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By Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) urged in a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton that the SEC investigate the issuance of company stock, lack of Regulation FD disclosure, and other unusual trading patterns in the stock of Eastman Kodak Co. The unusual trading patterns allegedly occurred during a time period in which Kodak was about to be awarded a $765 million loan by the Trump Administration under the Defense Production Act related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By , Aronberg Goldgehn A data breach shortly before or just after the closing of an M&A transaction can be very costly, as evidenced by recent deals by Verizon Communications, Marriott International, and Spirit AeroSystems. Alan Wernick, Of Counsel at Aronberg Goldgehn, examines the circumstances of those transactions and poses questions buyers and sellers should ask themselves to be better prepared for a cybersecurity incident. He believes proactive planning around cybersecurity is critical to mitigating the potential costs introduced by waiting to address these issues until after a deal is underway. He offers some due diligence considerations, including advice on what outside resources a company might consider to be prepared for potential.
By Several investor advocacy groups have sent a letter to the SEC urging it to reject proposed changes to the SEC’s shareholder proposal rules. In addition to reiterating earlier objections to the proposal relating to its impact on smaller investors and a lack of substantive economic analysis in the proposing release, the letter cites several shareholder proposals from the 2020 proxy season that would have been excluded had the proposed rule been in effect. The is signed by representatives from the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), Ceres, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Shareholder Rights Group, the AFL-CIO, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Scaling back shareholder proposals. In Novemb.
By In recent remarks, Division of Investment Management Director Dalia Blass reviewed key 2020 developments and noted that stakeholders and investors can expect more to come. Amid the plethora of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the division continues to work to improve efficiencies and enhance monitoring efforts, the director . Pandemic response. COVID-19 has tested regulators, business processes, and market structures, Blass noted, but the SEC staff and market participants have shown resilience and adaptability. The director stated that the IM division has remained fully functional and even taken on additional work to accommodate outreach and emergency work efforts, extensive monitoring, and domestic and international coord.
By Pershing Square Tontine Holdings dominated IPO headlines last week with its $4 billion offering. It was the largest IPO ever by a blank check company (SIC 6770), as well as the biggest new issue of 2020 to date. Of particular note was that the company’s units priced at $20, bucking the long tradition of blank check new issuers selling at $10 per unit. Pershing’s offering was one of five SIC 6770 IPOs in a week that also saw deals by Ascendant Digital Acquisition, East Resources Acquisition, Property Solutions Acquisition, and Greencity Acquisition. JPMorgan led offerings by biotech/pharma industry new issuers Annexon, Nurix Therapeutics, and iTeos Therapeutics. The industry has produced 36 percent of JPMorgan's completed lead manager ass.
By The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee in support of the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019. H.R. 5084, which the House 281-135 in November 2019, would mandate issuer disclosures about boardroom and C-suite diversity and inclusion efforts. It would also direct the SEC to publish best practices and study how to improve gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on boards. The coalition cited a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey finding that board directors overwhelmingly believe a diverse board brings unique perspectives, enhances board performance, improves relationships with investors, and enhances the company’s performance. The letter says that the pen.
By At the first of two consecutive CFTC open meetings held via , the to approve a final rule regarding new capital requirements for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs). the rule as promoting certainty, customer protection, and reducing systematic risk. Tarbert also noted that the adoption of the rule marked the completion of the CFTC’s required rulemakings under Section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act. For his part, the CFTC’s progress made under Dodd-Frank was now under threat. Moreover, he vigorously opposed the final rule noting it was not based upon the risks of uncleared swaps, as the law requires, but rather on existing capital requirements for FCMs and banks. Berkovitz also pointed to the Commission’s acknowledgement that.
By In a virtual reunion marking the Dodd-Frank Act’s 10th anniversary, the Act’s chief architects gathered in home offices and living rooms to celebrate successes, reflect on the current economic crisis, and mull remaining areas of reform. Former President Barack Obama himself welcomed prominent Dodd-Frank alumni to the event, which was co-hosted by Better Markets and the George Washington University Law School’s Business and Finance Law Program. Christopher Dodd, former Senator and chair of the Senate Banking Committee, and Barney Frank, former Representative and chair of the House Financial Services Committee, shared stories of midnight negotiations in a high-pressure marathon session where every vote was needed. The former lawmakers agre.
By A Seventh Circuit panel has remanded an order granting class certification, while providing guidance on how to approach the issue of price impact. In this interlocutory appeal, the panel read three recent Supreme Court opinions concerning the Basic presumption together and reached the conclusion that the district court was in error when it avoided a price impact defense at the class certification stage as being too closely tied to the merits. The panel then provided guidance for remand about how to analyze the issue without paying attention to the implications for the merits (, July 16, 2020, Hamilton, D.). Loosened underwriting. The case arose out of Allstate Corporation's 2013 announcement of a strategy to attract new customers that in.
By The sixth meeting of the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC), held by teleconference, featured a addressing a variety of issues that are top-of-mind for the Commission and U.S. derivatives market participants. Commissioner Brian Quintenz, who also serves as the TAC sponsor, noting the topics to be explored. These included cybersecurity lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, a discussion of the Commission’s recently proposed rule on electronic trading risk principles, an update on the resiliency and scalability of distributed ledger technology (DLT) systems and potential use-cases, and an overview of central bank digital currencies and their place in the derivatives regulatory landscape. The TAC’s various subcommittees led eac.
By Representatives from firms that use technology to improve customer experiences in investing touted these platforms at a recent of the SEC’s Asset Management Advisory Committee. Innovations in technology have not only improved the access of investment advice to customers, they have also been instrumental in allowing customers to shape their portfolios through customization and targeting individual goal objectives. Motif. Hardeep Walia, senior vice president at Schwab Asset Management Solutions, spoke about his experience as founder and CEO of Motif, an investing firm that uses data science and automation to develop financial products for individual investors, financial institutions, and investment advisers. Motif was an early pioneer in t.
By , , and , Milbank LLP The Supreme Court’s decision in Liu v. SEC curtailed the SEC’s authority to obtain disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as a remedy in enforcement actions, and left unanswered many consequential questions surrounding disgorgement, according to Milbank’s Antonia Apps, George S. Canellos, and Tawfiq Rangwala. In their view, the ruling threatens the SEC’s ability to obtain disgorgement in common categories of cases such as insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, and cases arising under rules for the general protection of markets and investors. After reviewing the ruling, they consider the many open questions posed by the Supreme Court’s position in Liu which they believe will have to be answered through cas.
By Appraisal petitioners took the wrong lesson from the Delaware Supreme Court’s recent trilogy of appraisal cases, the court suggested in affirming a chancery court opinion that appraised Jarden Corporation at well below the deal price. The cases reiterated that the chancery court must look to all relevant factors and explain how it arrived at a fair value for the corporation. In the case of Jarden, the chancery court reasoned that the deal price was an unreliable indicator of fair value because Jarden’s CEO acted with little oversight and volunteered an acceptable price range before negotiations really began (, July 9, 2020, Seitz, C.). In 2016 Newell Rubbermaid acquired Jarden for a mix of cash and shares worth $59.21 per share of Jarden.
By At a recent SEC roundtable, panelists discussed issues that differing disclosure regimes in emerging markets may pose for investors. Although panelists were generally of the view that most companies provide sufficient disclosures and any deficiencies can be addressed through current SEC oversight, some had greater concerns, particularly whether there may be a "gaping hole" in the awareness of passive and retail investors of the risks of investing in emerging markets. Disclosure. A on disclosure issues was moderated by Raquel Fox, director of the Office of International Affairs, and Bill Hinman, director of the Division of Corporation Finance. In the view of Amy McGarrity, chief investment officer at the Public Employees’ Retirement Assoc.
By The CFTC recently filed a six-count complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California charging four individuals and four entities with operating a $14.5 million binary options and retail foreign currency Ponzi scheme. The agency charged California-based defendants John D. Black and his affiliated entities Financial Tree (d/b/a Financial Tree Trust), Financial Solution Group (d/b/a Financial Solution Group Trust), and New Money Advisors, LLC, as well as his associates Christopher Mancuso and Joseph Tufo. The CFTC also charged Colorado-based defendants John P. Glenn and his law firm, The Law Firm of John Glenn, P.C. for playing a pivotal role in the scheme. Additionally, the defendants were charged with violating
By In recent remarks, SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman cautioned against imposing new mandates for public companies to disclose specific environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information. In Roisman’s view, such requirements would be problematic because ESG issues are subjective and ill-defined, and securities regulators are not well equipped to understand negative effects that may flow from prescriptive disclosure requirements. However, Roisman does believe that asset managers who market funds as having an ESG strategy are obliged to explain what a fund means by terms like "green" and "sustainable" and whether they are prioritizing non-pecuniary goals over economic returns. Roisman’s were delivered at the Society for Corporate Governanc.
By After six months, the IPO market is only slightly behind last year with 102 completed deals compared to 110 at the 2019 mid-year point. This year’s numbers were helped by an exceptionally busy month of June, which saw 38 companies make their public market debuts. It was the highest single-month IPO total since 40 companies went public in November 2007. Last week’s seven new issues were headlined by Dun & Bradstreet Holdings’ $1.7 billion offering, the third largest of 2020. The deal was one of four led by Goldman Sachs last week. The other Goldman-led offerings were completed by Accolade, Lemonade, and GS Acquisition Holdings. After six months, Goldman and Jefferies sit atop the IPO lead manager rankings with 23 offerings apiece. In addi.
By Investors in Towers Watson & Co. rebutted the business judgment presumption by adequately pleading that the Towers CEO negotiated an unfavorable merger in exchange for a lucrative compensation package with the post-merger company. Reversing the chancery court, a majority of the Delaware Supreme Court determined that the CEO’s conflict would have been material to the Towers board. One justice dissented on the basis that the board already knew the CEO would likely get a pay raise and the details of a secret presentation about the pay proposal did not add anything material (, June 30, 2020, Valihura, K.). The lawsuit centers around the 2016 merger of equals between Towers and Willis Group Holdings to form Willis Towers Watson. Unbeknownst t.

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