Category: SEC Guidance

SEC Guidance: By way of reminder, the Committee was organized by the SEC to provide advice on SEC rules, regulations and policies regarding “its mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitating capital formation…

Aug272013

The SEC has Issued Proposed Rules Amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156 – Part II

July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, and adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC issued proposed rules further amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156.  On August 19, 2013, I published a blog detailing the proposed rule changes

Aug202013

The SEC has Issued Proposed Rules Amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156 – Part I

On July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, and adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC issued proposed rules further amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156. 

Summary of Proposed Rule Changes

The proposed amendments will (i) require

Aug152013

SEC Issued Risk Alert on Options Trading Used to Evade Short Sale Requirements

On Friday August 9, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Risk Alert to help market participants detect and prevent options trading that circumvents an SEC short sale rule.

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued the alert after its examiners observed options trading strategies that appeared to evade certain requirements of the short-sale rule.  The alert describes and warns of the strategies used by some customers, broker-dealers and clearing firms, summarizes related enforcement actions, and makes suggestions regarding practices found to be effective in detecting and preventing trading intended to evade Regulation SHO.

Regulation SHO tightened requirements for short sales, which involve the selling of securities not already owned, usually by the borrowing of securities. Short sellers

Jul312013

SEC has Finalized Rules Disqualifying Felons and Other “Bad Actors” from Rule 506 Offerings

On July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, the SEC adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Background

The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the

Jun252013

SEC Announces it Will Seek an Admission of Fault to Settle Certain Cases

On June 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a policy change related to its settlement of certain civil matters.  In particular, the SEC has stated that it will now require that the settling party admit wrongdoing as part of a settlement.  Previously the standard language for all settlements has been that the defendants “neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.”  Defendants, of course, cannot be required to make such an admission or settle a case, but the alternative is fighting it out in court, an expensive and risky process.

The change in policy began with a related change in which the SEC changed its policy to require admissions of wrongdoing to settle cases where the defendant had already admitted such wrongdoing in related criminal cases.  Mary Jo White has now announced that, even in cases where there is no parallel criminal case, the SEC will now require individuals and companies to admit liability in “cases where… it’s very important to

May142013

SEC Guidance On Social Media And Websites For Company Announcements And Communications- Part III

On April 2, 2013, in response to a Facebook post made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company. In the report the SEC stated that previously published guidance on the use of Company websites was applicable to the use of social media. Accordingly, in a series of blogs I am reviewing the SEC guidance on the use of company websites. This blog is Part III in the series.

Background

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information. Regulation ended the era

May032013

SEC Guidance On Social Media And Websites For Company Announcements And Communications- Part II

On April 2, 2013, in response to a Facebook post made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  In the report the SEC stated that previously published guidance on the use of Company websites was applicable to the use of social media.  Accordingly, in a series of blogs I am reviewing the SEC guidance on the use of company websites.  This blog is Part II in the series.

Background

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD ended the

Apr252013

SEC Guidance On Social Media And Websites For Company Announcements And Communications- Part I

On April 2, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  The report was issued following an investigation into a Facebook posting made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  In the report the SEC stated that previously published guidance on the use of Company websites was applicable to the use of social media.  Accordingly, a review of the SEC guidance on the use of company websites is in order.

Background

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD is designed to ensure that

Apr172013

Structuring The Private Placement Or Venture Investment- Pre-Deal Considerations

I recently blogged about how to determine valuation in a start-up or development stage entity for purposes of structuring a prepackaged private placement, or for negotiating the venture capital transaction. I followed that blog with one explaining the various types of financial instruments that can be used for an investment.

Before a company can package a private placement offering or effectively negotiate with a venture or angel investor, it has to have its proverbial house in order. This blog circles back to the beginning discussing pre-deal considerations.

General

In order to successfully attract quality investors, a company must have its financial and legal house in order. I always advise my clients to act as if they are public, even if they never intend to go public. What is meant by that is to maintain proper corporate books and records. Draft and sign minutes of meetings of the board of directors, officers or committees. Keep systems in place to make

Apr102013

SEC Clears Social Media As An Acceptable Form For Company Announcements

On April 2, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  The report was issued following an investigation into a Facebook posting made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  The SEC declined to pursue an enforcement action against Mr. Hastings.

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD is designed to ensure that all investors are on an even playing field in terms of access to material information.  Regulation FD ended the era of invitation-only conference calls between company management and a select group