The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”.

Investors and other stakeholders continue to focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at public companies, both as a driver of financial performance and as a factor of social importance.

The

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”.

We foresee investors continuing to both refine and expand their demands on corporate boards in 2020. With the particular focus on board refreshment and diversity, significant pressure is placed on nominating and

Recent changes in political climates, legal reforms and social norms have had varying (and sometimes conflicting) impacts on how companies are run; however, they have all contributed to a growing demand that companies expand their focus beyond shareholder value creation.

Environmental, social and governance concerns dominate shareholder proposals and engagement efforts, and discussions of corporate

The SEC is taking renewed aim at earnings management, and this time it’s not just improper revenue recognition.

Both in its recent enforcement order against Marvell Technology Group – imposing s $5.5 million fine and a cease-and-desist order – and in its on-going action against Under Armour,[1] the SEC has focused on what, anecdotally, is not a terribly uncommon practice – accelerating (or “pulling in”) sales from a future quarter to the present in order to “close the gap between actual and forecasted revenue.”[2]  In both cases, the schemes consisted of offering various incentives, such as “price rebates, discounted prices, free products, and extended payment terms”[3] to entice customers to accept products in the current quarter that they would not need until the next.  In an environment of declining sales, these inorganic efforts to meet earnings numbers allegedly misled the market about the direction of the business.
Continue Reading SEC Cracks Down on Earnings Management

On November 5, the SEC released its widely anticipated proposed changes to some of the procedural requirements for shareholder proposals to be included in management’s proxy statement under Exchange Act Rule 14a-8. In this latest release, the SEC addresses procedural requirements that it has not revised in more than 20 years. The release proposes five

On November 5, a divided Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed new rules about proxy advisory firms. The proposed rules would, if adopted, have three principal effects:

  • Before a proxy advisory firm distributes its recommendations for a particular shareholder vote to its clients, it would be required to give a company an opportunity to comment

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a rule under which any issuer can “test the waters” for a securities offering before or after filing a registration statement. This new rule extends an accommodation previously available only to emerging growth companies.

Please click here to read the full alert memorandum.

On August 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted (1) guidance on the proxy voting responsibilities of investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act and related rules (the “Advisers Guidance”) and (2) interpretation and guidance on the applicability to proxy voting advice of the rules on proxy solicitation under the Securities Exchange Act (the “Solicitation Guidance”).
Continue Reading In its Highly Anticipated Guidance on Proxy Advisory Firms, the SEC Proceeds With Caution

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued another in its series of rule proposals to revise the disclosure requirements applicable to reporting companies. Its August 8, 2019 proposal addresses simplification of three items in Regulation S-K that have not been revised for more than 30 years. We also provide a link in the attached

In late July 2019, U.S. federal and state regulators announced three headline‑grabbing data privacy and cybersecurity enforcement actions against Equifax and Facebook.  Although coverage of these cases has focused largely on their striking financial penalties, as important are the terms the settlements imposed on the companies’ operations as well as their officers, directors, and compliance professionals—and what they signal about potential future enforcement activity to come.
Continue Reading July 2019 Privacy and Cybersecurity Enforcement: Lessons for Management and Directors