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Ninth Circuit Applies Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer to Reverse Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Speed Read - The Ninth Circuit becomes the first appellate court to interpret the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer holding. In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that participants can maintain a claim...more

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

401(k) Plan Participant Waived ERISA Stock-Drop Claim

The D.C. Circuit affirmed the decision of a district court that Plaintiff Patrick Russell, a 401(k) plan participant, had knowingly waived his right to assert an ERISA stock-drop claim based on, among other things, the...more

Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder...more

Blog: Are We Aligning Pay To The Wrong Performance Metrics?

As discussed in this article in Compliance Week, this report, “The Alignment Gap Between Creating Value, Performance Measurement, and Long-Term Incentive Design Sustainable,” by Organizational Capital Partners and the...more

Third Circuit Affirms Whistleblowers Must Arbitrate Under Dodd-Frank

On December 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that application of Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration provision did not apply to causes of action asserted under the Anti-Retaliation Dodd Frank Provision due to...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015

In this issue: - Strategic Planning Challenges - Cybersecurity - Assess the Impact of Advances in Technology and Big Data - Shareholder Activism - The Return of M&A - Risk...more

ISS Adopts Discretion in Evaluating Management Equity Plan Proposals – May Lead to Increase in CEO Performance Shares and...

What's New? What's new and interesting about the new ISS "score card rules" are two sentences that say: (i) that an issuer's share plan proposal may pass the Shareholder Value Transfer ("SVT") test but still...more

The Split Deepens: New York District Court Holds Internal Reporting Not Protected Under Dodd-Frank

In Berman V. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 1:14-cv-523 (Dec. 4, 2014), Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York dismissed a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim on the ground that internal reporting is not protected...more

"Checklist of Matters to Be Considered for the 2015 Annual Meeting and Reporting Season"

As our clients and friends once again embark on preparations for their 2015 annual meeting and reporting season, we have compiled a checklist of the corporate governance, executive compensation and disclosure matters that we...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 47

In this issue: - SEC Sets October 2015 Target Date for Certain Dodd-Frank and JOBS Act Rulemaking - FINRA Issues Notice on TRACE Trade Reporting Obligations - NFA Issues Guidance on Exempt and Excluded...more

2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 3) Executive Compensation

As 2014 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

Is a Licensed Securities Dealer a “Professional” Under Alabama Law Prohibiting Enforcement of Nonsolicitation Agreements Against...

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released a slip opinion on May 16, 2014 addressing enforcement of a nonsolicitation agreement against a licensed securities broker. See G.L.S. & Associates, Inc., and G.L. Smith &...more

SEC Releases 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program

By all accounts, 2014 was a year of tremendous success for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. According to its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC paid nine whistleblower...more

What Is a Prudent Investment? Using Simulation to Evaluate Investment Selections

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), plaintiffs may file suit alleging that the selection of certain retirement investments was imprudent. Such litigation occurs after a retirement plan incurs...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Release Policy Updates for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, two leading proxy advisory firms, recently published their 2015 proxy voting guidelines for US companies, which include several updates applicable to the 2015 proxy...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Watch For A New Wave Of ERISA Stock Drop Cases

Plan fiduciaries may create a fiduciary duty in stock drop cases by incorporating filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission into the Summary Plan Description. We have been waiting for the Ninth Circuit to...more

SEC Obtains Over $4 Billion for Securities Violations in 2014

Following the end of its fiscal year on September 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that FY 2014 was notable not only for the record number of enforcement actions filed, but for the wide range of...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Update Policies with Respect to Executive Compensation for the 2015 Proxy Season

Two of the leading shareholder proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass Lewis & Co. ("Glass Lewis"), released updates to their proxy voting guidelines for the 2015 proxy season. In sum, there...more

Fifth Circuit Adopts Majority Rule on What Constitutes “Other Instruments” of an ERISA Plan

ERISA plan administrators facing broad requests for production under ERISA section 104(b)(4) may limit their production to formal legal documents governing the plan, based on new guidance from a panel of the Fifth Circuit in...more

Stock Options for Private Companies: Understanding the Risks, Realizing the Rewards

Executive Brief - • Stock options have been useful components of employee compensation, but new accounting rules adopted in 2005 can have a significant impact on a company’s financial processes and can result in severe...more

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