Header graphic for print
The Securities Edge Securities Blog for Middle-Market Companies

Category Archives: Disclosure Guidance

Subscribe to Disclosure Guidance RSS Feed

Wrong turn?: Is the SEC looking to further expand its regulatory jurisdiction through the disclosure process?

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

In the wake of the recent financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act created the SEC Investor Advisory Committee with the stated purpose of advising the SEC on (i) regulatory priorities of the SEC; (ii) issues relating to the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, and fee structures, and the effectiveness of disclosure; (iii) initiatives to protect… Continue Reading

Despite First Amendment concerns, the conflict minerals rule is here to stay

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

A few months ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld portions of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, known as the “conflicts mineral rule.” The rule, enacted by Congress in July of 2010,requires certain public companies to provide disclosures about the use of specific conflict… Continue Reading

Institutional investor organization asks the SEC to require disclosure of “golden leashes”

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

The compensation disclosure rules contained in Regulation S-K are intended to provide meaningful disclosure regarding an issuer’s executive and director compensation practices such that the investing public is provided with full and fair disclosure of material information on which to base informed investment and voting decisions. However, as we pointed out in a blog from last… Continue Reading

Institutional investor organization asks the SEC to require disclosure of "golden leashes"

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

The compensation disclosure rules contained in Regulation S-K are intended to provide meaningful disclosure regarding an issuer’s executive and director compensation practices such that the investing public is provided with full and fair disclosure of material information on which to base informed investment and voting decisions. However, as we pointed out in a blog from last… Continue Reading

4th and 108, SEC elects to punt on Regulation S-K disclosure reform

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Section 108 of the Jump Start Our Business Startups Actrequired the SEC to undertake a study of the disclosure requirements of Regulation S-K. Specifically, the statute mandated that the SEC shall: conduct a review of its Regulation S-K to— comprehensively analyze the current registration requirements of such regulation; and determine how such requirements can be… Continue Reading

Government mandated pay ratio disclosure will fail to achieve its intended objectives

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Compensation of public company executives re-emerged back into the public limelight after the recent financial crisis which began in late 2007. The public perception was one of outrage in large part due to the fact that many investors in public companies were experiencing significant losses in their investment portfolios while CEOs and other executives were… Continue Reading

Hurricanes, flash freezes and other disasters – plan and disclose accordingly or you may be hearing from the SEC

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Almost 10 months since Superstorm Sandy caused widespread destruction to the northeastern U.S., an area not known for frequent hurricane activity, the people and businesses affected have still not fully recovered. As we now reenter the peak of hurricane season, businesses along the eastern seaboard are probably taking a closer look now than in years… Continue Reading

Time to throw XBRL in the trash bin?

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

It has been four years since XBRL became a four letter word to issuers and nearly eight years since the SEC introduced the concept to issuers, yet XBRL hasn’t fulfilled the SEC’s prediction of XBRL increasing the “speed, accuracy and usability of financial disclosure.”  Largely, the reason for the failed prediction is that many potential… Continue Reading

New SEC Chair: Mary Jo White

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. This sounds great, but how does the SEC actually carry out its mission? The answer lies in the SEC’s oversight and regulation function of the key participants in the securities world,… Continue Reading

Recent meeting between the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and SEC Staff provides insight

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

On Tuesday, the Securities Law Committee of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals met with officials from the Divisions of Corporation Finance, Investment Management, and Trading and Markets and the Office of the Whistleblower.  While neither new Chair Mary Jo White (confirmed in April) nor new Director of Corporation Finance Keith Higgins (starts… Continue Reading

Are new Iran-related disclosure requirements turning public companies into tattletales?

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

In other breaking news that many may have missed, Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. recently reported in its most recent 10-Q that a handful of employees of a Hilton-branded hotel were paid wages via direct deposit into bank accounts maintained with Bank Melli. The obvious question is why is Orbitz reporting on seemingly immaterial activities of a… Continue Reading

Social media as a disclosure channel – slow but steady

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Public companies are beginning to cautiously adopt social media as a disclosure channel. This area has experienced substantial changes lately as the SEC moved from a posture of threatening action against Netflix’s CEO for a post he made on his personal Facebook page to adopting a more relaxed and expansive position. This was really just… Continue Reading

SEC relaxes restrictions on social media postings (but Regulation FD still applies)

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

The SEC tiptoed into the twenty-first century as the agency validated the use of social media sites in certain situations for disclosure of information by publicly traded companies. This social media disclosure is subject to some constraints, but it is a positive move for public companies, shareholders and potential investors who are social media users. … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity legislation continues to move forward

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D., West Virginia), the most vocal proponent of cybersecurity legislation, has renewed his focus on cybersecurity legislation. He has sponsored previous cybersecurity-related legislation, but has been unable to implement any meaningful legislation in this area. His prior sponsorship of the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2012 initially seemed to draw support in the… Continue Reading

Securities Law 101 (Part III): Watch your mouth! Regulation FD’s impact on (selective) disclosure

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

This is the third part of our Securities Law 101 series.  Because capital raising is such a critical function for middle market companies, we designed this series to introduce their management teams to some of the fundamental concepts in securities law.  We hope that this series will prevent some of the most common mistakes management… Continue Reading

Proposed campaign contribution disclosure rules may be coming as early as April (but not likely)

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

As first reported by Professors  Lucian Bebchuk and Robert J. Jackson, Jr. in their recent posting on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the SEC may take action to issue proposed rules on corporate political spending disclosures by public companies as early as the second quarter of this year. This… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing the Regulation FD concern with Netflix over Facebook post on LXBN TV

Posted in Disclosure Guidance, Technology Company Issues

Following up on my post on the subject, I had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding the SEC sending a Wells notice to Netflix and its CEO over a Facebook post the latter made. In the interview, I explain what happened, why the SEC is displeased and why it needs to… Continue Reading

Netflix CEO’s Facebook post leads to possible Regulation FD action by SEC – Time for some changes

Posted in Disclosure Guidance, Technology Company Issues

The use of social media as a public company information channel encountered a roadblock on December 5, 2012 as Netflix, Inc. and its CEO, Reed Hastings, both received Wells notices from the SEC regarding a prior Facebook post that Mr. Hastings had made. A Wells notice is a notification from the SEC that it intends… Continue Reading

Are political contribution disclosure rules for public companies coming in the near future?

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Petition and comment letters urging the SEC to create rules requiring public companies to disclose their political contributions may finally be gaining some traction.  We previously blogged about this petition, which was submitted by a group of ten law professors in response to the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission… Continue Reading

Careful with that tweet! Social media considerations for public companies

Posted in Disclosure Guidance, Technology Company Issues

Social media use has experienced a meteoric rise. According to Tweetsmarter (a social media blog), the top five social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest) have 1.8 billion users. Many companies have also embraced social media use as a cheap and efficient channel for the dissemination of information. Good examples here include Best… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity issues continue to draw attention

Posted in Disclosure Guidance, Technology Company Issues

Cybersecurity issues continue to be a hot topic for companies. As discussed in my prior blog posts, “Get ready for increased cybersecurity disclosure requirements” and “SEC pushes for disclosure of hacking incidents”, the SEC continues to focus on cybersecurity and data breach items and has now begun to encourage public companies to disclose them, even… Continue Reading

Did Apple violate Regulation FD at its iPhone 5 release conference?

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

On September 12, 2012, Apple, Inc. held a highly anticipated conference at which it announced the upcoming release of the latest model of the iPhone. These types of conferences have been part of Apple’s standard operations for many years and seem to be a key element of its marketing strategy. Although attendance is limited to… Continue Reading

SEC pushes for disclosure of hacking incidents

Posted in Disclosure Guidance, Technology Company Issues

A number of well-known companies, including Zappos.com, Google, Quest Diagnostics, Eastman Chemcial and AIG, have recently experienced actual or potential intrusions into their computer systems and related confidential data. Some of these incidents have been active criminal attacks by sophisticated hackers, while others have resulted from situations such as lost or stolen laptops. The frequency… Continue Reading

You asked for it: Bipartisan agreement in congress

Posted in Disclosure Guidance

Finally, we have had some recent bipartisanship in Congress.  The only problem, of course, is that the recent bipartisanship further burdened public companies with additional disclosure requirements.  As Broc Romanek noted in his blog last week, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 requiring public companies to disclose… Continue Reading