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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.
By The SEC staff has issued three statements regarding filing obligations in the wake of COVID-19. Specifically, Commission divisions have noted that enforcement would not be recommended if persons and entities are unable to mail certain regulatory communications to clients due to international mail service restrictions or if executives are unable to readily provide physical signatures on required filings. Overall, "best efforts" will protect financial service providers from potential liability, according to the SEC staff. Temporary mail service suspensions. The staff of the Trading and Markets and Investment Management divisions receipt of inquiries regarding requirements to mail certain communications to customers who have not consented t.
By The Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion on the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s single director structure. The CFPB was one of the signature pieces of the Dodd-Frank Act reforms and was created for the purpose of brining a degree of independence to consumer financial regulations. A somewhat fractured majority held that the CFPB’s single director structure fell outside of exceptions to federal agency organizational principles and, thus, violated separation of power principles, although the court was able to sever the offending provision from the CFPB’s organic statute to preserve the agency. As a result, the CFPB continues to exist, but its director is removable by the president at will. Justice Ka.
By Representatives from Latham & Watkins and FTI Consulting discussed compliance, financial reporting, and litigation considerations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic during a recent webcast by Securities Docket. The panelists drew on SEC guidance related to disclosing the impacts and risks associated with the pandemic and examined litigation related to COVID-19 issues. Financial reporting. Todd Rahn, senior managing director at FTI, said that COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented amount of stress and uncertainty in financial disclosures. There is a wealth of information available on the pandemic which has impacted disclosures, he advised, and the SEC has provided guidance on financial disclosures, the most of which was issued by the SE.
By In a busy open meeting, the CFTC adopted final rules relating to swaps clearing, as well as final rule amendments to Volcker Rule provisions addressing covered funds. The Commission also withdrew a previous proposal on automated trading and introduced a new proposal addressing electronic trading. Finally, the Commission proposed to extend the compliance date for certain margin requirements for smaller swaps entities. The included and was held via conference call due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Electronic trading. The Commission took two related actions relating to electronic trading. First, by a 3-2 vote, the Commission withdrew a previous proposal and supplemental proposal called “Regulation Automated Trading” or “Reg AT.” T.
By Answering a question left open in Kokesh v. SEC , the Supreme Court held that a disgorgement award that does not exceed a wrongdoer's net profits and is awarded for victims is permissible equitable relief. Writing for the Court in Liu v. SEC , Justice Sotomayor said that equity practices have long authorized stripping wrongdoers of ill-gotten gains and that Congress incorporated these longstanding equitable principles into Exchange Act Section 21(d)(5), thus prohibiting the Commission from seeking an equitable remedy in excess of the net profits from the wrongdoing. The Ninth Circuit's judgment is accordingly vacated, and the case is remanded for proceedings consistent with the opinion. In dissent, Justice Thomas argued that disgorgement.
By At a recent SEC-hosted on secondary market disclosure practices in the municipal securities industry, participants discussed hot topics in the area of secondary market disclosure, including those relating to COVID-19 issues. Panelists applauded SEC guidance issued in May that encouraged the disclosure of voluntary, non-routine information on the impact of COVID-19, including making forward-looking statements. Speakers during an earlier panel had also positively about voluntary disclosures in the municipal market. COVID-19 disclosures. Mark Kim, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), provided an overview of disclosures the MSRB’s EMMA system has recorded, noting in particu.
By Securities and antitrust class action filings have dipped this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but things look to pick back up, according to Peter Hansen, chairman of Battea Class Action Services. In a webinar by the Council for Institutional Investors (CII), Hansen said the slowdown comes amid a trend of increased class action filings over the past several years, and he expects the overall high filing rate to continue. The webinar, “State of Securities & Antitrust Class Action Litigation and Impact of Covid-19,” was moderated by Lucy Nussbaum, a CII research analyst. Class action trends. According to Hansen, class action filings have been trending higher over the last several years. Currently, Battea is seeing around 450 class act.
By The Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy of the House Financial Services Committee recently held a virtual hearing titled . The witnesses, all cybercrime experts in their own right, included Amanda Senn, chief deputy director, Alabama Securities Commission, and on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA); Tom Kellermann, head of Cybersecurity Strategy, VMware; Kelvin Coleman, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance; and Jamil Jaffer, executive director of the National Security Institute. was overseen by Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) and was joined by Ranking Member French Hill (R-Ark). Cyberattacks against financial institutions surge. A May 2020 su.
By The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an SEC pilot program to randomly assign certain stocks into test groups with different fee and rebate structures. Agreeing with the exchanges that challenged the program, the court said that the Commission exceeded its statutory authority by instituting the test merely to “shock the market” to determine whether additional regulation was needed. One concurring judge wrote that while the SEC needed to do more to stake a position on why there is a problem and how the rule would help address it, the agency does have the authority to conduct experimental pilots even without specific authorization from Congress (, June 16, 2020, Edwards, H.). Rule 610T. The SEC adopted the transaction fee pilot on
By In a letter to the PCAOB responding to the Board’s request for comments on the initial impact of the communication of critical audit matters (CAMs), the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) said that CAM communications have improved the ability of investors to analyze companies’ financial statements and make financial decisions and have, in general, improved the quality of financial reporting.
By The CFTC should consider clarifying the scope of fiduciary duties that commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and other asset managers owe to their customers, CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz urged in a Commission opinion. In a concurring statement, Berkovitz agreed with the majority that a customer could not recover in a reparations action for an alleged breach of fiduciary duty where there was no breach of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) or CFTC regulations. However, because the Commission has acknowledged that fiduciary duties may arise and state laws vary, customers could benefit from a uniform standard of conduct, said Berkovitz ( Emily v. Gleichmann , , June 9, 2020). Thus, the case and concurrence settled two questions, but raised a th.
By The Delaware Chancery Court held that, at the pleading stage, the case brought by shareholders who sued Dell and its board of directors over Dell’s attempt to acquire EMC Corporation and to consolidate EMC’s VMware, Inc., through an offering of cash and discounted shares could proceed because Dell would be unable to assert MFW applies because Dell failed to adequately condition the procession of the consolidation transaction on the approval of both the special committee and a majority of the minority stockholders.

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