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Developments in Securities Regulation, Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, M&A and Other Topics of Interest

SEC Charges Company for Implementing Stock Buyback Plan Before Acquisition Negotiations Resumed

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The SEC announced settled charges against Andeavor LLC for controls violations relating to a stock buyback plan it implemented while it was in discussions to be acquired by Marathon Petroleum Corp. in 2018. Andeavor agreed to pay a $20 million penalty to settle the charges.  According to the SEC order,... Read More

Topics: Litigation, M&A, Public Companies and Securities

ISS Launches Open Comment Period for 2021 ISS Benchmark Voting Policy Changes

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ISS announced the launch of its annual benchmark voting policy comment period. ISS has made available for public comment a number of proposed changes to ISS’ benchmark voting policies for 2021. Key proposed changes for the U.S. are set forth below. Director Elections: Racial/Ethnic Board Diversity For companies in the Russell... Read More

Topics: M&A, Public Companies and Securities

SEC Modifies Shareholder Proposals Framework

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On September 23rd, the Commission adopted rules altering the shareholder proposals submission (and re-submission) framework under Rule 14a-8 of the Exchange Act for the first time in over twenty years. Following another split-vote of the commissioners, the SEC approved the staff’s recommended modifications to the current shareholder ownership threshold for... Read More

Topics: Public Companies and Securities

DOL Proposes Rule on Employee Benefit Plan Proxy Voting and Exercises of Other Shareholder Rights

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The U.S. Department of Labor today made available a proposed rule that would address the application of the prudence and exclusive purpose duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) with respect to proxy voting and exercises of other shareholder rights. The proposed rule amends the Department’s longstanding “Investment... Read More

Topics: ESG, Public Companies and Securities

SEC Adopts Rule Amendments to Modernize Disclosures of Business, Legal Proceedings, and Risk Factors

The SEC adopted amendments to modernize the description of business, legal proceedings, and risk factor disclosures that registrants are required to make pursuant to Regulation S-K. These disclosure items have not undergone significant revisions in over 30 years.  The final amendments: Revise the requirements to discuss the general development of... Read More

Topics: Employment, Public Companies and Securities

SEC Rulemaking Expands Accredited Investor Definition

On August 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments and issued a related order to expand the definition of “accredited investor” under Rule 501(a) of the Securities Act to include natural persons with certain professional certifications, designations; credentials issued by an accredited educational institution, including Series 7, Series... Read More

Topics: Investment Advisers, Public Companies and Securities