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

Corporate Governance and Disclosure Considerations for Financial Services Companies This Proxy Season and Beyond

Introduction - As the 2015 annual meeting season quickly approaches, recent and continuing corporate governance and securities disclosure developments should be top of mind as financial services companies complete their...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

What Price Love?

Apparently, about $1 million if you are the CEO of Johnson Controls, Inc. At least, that is one possible takeaway from the action of the board of directors of Johnson Controls with respect to the behavior of its CEO, Alex...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

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - January 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties in Sale Context and Overturns Judicial Imposition of Auction in Deal with Passive Market Check - Illinois Court...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

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

Proxy Access: Request to Reconsider Whole Foods; Another Seeks to Avoid NYC Proposal

James McRitchie was the shareholder proponent who submitted a proxy access proposal to Whole Foods. The SEC granted Whole Foods’ request to exclude the proposal. Mr. McRitchie has now requested an appeal to the full...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

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

Final Disclosure Rules Regarding Women on Boards and in Senior Management

TSX-listed companies will almost certainly need to include disclosure in their information circulars or annual information forms on the representation of women on their boards and in senior management for the 2015 proxy...more

Re-evaluating the Board Evaluation

Board evaluations have long been standard practice among public companies. With shareholder interest in corporate governance practices at an all-time high, the focus on board evaluations is expected to increase. ...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

Does A Director Have A Contractual Right To Compensation?

Yesterday, I wrote about stockholder challenges to director compensation. Today’s post considers what happens when a director joins a board. When someone is invited to join a board, she may ask about compensation. The...more

If Fee-Shifting Bylaws Are Ever Put On Trial, This Case Should Be Exhibit A

Item 5.07(d) of Form 8-K requires issuers to disclose “the company’s decision in light of such vote as to how frequently the company will include a shareholder vote on the compensation of executives in its proxy materials...more

Full disclosure: A practical guide for the HR professional when preparing the retirement plan portions of a proxy statement

In 2006, the SEC adopted rules which created the Pension Benefits Table and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table to supplement the Summary Compensation Table. The tables mandate certain specific disclosures with respect...more

Dodd-Frank Essentials: Executive Compensation Requirements And Disclosures

Several provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have brought compensation of financial institution executives into the public eye. Although disclosure of executive and director compensation...more

D&O Questionnaire Update Forms For 2014

The SEC has adopted rules prohibiting “bad actors” from using Rule 506 after September 23, 2013 (the effective date of the rules), or if prohibited conduct occurred prior to the effective date of the rules, the prohibition...more

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