Helping Clients Access the Capital Markets and Stay Apprised of Regulatory Developments

SEC Adopts Rules for Proxy Voting Advisory Firms, Issues Supplemental Guidance for Investment Advisors

On July 22, 2020, the SEC adopted final rules on the application of its proxy solicitation rules to proxy voting advisors. (See our November 2019 blog post on the proposed rules here.) Among other things, the new rules will, for practical purposes, require these proxy advisory firms – most notably Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis – to make their voting recommendations for any public company’s annual meeting of shareholders available to that company at or before the time the recommendations become available to the proxy advisory firm’s institutional investor clients, so long as the public company files its proxy statement at least 40 days before the meeting.

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Locke Lord QuickStudy: Buybacks: How Companies Can Benefit From Undervalued Stock

Corporate stock buybacks have been prevalent in recent years. However, due to COVID-19 and ‎market volatility, many companies, because they are focused on liquidity and balance sheet ‎strength, have suspended or terminated existing stock buyback programs. Despite falling out of ‎favor, analysts estimate that companies will spend hundreds of billions of dollars on buyback ‎programs in 2020.

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Nasdaq Temporarily Permits Certain COVID-Related Private Offerings Without Shareholder Approval

On May 4, 2020, the Nasdaq Stock Exchange adopted a new temporary rule that permits listed companies to issue more than 20% of their presently outstanding common stock at a discount from current market prices without the shareholder approval that such a transaction would normally require.

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SEC Provides Temporary Relief to Permit Expedited Crowdfunding Offerings in a Time of COVID-19

Picking up on suggestions from its Small Business Capital Formation Advisory ‎Committee, the SEC has adopted a temporary rule to permit small businesses eligible to do a ‎Regulation Crowdfunding offering that have been operating for at least six months to have ‎access to capital through August more quickly by streamlining some of the crowdfunding ‎exemption requirements as follows‎

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