The SEC has posted this announcement regarding the closure of the SEC and the EDGAR system on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, in observance of a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.
At last week’s proxy process roundtable, three panels, each moderated by SEC staff, addressed three topics:
proxy voting mechanics and technology—how can the accuracy, transparency and efficiency of the proxy voting and solicitation system be improved?
shareholder proposals—exploring effective shareholder engagement, experience with the shareholder proposal process, and related rules and SEC guidance
proxy advisory firms—can the role of proxy advisors and their relationship to companies and institutional investors be improved?
The first panel, on proxy plumbing, was characterized by the panelist who began the discussion as “the most boring, least partisan and, honestly, the most important” of the three topics. (But it was surprisingly not boring.) The last panel, on proxy advisory firms, was characterized by Commissioner Roisman as the “most anticipated,” but the expected fireworks were notably absent—except, perhaps, for the novel take on the subject offered by former Senator Phil Gramm. Here are the Commissioners’ opening statements: Chair Clayton, Stein and Roisman
The SEC today provided relief for companies and persons directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Michael and its aftermath. Here is the Order and the related press release (as well as interim final temporary rules related to Reg Crowdfunding and Reg A). The relief is essentially the same as that provided to victims of Hurricane Florence.
The SEC has now provided relief for companies and persons directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. Here is the Order and the related press release (as well as interim final temporary rules related to Reg Crowdfunding and Reg A).
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Elad Roisman as SEC Commissioner, replacing Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar. He hails from that pipeline to the SEC, the Senate Banking Committee, where, according to Investment News, he served as Chief Counsel. Prior to that position, he served as counsel to SEC Republican Commissioner Daniel Gallagher.
On the White House lawn before he boarded a helicopter for the Hamptons and his New Jersey golf club for the weekend, reporters had the opportunity to lob a few questions at the president. While most of the questions were about security clearances and the criminal trials of his former staff, a different topic suddenly emerged in connection with an early morning tweet about quarterly reporting. The president said that, in his discussions with leaders of the business community regarding ways to improve the business environment, Indra Nooyi, the outgoing CEO of Pepsico, had suggested that one way to help business would be to trim the periodic reporting requirements from quarterly to semiannually. The argument is that the change would not only save time and money, but would also help to deter “short-termism,” as companies would not need to focus on meeting analysts’ expectations on a quarterly basis at the expense of longer term thinking. (For more on short-termism, see, e.g., this PubCo post.) He agreed that “we are not thinking far enough out,” and had asked the SEC to look into it.