Mary Jo White

News & Analysis as of

Broad Coalition Delivers Blunt Rebuke To SEC Chairman

Last month, I wrote that the SEC’s about face in responding to the no-action letter request of Whole Foods Market, Inc. “clearly wasn’t the SEC’s finest hour.” Several days later, a coalition of some 17 different...more

SEC Chair and European Union Financial Services Commissioner Meet

On February 26, the SEC Chair Mary Jo White hosted a meeting with European Union Financial Services Commissioner Jonathan Hill. Chair White and Commissioner Hill discussed the importance of international cooperation in...more

SEC Speaks 2015: Enforcement Highlights

On February 20, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held its annual SEC Speaks conference, which updated the public regarding the staff’s work over the last year and its plans for 2015. ...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

Proxy Access Update—Director of SEC Division of Corporation Finance Remarks on Decision to Suspend No-Action Relief Based on Rule...

On February 10, 2015, Keith Higgins, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, provided his informal views (available here) on the Division’s controversial decision to “express no views” on the application of...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

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement Advisers to Private Funds Among Targets of the SEC’s 2015 Examination Program The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced the 2015 examination priorities for its Office of Compliance...more

SEC Staff To Express No Views On Conflicting Shareholder Proposals Under Rule 14a-8(i)(9)

On January 16, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White issued a directive that the staff of the SEC review its position on Rule 14a-8(i)(9) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Concurrent with SEC Chair White’s...more

SEC Suspends Review of Conflicting Shareholder Proposal No-Action Requests

On January 16, 2015, the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Staff”) announced that the Staff will express no views on no-action requests, arguing that shareholder proposals...more

SEC Chair Directs Staff to Review Commission Rule Excluding Conflicting Proxy Proposals

On January 16, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White announced that she has directed the SEC’s staff (Staff) to review Rule 14a-8(i)(9) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which allows an...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 3

In this issue: - SEC Chair Directs Staff to Review Commission Rule Excluding Conflicting Proxy Proposals - SEC Comments on FINRA's Proposed Rule Amendment to Increase Pricing Disclosure - CFTC Grants...more

Blog: Glass Lewis Jumps Into The Fray On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals For Proxy Access

The WSJ reported on Friday afternoon that proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis may recommend against company nominees for director when the company excludes a shareholder proposal for proxy access on the basis of a conflicting...more

Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that...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

2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism...more

No More SEC No-Action Letters on Proxy Access Proposals

Responding to investor pressure, and pressure by shareholder proponents, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance issued this statement: “In light of Chair White’s direction to the staff to review Rule 14a-8(i)(9) and...more

5 Insights From The SEC Whistleblower Program Annual Report That Will Impact Your 2015

The SEC’s whistleblower program has had a noteworthy year. They outlined the highlights in their “2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program.” Here are five trends that will continue to have an...more

Blog: Republicans To SEC Chair: Delay Pay Ratio Rules. Is A Repeal Attempt In The Offing?

The WSJ reports that three Republican congressman — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, and Reps. Scott Garrett and Bill Huizenga — have written to SEC Chair Mary Jo White urging that the SEC stop...more

2014 SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation Considers Adding Qualitative Requirements to the Standards...

On Thursday, November 20th, the 2014 SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation met at the SEC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The forum was attended by SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, Commissioner...more

A Royal Fan Responds: Russ Berland on the SEC Financial Report for FY 2014

Ed. Note-today we have a guest post from KC Royals fan and Stinson Leonard Street partner Russ Berland. As a Kansas City Royals fan, I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the Royals on a great season...more

Blog: SEC To Issue Concept Release Regarding Audit Committees

Compliance Week reports that SEC Chair Mary Jo White, speaking before the Investor Advisory Group of the PCAOB, said that the SEC plans to Issue a concept release in early 2015 “exploring possible avenues for elevating the...more

Commissioner’s Concerns About Civil Penalties Temper SEC’s Release of FY14 Enforcement Results

On October 16, the SEC publicized its preliminary enforcement results for fiscal year 2014. In what it described as a “successful enforcement year,” the Commission brought a record 755 actions and obtained $4.16 billion in...more

SEC Sends A Message — To Executives And Their Companies

In October 2013, SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave a speech at the Securities Enforcement Forum in which she declared an “enforcement mission” of the SEC to be implementation of the “broken windows” theory of crime deterrence...more

The SEC Tackles Technicality

Within several months of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White’s announcement in late 2013 of a commitment to improving the SEC’s trial readiness, the Commission suffered a number of losses in federal...more

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