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Securities Law Blog

The Securities Law Blog provides commentary and news on the latest securities law developments impacting established and emerging growth publicly-traded issuers and investment banks, as well as entrepreneurs and venture-backed private entities. Our blog closely follows SEC rulemaking in several key areas including public and private securities offerings, shareholder activism and equity investment, and mergers & acquisitions.

The authors of this blog are members of the Corporate/Securities practice of Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP.  Since our founding, this firm has been distinguished by responsive, independent and client-focused legal services provided by lawyers with a profound commitment to the companies they serve. This blog is an outgrowth of this representation of our clients in a wide range of capital market transactions.

Showing 43 posts in SEC.

SEC Proposes Revisions to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Disclosure Requirements

On January 30, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed a series of new amendments to the Regulation S-K requirements. The proposed amendments seek to modernize, simplify, and enhance certain financial disclosure requirements primarily by reducing duplicative disclosure and focusing issuers’ efforts on material information. The proposal would eliminate Items 301 and 302, which deal with selected financial data and supplementary financial data, respectively. The SEC’s primary focus is on Item 303. This item addresses disclosure requirements in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) section of issuers’ periodic reports (i.e., Forms 10-K and 10-Q) and registration statements. Read More ›

Olshan’s Shareholder Activism Group Issues Letter of Comment Citing Serious Shortcomings of SEC’s Proposed Proxy Voting Advice Rules in “Real World” of a Proxy Contest

On February 3, 2020, Olshan’s Shareholder Activism Group issued a letter of comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to its proposed amendments to the federal proxy rules released on November 5, 2019 that would condition the availability of certain existing exemptions from the information and filing requirements of the proxy rules for proxy voting advice businesses upon compliance with additional disclosure and procedural requirements.  The scope of our comments is limited to the severe shortcomings of the proposed rules in terms of their practical application in the “real world” of a proxy contest.  We have drawn upon our vast experience in advising on hundreds of contested solicitations to highlight the flaws inherent to the proposed rules.  Read More ›

The SEC Proposes to Amend the Accredited Investor Definition to Find a Place for Sophisticated, Informed Investors

The SEC proposes rules to add a new category for individuals to qualify as accredited investors based on professional certifications and designations or credentials that show “financial sophistication.”  The SEC requests public input on exactly which industry exams, academic degrees and levels of job experience should be considered.    Read More ›

Planning and Disclosing Indications of Interest for Participating in IPOs

This article was originally published by Bloomberg Law, October 2019. Read More ›

SEC Issues Guidance on Proxy Voting Responsibilities of Investment Advisers and Interpretation Regarding Applicability of Proxy Voting Rules to Proxy Advisory Firm Voting Recommendations

On August 21, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) (i) approved new guidance (the “Guidance”) regarding the proxy voting responsibilities of investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”), and (ii) issued an interpretation and related guidance (the “Interpretation”) regarding the applicability of the federal proxy rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), to proxy voting advice provided by proxy advisory firms. The Guidance discusses, among other things, the ability of investment advisers to establish a variety of different voting arrangements with their clients and matters they should consider when they utilize the services of a proxy advisory firm. Specifically, the Guidance clarifies how an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties to its clients and Rule 206(4)-6 of the Advisers Act relate to an investment adviser’s voting authority on behalf of clients, particularly where the investment adviser retains a proxy advisory firm. The Interpretation confirms the SEC’s historical position that proxy voting advice generally constitutes a “solicitation” under Rule 14a-1(l) of the Exchange Act and, as such, falls under the purview of the antifraud provisions of Rule 14a-9 of the Exchange Act. The Guidance and Interpretation will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register. The Guidance and Interpretation were issued after years of advocacy by members of Congress, corporations and others claiming that proxy advisory firms such as Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. wield too much power and a regulatory framework should be put in place to address issues related to the services provided by these firms such as conflicts of interest, accuracy of reports, transparency and oversight. Read More ›

The SEC Proposes a Philosophical Shift to Principles-Based Disclosure in Response to Increasingly Irrelevant, Outdated and Immaterial Information in Public Filings

While the SEC favors a more flexible principles-based approach to disclosure of business descriptions and risk factors as determined by a company’s management, a lack of bright-line, quantitative rules to specify when disclosure is required may lead to second guessing by regulators, among others. Read More ›

The SEC Encourages Public Company Borrowers to Address the Risks of LIBOR’s Phase-Out in Their Public Filings

The SEC staff will be actively monitoring the extent to which public companies and other market participants are identifying and addressing risks associated with the expected discontinuation of LIBOR, a common system of interest rates for financial transactions, past 2021. Read More ›

The SEC Looks for More Transparency in Influencer Marketing

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy warns investors to be skeptical of endorsements from famous influencers marketing new investment opportunities. Read More ›

The SEC Proposes to Extend the JOBS Act's "Testing the Waters" Provision to All Issuers, Regardless of Size, in All Types of Securities Offerings

The proposal would allow companies to more effectively consult with potential institutional investors to better identify acceptable offering terms in advance of a public offering, as compared to the current practice of repeated registration statement amendments to calibrate the public markets. Read More ›

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