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ISS Policy Application Survey Highlights Director Pay and Gender Pay Gap

This year ISS conducted two surveys. One was a high-level survey covering a small number of fundamental and high-profile topics. We reported the results here. ISS has now announced the results of a second, more expansive...more

New York City Comptroller Launches Campaign for Corporate Board Diversity, Independence, and Climate Expertise

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and the New York City Pension Funds launched the “Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0.” The campaign seeks to make corporate boards more diverse, independent, and...more

Fed Seeks Comment on Corporate Governance Proposal for Financial Institutions

In June, Treasury issued a report noting that it believes duties imposed on bank boards are too voluminous, lack appropriate tailoring, and undermine the important distinction between the role of management and that of boards...more

ISS Releases 2018 Policy Survey

As is usual in the doldrums of summer, ISS has released its 2018 policy survey which generally foreshadows changes to ISS’ voting policies. In prior years, not everything on the survey resulted in a new voting policy. ...more

Director Equity Grants and Vote Buying Subject to Entire Fairness Review

In Williams v. Ji et al, the Delaware Court of Chancery examined an alleged scheme in which the Directors of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. granted themselves options and warrants for the stock of five subsidiaries over which...more

Trump Administration Plan for Financial Regulation Includes Reducing Regulatory Compliance Activities for Bank Boards

The U.S. Department of the Treasury yesterday issued its first in a series of reports to President Donald J. Trump examining the United States’ financial regulatory system. Appendix B to the report includes 16 pages of...more

Defendants in Stock Purchase Indemnification Action Entitled to Advancement under Bylaws

In Davis et al v. EMSI Holding Co., the Delaware Court of Chancery held that officers and directors of an acquired company were entitled to advancement under the acquired Company’s by-laws for expenses incurred in defending...more

Recent Schedule 14N Filings

GAMCO Asset Management Inc. made the news when it became the first to submit a Schedule 14N announcing a nominee for National Fuel Gas’ board of directors using a proxy access by-law. The nomination was rejected by National...more

GAMCO Folds on Rejection of Proxy Access Nominee

As previously noted, National Fuel Gas had rejected a proxy access nominee submitted by GAMCO Asset Management Inc. because of non-conformance with National Fuel’s proxy access by-law. Many wondered what would happen next. ...more

First Proxy Access Nominee Rejected

GAMCO Asset Management Inc. made the news when it became the first to submit a nominee for National Fuel Gas’ board of directors using a proxy access by-law. National Fuel Gas has now rejected the nominee because the...more

The SEC's Proposed Universal Proxy Rule: Beneficial to Shareholders or Tilting the Result toward Activist Investors?

Under current law and practice, a shareholder of a public company that is asked to vote in a contested election of directors where a slate of directors had been proposed by the company and an activist investor would likely...more

Settlement with an Activist Investor is not a Defensive Measure

A recent case decided by the Delaware Court of Chancery, In Re Ebix, Inc., held settlement with an activist investor, Barrington Capital Group, L.P. was not a defensive measure subject to scrutiny under Unocal. Ebix entered...more

ISS Issues 2016 Policy Updates

ISS has issued the following policy updates for 2016. Overboarding - Current ISS policy considers a director “overboarded” if he or she sits on more than six public company boards – or if he or she is also a CEO,...more

ISS Launches 2016 Benchmark Policy Consultation

ISS has made available for public comment certain proposed voting policies for 2016. In the United States ISS has proposed policies relating to unilateral board actions, director overboarding and compensation at...more

Court Examines Disclosure Duties in Consent Solicitaion Removing Directors

In Kerbawy v. McDonnell, the Delaware Court of Chancery affirmed the validity of a solicitation of written consents that removed certain directors and appointed new directors. A key theme of the opinion is that stockholders...more

Director Equity Grants Subject to Entire Fairness Review

In Valma v. Templeton et al, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that grants of restricted stock units, or RSUs, to directors of Citrix Systems, Inc. were subject to an entire fairness standard of review. The court found...more

SEC Charges 13D Filers With Failure to Disclose Going Private Plans

It’s well known that Federal securities laws require beneficial owners to promptly file an amendment when there is a material change in the facts previously reported by them on Schedule 13D, commonly referred to as a...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

GE and Others Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access

GE has voluntarily adopted a proxy access by-law proposal. The by-law permits a shareowner, or a group of up to 20 shareowners, owning 3% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock continuously for at least three...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

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

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

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

NYC Pension Fund Submits 75 Proxy Access Proposals

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to give shareowners who...more

OCC Specifies ‘Heightened Expectations’ for Board of Director Oversight Responsibilities for Large Banks

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, has adopted guidelines, issued as an appendix to its safety and soundness standards regulations, establishing minimum standards for the design and implementation of a...more

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