Category: Securities Attorney

Securities Attorney: Securities attorney Laura Anthony and her experienced legal team provides ongoing corporate counsel to small and mid-size OTC issuers as well as private companies going public on the over-the-counter market, such as the OTCBB, OTCQB and OTCQX…

Mar152016

House Passes More Securities Legislation

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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In what must be the most active period of securities legislation in recent history, the US House of Representatives has passed three more bills that would make changes to the federal securities laws. The three bills, which have not been passed into law as of yet, come in the wake of the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act (the “FAST Act”), which was signed into law on December 4, 2015.

The 3 bills include: (i) H.R. 1675 – the Capital Markets Improvement Act of 2016, which has 5 smaller acts imbedded therein; (ii) H.R. 3784, establishing the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation and Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee within the SEC; and (iii) H.R. 2187, proposing an amendment to the definition of accredited investor. None of the bills have been passed by the Senate as of yet.

Meanwhile, the SEC continues to finalize rulemaking under both the JOBS Act, which

Nov242015

SEC Advisory Committee Recommendations Related To Finders

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On September 23, 2015, the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) met and finalized its recommendation to the SEC regarding the regulation of finders and other intermediaries in small business capital formation transactions. This is a topic I have written about often, including a recent comprehensive blog which can be read HERE.

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” as related to “(i) capital raising by emerging privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization; (ii) trading in the securities of such businesses and companies; and (iii) public reporting and corporate governance requirements to which such businesses and companies are subject.”

The Advisory Committee made four recommendations related

Nov032015

The Materiality Standard; NYSE Amends Rules; FASB Proposed Guidance

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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The recent increase in regulatory activity and marketplace discussion on the topic of disclosure has not been limited to the small business arena or small cap marketplace.  Effective September 28, 2015, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) amended its Rule 202.06 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual, which governs the procedures that listed companies must follow for the release of material information.  Also, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued two exposure drafts providing guidance and seeking comments on the use of materiality to help companies eliminate unnecessary disclosures in their financial statements and to determine what is “material” for inclusion in notes to the financial statements.  Both exposure drafts solicit public comment on proposed amendments to the Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts published by FASB.

NYSE Rule 202.06 Amendment

As published in the federal register, the NYSE proposes to amend Section 202.06 of the Manual to “(i) expand the premarket hours

Oct132015

SEC Advisory Committee On Small And Emerging Companies Recommends Modernizing Rule 147 for Intrastate Crowdfunding Offerings

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On September 23, 2015, the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) met and finalized its recommendation to the SEC regarding the modernization of the Rule 147 Intrastate offering exemption.  The recommendations are focused on facilitating recently enacted and future state-based crowdfunding initiatives.

I have written about the Advisory Committee on numerous occasions, but 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” as related to “(i) capital raising by emerging privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization; (ii) trading in the securities of such businesses and companies; and (iii) public reporting and corporate governance requirements to which such businesses and companies are subject.”

In formulating its recommendations, the Advisory

Sep152015

SEC Issues Investor Alert Warning That Fantasy Stock Trading Websites May Violate Securities Laws

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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At the end of June, the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an Investor Alert and reminded us all that the net of federal securities laws is far-reaching.  The Investor Alert warns investors that fantasy stock trading and similar websites violate federal securities laws and, in particular, the “security-based swap” regulations enacted by the Dodd-Frank Act.

The SEC Investor Alert warns against websites that claim to offer a chance to make money from publicly traded or privately held companies without actually buying stock.  Generally the sites are set up as a “fantasy” trading game or competition and involve a small entry fee with the chance to win a larger payment if you win the fantasy competition.  The SEC has taken the position that these fantasy stock trading programs could potentially involve security-based swaps and implicate both the federal securities and commodities laws.  The SEC has and is continuing to investigate the

Sep082015

SEC Has Adopted Final Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On August 5, 2015, the SEC published and adopted final pay ratio disclosure rules.  The final rules are substantially the same as the proposed rules which were published in September 2013.  The rules will require inclusion of the new disclosures in proxy materials, registration statements and annual reports beginning in the fiscal year starting on or after January 1, 2017.    

The proposed new rules implement Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) by amending Item 402 of Regulation S-K.  The recently proposed “pay vs. performance” rules, which I discussed in my blog HERE would also amend Item 402.  As an Item 402 disclosure, the new pay ratio disclosure will also be the subject of the “say on pay” advisory vote.  My blog on say on pay for smaller reporting companies can be read Here.

Interestingly, in the final published rules, the SEC makes a

Aug182015

A Summary Of The 2015 Amendments To The Nevada Revised Statutes

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Although the federal government and FINRA have become increasingly active in matters of corporate governance, the states still remain the primary authority and regulator of corporate law.  The two most popular states for incorporation by business entities remain Nevada and Delaware, both of which offer corporations a degree of flexibility from a menu of reasonable alternatives that can be tailored to the companies’ business sectors, markets and corporate culture. 

In 2015 the Nevada Legislature made several changes to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) which impact public and private companies incorporated in Nevada.  The changes go into effect on October 1, 2015.  I begin this blog by reviewing the benefits offered by Nevada as a choice of state of incorporation and then follow with a summary of the 2015 amendments.

Nevada as a Choice of Corporate Domicile

Together with Delaware, Nevada is one of the most popular state choice for entity domicile.  The

Aug032015

SEC Proposed Executive Compensation Clawback Rules

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On July 1, 2015, the SEC published the anticipated executive compensation clawback rules (“Clawback Rules”).  The rules are in the comment period and will not be effective until the SEC publishes final rules. The proposed rules require national exchanges to enact rules and listing standards requiring exchange listed companies to adopt and enforce policies requiring the clawback of certain incentive-based compensation from current and former executive officers in the event of an accounting restatement. 

In particular, the proposed rules implement Section 10D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) and as added by Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”).  Section 10D requires the SEC to adopt rules directing national exchanges to prohibit the listing of any security of an issuer that is not in compliance with Section 10D’s requirements for (i) disclosure of the company’s policy on incentive-based compensation that is