Securities Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Securities issues written by leading professionals.
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Day 21 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-the Board of Directors Compliance Committee [Video]

The Compliance Oversight Committee sits between the CCO and the Board’s compliance committee. The role of this Compliance Oversight Committee is to provide oversight and review of items such as third party approvals and...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Employer Whistleblower Restrictions

Takeaways: - SEC is targeting contract terms that appear to restrict contact with the SEC or require employee whistleblowers to waive monetary recoveries. - Express disclosure of these rights in severance...more

Commodity Trading System and Method are Patent Eligible Subject Matter Under 101

In Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. CQG, Inc., CQG LLC, FKA CQGT, LLC., [2016-1616] (January 18, 2017), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a lower court’s holding that the claims of U.S....more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms that Dilution Claims Typically Are Derivative and Are Extinguished After a Merger

Stockholder claims alleging wrongful dilution are typically considered to be derivative in nature. Several decisions out of Delaware, however, have created exceptions to this general rule allowing stockholders to sue...more

Antitrust Enforcers At It Again: More HSR Actions Against Individuals Announced

In a trend that is sure to continue no matter the policy leanings of the incoming Trump administration, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it has obtained nearly $1 million in civil penalties for two...more

The Securities Law Crystal Ball

At the beginning of each new year, we find ourselves engaged in discussions of the evolving securities regulatory landscape and the changes that we anticipate may occur. We have done this for many years now. Each January we...more

Annual HSR Merger Notification Threshold Adjustments Announced

On January 19, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the thresholds of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (the HSR Act). These thresholds are adjusted annually based on changes in...more

Race to Courthouse in Shareholder Derivative Actions Could Raise Due-Process Issues

The Delaware Supreme Court requested further consideration of the federal due-process issues that might arise where a court is asked to hold that a shareholder derivative action is precluded because a prior derivative action...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update Their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2017

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis), two of the leading providers of corporate governance research and proxy voting services, have published their updated proxy voting guidelines for...more

"House Bill to Shake Up CFTC Rulemakings"

Less than two weeks into the new congressional session, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 239 to 182 the Commodity End-User Relief Act1 (the Bill or House Bill), marking the first step by the new...more

U.S. Supreme Court Seeks Solicitor General’s Input on Co-fiduciary Indemnification

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the government’s views on a petition for certiorari asking the Court to decide whether ERISA permits a cause of action for...more

Fractions And Squeeze Outs

The last two posts have discussed what a corporation may do with fractions of shares. I entitled the first of these posts “Breaking Up Is Not Hard To Do – Fractions, Scrip And Scrippage” in partial reference to the song by...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

We learned about Navient and its allegedly trouble-filled student-loan servicing practices yesterday. Turns out the issues are not only long-standing, but they bear similarities to the mortgage-lending issues that were at...more

Final Regulations Released Regarding PFIC Ownership Determination and Annual Reporting Requirements

On December 27, 2016, the Treasury Department (Treasury) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations regarding the determination of ownership of a passive foreign investment company ("PFIC") and regarding...more

SEC Expands to Retail Customer Debt Transactions Disclosure of Broker-Dealer Mark-Ups and Mark-Downs

Currently, U.S. broker-dealers are not required to disclose their compensation in respect of fixed-income transactions effected as principal. In November 2016, the SEC approved a rule proposal of the U.S. Financial Industry...more

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (“IB 2016-1”) relating to the voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plans. IB 2016-1 withdraws the...more

SEC Staff Addresses Mutual Fund Fee Structures in Response to DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

Summary of Recent SEC Staff Actions - As the April 10, 2017, compliance date for the United Stated Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) approaches, many mutual fund sponsors have...more

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1),...more

Investment Management Update

SEC Issues Guidance on Mutual Fund Fee Structure - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently issued a guidance update addressing disclosure issues and certain procedural...more

Upcoming Deadline for Form SHC - Holdings of Foreign Securities

Recently, the Department of the Treasury released the final instructions for the reporting requirements of the Treasury International Capital Benchmark Form SHC (herein referred to as “Form SHC”) for the 2016 calendar year....more

Want to Ruin Your Relationships? Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Startup

When you need cash to fuel your startup, it’s tempting to “think local.” The people with the strongest ties to you—relatives, friends, college roommates, running buddies, and co-workers—are the ones who believe in you. You’d...more

2017 Proxy Season: Key ISS Compensation-Related Updates

Companies should consider compensation-related changes to ISS policies when preparing for annual meetings on or after February 1, 2017. Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released updates to its 2017...more

Day 20 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-the Board of Directors Compliance Committee [Video]

Under the US Sentencing Guidelines, the Board must exercise reasonable oversight on the effectiveness of a company’s compliance program. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Prosecution Standards posed the following queries:...more

Ohio Federal Court Rules That Bank is Not Liable Under Ohio Securities Act for Providing Ordinary Banking Services to Customers...

In a January 10, 2017 decision, United States District Judge Thomas M. Rose in the Southern District of Ohio ruled that plaintiffs, who claimed to be investors in a Ponzi scheme operated by customers of PNC Bank, failed to...more

Day 19 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-Compliance Expertise on the Board [Video]

Every Board of Directors need a true compliance expert sitting on their Board. Almost every Board has a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), former head of Internal Audit or persons with a similar background and often times...more

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