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Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - March 2015 #4

Focus on Fiduciary Standards. In February the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a Report on the Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings. In its conclusion, the Report estimated the...more

Draft legislation released covering changes to the employee share scheme tax regime

The Australian Government has today introduced the draft Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Employee Share Schemes) Bill 2015 containing measures designed to ease the tax impost for employee shares schemes, to make...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Regarding Investigation and Verification of Registration Applicants

After seeking comments last fall, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (“FINRA”) proposed rule governing member firms’ verification and investigation...more

Issuers Omit Proposals From Proxy Statements

As noted here, two issuers have omitted shareholder proposals from preliminary proxy statements where no-action letters from the SEC regarding omission of the proposals have been withdrawn. The blog suggests, within its...more

White Calls for SEC to Adopt Uniform Fiduciary Standard

SEC Chair Mary Jo White said Tuesday that the SEC needs to move forward on a uniform fiduciary standard for the financial industry, including brokers. Addressing the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 10

In This Issue: - NYSE Amends "Late Filer Rule" - CFTC Responds to District Court's Remand Order on Certain Cross-Border Swaps Rules - Delaware Chancery Court Addresses Proper Purpose for Inspection...more

SEC Investigating Companies’ Employment Contracts That Restrict Whistleblowing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon be investigating the agreements companies make with their employees. According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, the SEC has sent requests to several...more

Top Ten Ethics & Compliance Predictions and Recommendations for 2015

Get the inside track on the key ethics and compliance industry trends that will impact your business in 2015—and get the resources you need to help you plan for the year ahead—in our annual Top Ten Predictions and...more

Blog: Pulling the Trigger(s): What is Double-Trigger Acceleration and How Does it Work?

You may have heard people refer to “double-trigger” acceleration. What are they talking about? Double-trigger acceleration refers to the partial or full acceleration of vesting of someone’s options or stock based on the...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - March 2015

It's difficult to discern “trends” from reactions to date on proxy access proposals, but here are some data points: Three companies, including two on the NY Comptroller’s 75-company target list have adopted...more

Show Me The Money: Yes, Even Corporate Officers Can Collect Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower bounty award of between $475,000 and $575,000, its 15th under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. While the SEC’s order is scant on detail, it does disclose that the award...more

Is The SEC’s Notice Of Internet Availability Of Proxy Materials Form Gender Biased?

The idea that men won’t ask for directions is a staple of many jokes.  I don’t know whether this is fact or urban myth.  However, a few years back the Princeton University Press published an entire book on the subject. ...more

Say-On-Pay Vote Did Not Create Disclosure Obligation

In Liang v. Berger, the plaintiff in a derivative action alleged the officers and directors of ARAID Pharmaceuticals failed to disclose material negative information about a drug under development in a timely manner. Among...more

Reminders from the Goodyear FCPA Settlement

FCPA settlements carry with them a basket of compliance and enforcement lessons. The recent Goodyear settlement with the SEC for $16 million carries some important compliance and strategic reminders for ethics and compliance...more

DOL Issues its Final Rule for SOX Whistleblower Complaints

On March 5, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing protections for employees of securities companies and their subsidiaries, as well as employees of national credit-rating agencies. The Final...more

February FCPA Compliance Digest: If You Haven’t Started Your FCPA Compliance Training, Now Might Be A Great Time…

This might be our most exciting FCPA Compliance Digest thus far – we get to write about a DECLINATION! It feels a little bit like seeing a compliance unicorn. Cobalt Energy Announces SEC FCPA Declination - It’s...more

Looking Forward: Canadian Class Actions in 2015

Looking Forward - Developments in the courts continue to make class actions an attractive option for plaintiffs. The sphere of risk for companies operating in Canada is expanding. It is thus no surprise that activity...more

First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action...more

SEC Proposes Dodd-Frank Hedging Policy Disclosure Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released long-awaited proposed rules, as mandated by Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Act, that would require a public company to disclose whether the company permits its...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $42,268. The projected average taxable income of all tax returns in 2015, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation’s Feb. 27 report on “Fairness and Tax Policy.” The report also projects that the top...more

"ISS Issues ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Guidance for 2015"

As part of its ongoing rollout of its 2015 policy updates, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has issued “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance with respect to both its 2015 Compensation Policies and its new equity plan...more

Don’t Miss Short-Term Deferral Day

Section 409A, the provision of the Internal Revenue Code that regulates the time and form of payment of nonqualified deferred compensation, contains a helpful exception for “short-term deferrals.”...more

Fleet-Footed Investigations and Prompt Remedial Action: The New Normal

Does your company respond to all internal concerns immediately, investigate them thoroughly and remediate them with unmatchable speed? What if the concern comes from an officer, director, lawyer, compliance professional,...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

Does Former Officer Have An Obligation To Turn Over Whistleblower Award?

Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced “a whistleblower award payout between $475,000 and $575,000 to a former company officer who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that...more

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