Securities General Business

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Hallmark 3 – Oversight, Autonomy and Resources

I. Autonomy - The DOJ has made clear over the years the importance of this hallmark. In the FCPA Guidance it states, “In appraising a compliance program, DOJ and SEC also consider whether a company has assigned...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

SEC Busts Apollo for Disclosure and Supervisory Failures

The SEC charged four private equity fund advisers affiliated with Apollo Global Management for misleading fund investors about fees and a loan agreement and failing to supervise a senior partner who charged personal expenses...more

Why NOW may be the best time for developers to start EB-5 financing

Is there a serious risk that EB-5 will expire September 30, 2016? Anything is possible when Congress is in session, but none of the experts we talk to believe that the EB-5 program will be allowed to lapse....more

Selected Risk Retention Questions and Answers for CMBS Securitizations

On October 22, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing...more

Hallmark 2 – Code of Conduct and Compliance Policies and Procedures

The cornerstone of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program is its written protocols. This includes a Code of Conduct, policies and procedures. In the FCPA Guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and...more

Putting a Premium on Illiquidity: Some Reflections on the SEC’s Scrutiny of Valuation Practices and Disclosures

Valuation is typically near the top of the list when the SEC’s enforcement division and exam staff disclose their priority topics for private funds.  We expect that trend to continue and, if anything, the focus on valuation...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.22.16

The SEC’s opened an inquiry into Hampton Creek in response to a Bloomberg report that the Just Mayo maker used undercover contractors to purchase its non-egg mayonnaise product in bulk not long before HC raised $90 million...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

What’s Happening in Delaware M&A – Summer 2016

This update provides a summary of recent Delaware caselaw and statutory developments concerning mergers and acquisitions, including new cases regarding appraisal rights, fraud claims and fiduciary duty and deal process...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its second fine in six days to a health insurer for allegedly creating severance agreements that illegally restrict former employees from collecting...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Developments in SEC Private Company Enforcement: Sophisticated VC’s in the Role of Victim

The announcement that San Francisco private company Hampton Creek faces an SEC inquiry related to their alleged “buyback” program of vegan mayo comes as no shock... As soon as the facts were initially reported it seemed only...more

Hallmark 1 – Commitment from Senior Management and a Clearly Articulated Policy Against Corruption

Over the next two weeks I will be revisiting the Ten Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance program, as laid out in the 2012 A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ( FCPA Guidance) authored by the Criminal...more

This Week in FCPA-Episode 18, the Olympics edition [Video]

Show notes for week ending August 19, 2016: 1. Key Energy FCPA enforcement action. 2. More Och-Ziff FCPA news as its “Fixer” is arrested for FCPA violations. 3. EU’s to Olympic committee arrested and charged with ticket...more

FCPA Compliance Report-Episode 274, Scott Lane on an holistic approach to third party management [Video]

In this episode, I visit with Red Flag Group CEO Scott Lane on a holistic approach to third-party risk management....more

FCPA Compliance Report-Episode 273 [Video]

In this episode, I visit with Marc Bohn, Counsel at Miller & Chevalier on the recent 11th circuit opinion limiting the SOL on profit disgorgement claims to 5 years and the IRS tax letter holding payments for profit...more

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

CFTC Proposal to Amend CPO Reporting Rules

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) on August 5, 2016, issued a proposal to amend its rules governing commodity pool annual reports, which, if adopted, would permit commodity pool operators (“CPOs”) of a pool...more

The Decline of the Disclosure-Only Settlement: Will We Regret What We Wished For?

In combination with the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision in In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, 129 A.3d 884 (Del. Ch. 2016), Judge Posner’s blistering opinion In re Walgreen Company Stockholder Litigation, 2016...more

SEC Continues to Target Employer Agreements Restricting Whistleblower Rights

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) recently announced the settlement of two cease-and-desist proceedings against employers alleged to have unlawfully restricted employees’ rights to engage...more

Appraisal Arbitrage: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Delaware state courts have seen a rise in appraisal petitions filed by shareholders dissenting from mergers, with 34 actions filed in the first half of 2016, compared to 16 in all of 2012, according to a recent Wall Street...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.19.16

The Journal reports that big companies [banks included] are pouring more into dividends than at “any time since the financial crisis”—likely, a response to record-low bond yields that’s “put a premium” on kicking back...more

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