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The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Overview - Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002. Since then, a large number of cases are in the ‘‘stock...more

10-K Conundrum: 7th Circuit Holds Corporate Filings Can Lead To Employment Claims

A recent Seventh Circuit decision provides a cautionary tale for employers deciding what level of detail about litigated matters to include in publicly disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings. The court...more

Quirky Question #251, Naming Names in SEC Filings?

Question: Our publicly traded company must file a disclosure with the SEC, and we’re trying to determine what information to include regarding recent charges of discrimination that former employees have filed with the...more

PBGC Wants Reporting on Lump-Sum Pension Cash-Outs and Annuity Purchases

With pension buyouts continuing apace, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval to modify the PBGC’s 2015 premium payment forms to require reporting of...more

Heightened Scrutiny of Brokers – SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposed Background Check Rule

In recent years, questions have been raised in many quarters about how brokers with questionable backgrounds have been able to move among firms and remain in the industry. FINRA has responded by enhancing a broker-dealer’s...more

IRS Filing and Reporting Requirements for ISO Exercises and ESPP Stock Transfers

This Client Alert is intended to remind you of certain year-end reporting requirements under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), with respect to stock issued to employees (or former...more

Annual Notices for ISOs and ESPPs due February 2, 2015

Companies that grant incentive stock options (ISOs) are required to provide notices to current and former employees who exercised ISOs during the preceding calendar year. Similar notices must be given to current and former...more

Whistleblowers on Wall Street Could Earn Share of $425 Million Pot

Since the establishment of the SEC Whistleblower Program, there have been a lot more highly publicized cases of whistleblowers coming forward and revealing wrongdoing within their organizations, specifically in regard to...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Strengthening Background Checks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rule requiring member firms to strengthen their background investigation of applicants seeking registration. ...more

Family Office Key Employees’ Use of Employee Investment Trusts

Recent Development - Family office key employees have new flexibility under recent SEC guidance regarding the nature and range of persons who can properly be involved in the administration of their trusts. ...more

Proxy Access: More File to Exclude Proposals

Since our last update, the following public companies have submitted no-action letters to exclude shareholder proposals submitted by the New York City Pension Funds because the proposal will “directly conflict” with the...more

SEC Proposes New Exchange Act Registration Thresholds and Changes to Certain “Held of Record” Definitions

On December 18, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new rules regarding the thresholds at which issuers may become reporting companies under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Equity Plan Scorecard

As reported in my October 24, 2014 post, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading proxy advisory firm, has adopted a new “scorecard” approach to evaluating public company equity compensation plans.  In a...more

Proxy Access Proposals: Recent Developments

Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees five municipal public pension funds with $160 billion in assets, announced an initiative to give shareholders who meet specified criteria the right to nominate...more

Overview of Compliance Concerns Raised by Recent U.S. SEC Whistleblower Developments

The recent release of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) annual report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program highlights the growing reliance of U.S. Government authorities on whistleblowers to...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Key Employee Trusts Under Family Office Rule

The SEC Division of Investment Management recently provided guidance on whether certain key employee trusts would qualify as family clients under the rule. Recognizing the need for family offices to attract and retain...more

SDNY Follows Asadi: Internal Tipsters Not Dodd-Frank “Whistleblowers”

On December 5, 2014, the Southern District of New York in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, ruled that an employee who complains internally about securities law violations does not qualify as a “whistleblower” under the...more

Marathon Oil Seeks To Head Off New York City’s Proxy Access Proposal

As previously noted, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to...more

New York Times Discusses the Growth of Whistleblower Programs

As federal agencies dole out record-breaking awards to tipsters (such as the SEC’s recent $30 million award), whistleblower programs remain a topic of public interest. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

Corporate Communicator - Winter 2015

Dear clients and friends, We present to you our traditional year-end issue of Snell & Wilmer’s Corporate Communicator to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights SEC...more

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

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