In Negotiating Its Contract

A federal district court in Iowa dismissed a putative class action complaint brought by several 401(k) plan sponsors who alleged that Principal Life Insurance Company breached its fiduciary duties to the plans by charging...more

Whistleblowers on Wall Street Could Earn Share of $425 Million Pot

Since the establishment of the SEC Whistleblower Program, there have been a lot more highly publicized cases of whistleblowers coming forward and revealing wrongdoing within their organizations, specifically in regard to...more

U.K. Court Approves Insurance Business Transfer Scheme

A court in the United Kingdom has approved the transfer of the entire long-term insurance business of Prudential Annuities Limited (PAL) to The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC). The transfer’s purpose was to...more

Family Office Key Employees’ Use of Employee Investment Trusts

Recent Development - Family office key employees have new flexibility under recent SEC guidance regarding the nature and range of persons who can properly be involved in the administration of their trusts. ...more

Proxy Access: More File to Exclude Proposals

Since our last update, the following public companies have submitted no-action letters to exclude shareholder proposals submitted by the New York City Pension Funds because the proposal will “directly conflict” with the...more

FPPC Has Record Year for Enforcement Actions

Is compliance with state ethics laws, the Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090, declining? Or, is the FPPC getting better at ferreting out violations and violators? These questions arise in the wake of the...more

SEC Proposes New Exchange Act Registration Thresholds and Changes to Certain “Held of Record” Definitions

On December 18, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new rules regarding the thresholds at which issuers may become reporting companies under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Equity Plan Scorecard

As reported in my October 24, 2014 post, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading proxy advisory firm, has adopted a new “scorecard” approach to evaluating public company equity compensation plans.  In a...more

Proxy Access Proposals: Recent Developments

Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees five municipal public pension funds with $160 billion in assets, announced an initiative to give shareholders who meet specified criteria the right to nominate...more

Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability

Former and current annuity holders sued John Hancock Life Insurance Company in New Jersey federal court several years ago, alleging that, as a service provider to their 401(k) plans, John Hancock was an ERISA fiduciary and...more

Second Circuit: Class-Wide Reformation Is Appropriate Equitable Relief

In the latest chapter of the Amara saga, the Second Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s class-wide order to reform CIGNA’s cash balance plan, as a means to remedy what the district court previously found to be...more

Overview of Compliance Concerns Raised by Recent U.S. SEC Whistleblower Developments

The recent release of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) annual report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program highlights the growing reliance of U.S. Government authorities on whistleblowers to...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Key Employee Trusts Under Family Office Rule

The SEC Division of Investment Management recently provided guidance on whether certain key employee trusts would qualify as family clients under the rule. Recognizing the need for family offices to attract and retain...more

Executive Compensation – It May be Limiting Your Choices

Many community banks have been under fire recently. Added regulatory burdens, additional disclosure responsibilities, cleaning up bad loans, streamlining the organization, staying ahead of cybersecurity threats, and, perhaps...more

Marathon Oil Seeks To Head Off New York City’s Proxy Access Proposal

As previously noted, 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...more

New York Times Discusses the Growth of Whistleblower Programs

As federal agencies dole out record-breaking awards to tipsters (such as the SEC’s recent $30 million award), whistleblower programs remain a topic of public interest. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an...more

Corporate Communicator - Winter 2015

Dear clients and friends, We present to you our traditional year-end issue of Snell & Wilmer’s Corporate Communicator to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights SEC...more

Sixth Circuit Upholds Venue Selection Clause in Pension Plan

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a pension plan’s venue selection clause and affirmed dismissal of the participant’s claims for benefits on the ground that such claims were not filed in the authorized...more

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