ESG

Another day, another statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission about how the agency might approach enhanced ESG disclosures. This time we have a speech from the acting head of the Division of Corporation Finance, getting a bit more specific about how an enhanced ESG disclosure regime might work in practice. The statement came from…

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compliance

President Biden’s nominee to run the Securities & Exchange Commission had his confirmation hearing with the Senate Banking Committee today, in a session that touched on plenty of subjects — although not too many that are directly relevant to corporate ethics and compliance officers.  The nominee is Gary Gensler, who previously chaired the Commodities &…

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climate

The acting head of the Securities and Exchange Commission said today that agency staff will start paying more attention to companies’ climate change disclosures, as a prelude to the SEC updating its original climate change guidance now 11 years old.  Allison Herren Lee, acting chair since the Biden Administration took office in January, released her…

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SPACs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published fresh guidance detailing how special-purpose acquisition companies — those corporate contraptions designed to go public first and then acquire other operating businesses later — should disclose conflicts of interest, financial incentives for management, acquisition strategies, and related issues. SEC staff released the guidance on Dec. 22 as a…

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disclosure

The Extractive Payments Rule adopted by the SEC last week was notable because all five commissioners published explanatory statements along with their votes. Those statements, in turn, are notable for their dueling messages about business conduct and what counts as material information for investors under federal securities law.  Compliance officers should give this conflict some…

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rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission has enacted a new rule for what oil & gas and mining companies must disclose to investors about payments made to foreign governments — a weaker version of a rule the SEC was forced to repeal in 2017, and which drew sharp criticism from the SEC’s lead Democratic commissioner. The…

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whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission has, at long last, updated the rules for its whistleblower awards program. Among the changes: a presumption toward more generous awards at the lower end of the pay scale, restrictions on people who abuse the tipster process too often, and faster disposal of would-be tips that don’t meet the awards…

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Chinese

Amid the many executive orders and memoranda President Trump has ballyhooed lately, let’s not forget this sneaky little number: a proposal that Chinese businesses listed on U.S. stock exchanges must submit to U.S. auditing standards.  Right now, Chinese firms don’t have to do that. Rather, they can publish financial statements audited by Chinese audit firms;…

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enforcement

So you might have missed this, but last week the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed exempting a large swath of hedge funds and other institutional investors from quarterly disclosure of their stock holdings.  For most compliance professionals, this news might seem obscure — but actually, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the crabbed state of SEC…

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enforcement

A war of words has broken out at the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether the SEC should plod ahead with more rule-making during the Covid-19 crisis — which, really, is the only type of war that happens among SEC commissioners, but it’s still a telling glimpse into regulatory policy fights these days.  The exchange…

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