News & Analysis as of

Proxy Access Developments: ISS Issues FAQs on Voting Policies and Several Companies Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access Bylaws

On February 20, (ISS) published long-awaited FAQs clarifying its voting policies on proxy access proposals that would allow investors to include director nominees in the company’s proxy materials....more

SEC Proposes Hedging Policy Disclosure Rule

The SEC has proposed a rule that would require new hedging policy disclosure by companies that are subject to SEC proxy rules. The proposed rule would in most cases expand the hedging policy disclosure currently provided by...more

SEC Proposes Disclosure Rule for Hedging Transactions by Directors, Officers and Employees

On February 9, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed rule that, if adopted, would require public companies to disclose in annual proxy statements whether their employees and board members...more

SEC Proposes Equity Hedging Disclosure Rules under Dodd-Frank

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed long-awaited equity hedging disclosure rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010...more

SEC Proposes Rule Requiring Hedging Disclosure

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) proposed amendments to its rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”),...more

Sandy Hook Parents and Securities Law Professors Support Trinity Wall Street; Wal-Mart Replies

A group comprised of parents whose children or spouses were victims in the Sandy Hook tragedy, together with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, have filed a brief in support of Trinity Wall Street in a case where...more

2015 Proxy Season: What to Expect

As we approach this year’s proxy season, it is a good time to reflect on last year’s developments and to plan for this year’s hot topics. A Look Back - In addition to reviewing your own shareholder voting results...more

SEC Proposes Hedging Disclosures Regarding Directors, Officers and Employees

The SEC has proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as codified in Section 14(j) of the Exchange Act, which requires annual meeting proxy statement disclosure...more

Withdrawal of Whole Foods No-Action Letter Leaves a Hole in Proxy Access Proposal Defense

On January 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that, for the 2015 proxy season, the Division of Corporation Finance will not express any views as to whether a company may exclude a shareholder...more

SEC Reverses Course on Proxy Exclusions for Certain Shareholder Proposals

Much is being made of the January 16th statement by SEC Chair Mary Jo White regarding a company’s ability to exclude a shareholder proposal from its proxy statement based on Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which allows exclusion when a...more

The SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Process Just Became Even More Pointlessly Outré

Yesterday, Broc Romanek posted on SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s Friday surprise with respect the no-action letter request submitted by Whole Foods Market, Inc. Readers may recall that in December Whole Foods had obtained the...more

The Marx Brothers Mirror Scene: Absurdity and Comments by a SEC Commissioner

I continue my Marx Brothers’ themed week by today looking at what I and many others believe to be their most cherished routine: the Mirror Scene. Danny Leigh, in his article in the Financial Times (FT), entitled “Souped-up...more

Blog: Whole Foods proxy access saga continues

In her NYT column this past Sunday, Gretchen Morgenson provides an interesting update on the saga of James McRitchie’s proxy access proposal submitted to Whole Foods....more

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

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