On February 10, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued for public comment proposed rules that will, if adopted, significantly affect how investors report their beneficial ownership on Schedules 13D and 13G. The principal changes would:

  • accelerate the filing deadlines for Schedules 13D and 13G beneficial ownership reports;
  • clarify the circumstances under which

In many ways, 2021 was a high-water mark for corporate activism. The levels of traditional shareholder activism rebounded from the lows reached during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. M&A activism increased substantially as shareholder activists sought to capitalize on the M&A boom. Large-cap activism returned as activists targeted Fortune 500 CEOs with increasing frequency. The year also saw the emergence of a new brand of ESG-themed shareholder activism in the wake of the Engine No. 1 activist campaign supported by CalPERS at ExxonMobil and the copycat ESG tactics deployed by other shareholder activists.
Continue Reading Navigating a World Where Almost Everyone Is an Activist

Robust interest in ESG-related matters and growing demands from shareholders, regulators and various other stakeholders during 2021 have put management and boards of public companies firmly on notice that strong ESG policies, practices and commitments are key components to long-term organizational success, business resiliency and value creation.
Continue Reading Key Practices for Board Organization and Oversight of ESG

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) has received unprecedented support in the past year, and trends show that it is here to stay at the forefront of focus areas for corporations and key stakeholders alike.
Continue Reading Diversity Issues Remain at Center Stage, and the Show Is Just Getting Started

As ESG remains a mainstay of board and investor focus, effective shareholder engagement is as important as ever, and as complex as ever, for ensuring that companies have the external support necessary to advance their long-term strategy.
Continue Reading 2022 Shareholder Engagement Trends and Considerations: ESG and Investor Outreach

The UK Government has recently announced that it will introduce mandatory climate-related financial reporting for the first time.[1]

The new rules are likely to have particular implications for UK public companies listed outside the UK (particularly on the NYSE or NASDAQ) or on AIM, large UK subsidiaries of multinational corporate groups and large portfolio companies of financial sponsors that have a UK topco structure, where the new rules may require them to grapple with climate-related financial reporting for the first time.
Continue Reading UK Introduces Mandatory Climate-Related Financial Reporting for Large Public and Private Companies

On November 3, 2021, the Division of Corporation Finance of the SEC (the “Staff”) issued Staff Legal Bulletin (“SLB”) No. 14L, which rescinds SLBs Nos. 14I, 14J and 14K, all of which provided guidance with respect to no-action letter requests that sought relief from the Staff to exclude shareholder proposals on the basis of Rule 14a-8(i)(7) and Rule 14a-8(i)(5).  SLB No. 14L also provides guidance on (i) certain technical exclusions, (ii) the use of graphics and images in proposals and (iii) the use of email between proponents and companies.
Continue Reading SEC Provides New Guidance on Shareholder Proposals – Likely To Limit Companies’ Ability To Exclude Environmental and Social Proposals