News & Analysis as of

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Provides New (But Limited) Guidance on the Ordinary Business Exception to Rule 14a-8

A tenet of corporate law is that directors—not shareholders—manage a company's business and affairs. Recognizing that proposals adopted through the Rule 14a-8 process could allow shareholders to intrude on matters...more

Commissioner Gallagher Posits SEC Would Prevail Against Harvard University

Just this week, Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and former Commissioner Joseph A. Grundfest issued a draft of a paper that takes on the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project. The Harvard SRP describes itself as “a clinical...more

SEC Commissioner Wonders Whether Harvard Violated Securities Laws

SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and Joseph A. Grundfest, Stanford Law School, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, have just published a paper titled “Did Harvard Violate Federal Securities Law? The Campaign Against...more

SEC Grants No-Action Relief to Whole Foods to Exclude Proxy Access Shareholder Proposal

On December 1, 2014, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission granted no-action relief to Whole Foods Market regarding its request to omit a shareholder proposal from its proxy materials pursuant to Rule...more

Whole Foods Can Exclude Proxy Access Proposal

The SEC has granted Whole Foods no action relief to exclude a proxy access proposal submitted under Rule 14a-8. The proponent’s proposal sought a non-binding shareholder resolution to request that the Whole Food’s Board of...more

The Next Wave of Proxy Access Proposals: What Issuers Should Know and How They Can Prepare

The Comptroller of the City of New York, who oversees pension funds with a combined $160 billion in assets, recently submitted proxy access shareholder proposals at 75 U.S. public companies as part of its Boardroom...more

Consequences of a Data Breach: Lessons from Wyndham Worldwide

On October 20, 2014, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation won dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit seeking damages arising out of three data breaches that occurred between 2008 and 2010. Dennis Palkon, et al. v. Stephen P....more

What public companies and their Officers, Directors and Significant Shareholders should do about the SEC’s crackdown on the...

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced enforcement charges against 28 officers, directors and significant shareholders, including hedge funds and large financial institutions, for failing to...more

Tips for Managing and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest arise in any relationship where a duty of care or trust exists between two or more parties. For financial services companies the identification and management of conflicts of interest must be a core...more

1, 2 or 3 Years? How Should Boards Decide The Frequency Of Say-On-Pay Votes?

Although the initial ruckus over how to determine the outcome of executive compensation say-on-frequency votes has subsided, I still maintain that the Securities and Exchange Commission botched the rule (§240.14a-21(b)). ...more

SEC Charges Officers, Directors, Stockholders and Companies for Failure to Timely File Reports Under Sections 13 and 16 of the...

The director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Andrew Ceresney, said that using quantitative analytics the SEC has identified various individuals and companies with especially high rates of filing deficiencies and...more

SEC Charges Insiders for Violations of Section 16(a) and Section 13

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against 28 officers, directors, and major shareholders for violating federal securities laws requiring them to report information about their...more

The SEC Gets Serious About Late Beneficial Ownership Reporting

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against 28 directors, officers and significant shareholders of public companies for repeated failures to timely report their share...more

Cybersecurity Concerns Underpin Continued Push In The Regulatory And Legal Arenas

While Congress continues its aggressive push on cybersecurity legislation, regulatory oversight and legal efforts continue across the spectrum of industries effectively filling the gap in addressing now every day concerns...more

SEC Request For O&D Bar Denied

A frequently used remedy in Commission enforcement actions is the officer and director bar. A permanent bar has the very harsh effect of precluding the person from being an officer or director of any public company. That, of...more

Board Responsibilities Under SEC's Money Market Fund Reform

On July 23, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) adopted final rules governing the structure and operation of money market funds (MMFs), in a release adopting amendments to Rule 2a-7 (Rule) under the...more

Money Market Fund Reform – A Summary of Significant Changes

The SEC recently adopted amendments to the rules governing MMFs. Most particularly, the amendments (i) require institutional prime and institutional tax-exempt MMFs to use a floating net asset value as opposed to allowing...more

SEC Adopts Amendments to Money Market Fund Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today adopted long-awaited and highly anticipated amendments to rules under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act) governing money market funds. ...more

Fair Valuation and Mutual Fund Directors: The Great Valuation Divide and Its Implications

The 1940 Act’s requirements for valuing portfolio securities may be summarized as follows: the board of directors must determine, in good faith, the fair value of every portfolio security for which a market quotation is not...more

Directors Beware – The SEC’s High Expectations for Gatekeepers

In a recent speech, SEC Chair Mary Jo White put directors of public companies on notice of their responsibility as “essential” and “important” gatekeepers upon whom their investors and the SEC rely. Chair White described...more

Director of SEC’s Division of Investment Management Provides Insights into Agency’s View of Alternative Mutual Funds and Focus of...

On June 30, 2014, in remarks to the Practising Law Institute’s Private Equity Forum, Norm Champ, Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, addressed the increase in the number of mutual funds that use...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - New Studies Highlight Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks and Costs - SEC Commissioner Addresses the Role of the Board on Cybersecurity Matters - Supreme Court Decision on Cellphone Searches...more

SEC Chair White Discusses Directors’ Responsibilities

In a recent speech at the Stanford Directors’ College, SEC Chair Mary Jo White discussed several “things that directors should know about the SEC.” Her speech focused on directors as gatekeepers, self-reporting of wrongdoing,...more

Commissioner Aguilar Addresses Boards’ Focus on Cybersecurity

One June 10th SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar made a speech before the New York Stock Exchange, and he took the opportunity to discuss good corporate governance as it relates to cybersecurity and boards of directors....more

SEC: Don’t Ignore the Habitually Wrong Whistleblower

SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently gave a speech on a number of important matters, including the role of directors as gatekeepers, her views of self-reporting of violations and the SEC’s whistleblower program. In the speech...more

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