Shareholders Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

SEC Proposes New Executive Pay Versus Company Performance Disclosure Rules

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3 to 2 to propose rules related to the disclosure of information that shows the relationship between executive compensation and the financial performance...more

Pay Versus Performance Rules Proposed by Securities and Exchange Commission

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued another proposed rule under the Dodd-Frank Act, this time with respect to the pay versus performance requirements of Section 953(a) of the Act. ...more

SEC Commissioner Stein On “Short-termism” and Corporate Boards

Two issues of continued importance to shareholders and the U.S. capital markets were recently discussed by SEC Commissioner Kara Stein. One the Commissioner called “short-termism” while the other focuses on the composition of...more

The SEC Defines “Voting Equity Securities” for Purposes of the Rule 506(d) Bad Actor Disqualification Rules

The SEC is continuing to tie up some loose ends left over from the adoption of the Rule 506(d) bad actor disqualification rules. Certainty regarding these open items will be beneficial for issuers and placement agents of...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

Email Notice Without Consent Is Not Notice

The California General Corporation Law unequivocally authorizes the giving of notice of stockholder meetings by electronic transmission. Section 601(b) provides “Notice of a shareholders’ meeting or any report shall be given...more

Courts Continue to Dismiss Shareholder Suits Based on FCPA Violations

On March 16, 2015, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York dismissed a shareholder derivative suit filed by Sylvia Pritika against the CEO and others of Avon Products Inc. ("Avon") alleging breach of...more

SEC Charges Directors, Officers and Major Investors for Failing to Update Disclosures Prior to Announcements of Going Private...

On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced settlement proceedings against officers, directors, and major shareholders of several companies that were recently taken private for failing to update...more

For Shareholder Inspection Demands, A Purpose Isn’t “Proper” When the Issue Has Already Been Decided

As we have previously discussed in prior posts, shareholder demands to inspect confidential corporate information are being made with increased frequency, and are forcing more and more companies to grapple with their legal...more

More “Broken Windows”: SEC Charges Schedule 13D Filers with Disclosure Violations for Failing to Update Ownership Reports

When a significant stockholder in a publicly-held company is considering plans to take the company private, how soon must the stockholder disclose those plans in a Schedule 13D filing?...more

SEC Charges Insiders for Failure to Update Schedule 13D Disclosures

On March 13, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged eight officers, directors and major shareholders for failing to update material changes in their stock ownership disclosures on Schedule 13D in connection with...more

Issuers Omit Proposals From Proxy Statements

As noted here, two issuers have omitted shareholder proposals from preliminary proxy statements where no-action letters from the SEC regarding omission of the proposals have been withdrawn. The blog suggests, within its...more

Blog: White Shares Observations On Shareholder Activism, The Shareholder Proposal Process And Fee-Shifting Bylaws

Today, SEC Chair Mary Jo White spoke at Tulane’s Corporate Law Institute, sharing her observations on the current state of shareholder activism, the shareholder proposal process and fee-shifting bylaws. ...more

Blog: SEC Enforcement Tries To Fix More “Broken Windows”

On Friday, the SEC charged eight officers, directors and major shareholders for failing to update their Schedule 13D stock ownership reports to reflect material changes in connection with several going-private transactions. ...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC continued Operation Shell-Expel this week, suspending trading in the shares of 128 OTC issuers bringing its total for the program to about 8% of the shares traded in that market. The Commission also announced another...more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...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

Blog: ISS Announces Its Position On Proxy Access And Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals

Yesterday, ISS issued long-awaited FAQs regarding its policy with respect to shareholder proposals for proxy access and its position on exclusion of shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8(i)(9). ...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - February 2015

It’s still the case that commentators have said nothing revelationary about “proxy access ,” the recent private-ordering push, and the SEC’s flip-floppery on its Whole Foods no-action letter. “Proxy access” is short hand for...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

Proxy Access - Recent Developments

Recent activity by shareholder governance advocates and the SEC has thrust proxy access back into the spotlight. Here we provide a brief refresher on proxy access and our thoughts on recent developments....more

Trinity Wall Street Responds in Appeal of Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

Currently before the Third Circuit is Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The case involves whether Wal-Mart can exclude a shareholder proposal under the “ordinary business exception” to Rule 14a-8. Trinity...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 Announces Proxy Voting Roundtable

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will host a roundtable on February 19 on ways to improve the proxy voting process, with a focus on universal proxy ballots and retail (non-institutional)...more

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