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Sentencing of CEO Highlights Importance of a Good "Tone at the Top"

Highlighting the peril of unethical business leadership, a judge recently sentenced the former CEO of a bankrupt cash-management firm to 14 years in prison for defrauding more than 70 customers of more than $665 million...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

Three Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Claims Fail

Courts recently issued three opinions on the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. In Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, Mr. Murray claimed he was terminated because he refused to skew his...more

Fighting the Fiduciary Rule Before It’s Been Even Proposed

Not long after President Obama expressed the desire that the Department of Labor (DOL) implement a fiduciary rule for brokers who work on retirement plans; did one of Wall Street’s paid minions strike back....more

SEC May Seek Companies’ Agreements to Determine Whistleblower Treatment

The SEC continues to focus on its whistleblower initiative. According to a February 25 Wall Street Journal article titled “SEC Probes Companies’ Treatment of Whistleblowers,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Proxy Voting Policies Regarding Bylaw and Charter Amendments Adopted Without Shareholder Approval

Existing (ISS) voting policy is to recommend against the election of boards of directors if charter or bylaw amendments were enacted without shareholder approval and in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders’ rights...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

SEC Argues in Second Circuit Amicus Brief That Dodd-Frank Protects Inside Whistleblowers

On February 6, the Securities Exchange Commission filed an amicus brief advising the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

SEC Proposes Rules Requiring Disclosure of Hedging by Employees, Officers, and Directors

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requiring disclosure of whether an...more

Highlights From SEC Speaks 2015

Securities and Exchange Commission leadership and staff members addressed the public on February 20-21 at the annual “SEC Speaks” conference in Washington, D.C. Common themes among the numerous presentations included the...more

Are We Closer to Fixing the Proxy Voting System?

The integrity of the shareholder vote is a cornerstone of shareholder democracy for public companies. Shareholders’ ability to “have their say” is exercised at shareholder meetings largely through proxy voting, which is a...more

Blog: Speakers Comment On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals As False And Misleading, Rule 14a-8(i)(3)

At the PLI conference on February 10, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins, while focusing primarily on the issue du jour of Rule 14a-8(i)(9), the rule that permits companies to exclude from their proxy statements shareholder...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: SEC Proposes Disclosure Rules on Director and Employee Hedging

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amendments to its rules and forms, as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), that would require SEC reporting...more

ISS Speaks: Proxy Access, Fee Shifting By-laws and More

ISS has published its policy on proxy access matters. ISS will generally recommend in favor of management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions...more

SEC Proposes Rules for Disclosure of Hedging by Employees, Officers, and Directors

Boards of Directors of companies subject to the federal proxy rules should take note of proposed rules released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 9, 2015 that would enhance corporate disclosure of...more

Blog: Survey: Institutional Investors Want Return Of 25-Page Proxy Statements

Let’s reconsider: is it really necessary – or even useful – to have a proxy statement for an ordinary annual meeting that exceeds 100 pages in length? Does responsibility for bloated proxy statements lie with legislators and...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

SEC Proposes New Rule Requiring Disclosure of Equity Hedging Policies

On February 9, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a long-awaited rule under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that would require public companies to disclose certain...more

SEC Proposes Hedging Disclosure Rule

On February 9, the SEC issued a proposed rule implementing Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule would require directors, officers, and other employees of public companies to disclose in proxy and information statements...more

SEC Proposes Disclosure Rule for Company Hedging Policies

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed a rule to enhance disclosure of company hedging policies for directors, officers and other employees. This proposal would implement Section 955 of...more

SEC Proposes Rules for Disclosure of Companies’ Hedging Policies

On February 9, as mandated by Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new rules requiring disclosure by US public...more

SEC Proposes Rules for Hedging Disclosure

On February 9, 2015, the SEC proposed rules that would require domestic public companies to disclose in proxy and information statements whether the company permits any of its directors or employees (including officers) to...more

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