On September 12, 2023, Gary Gensler gave his annual testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and then on September 27th to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services (for a review of last year’s testimony see HERE). Both appearances included the same prepared remarks followed by robust Q&A from the lawmakers.
This year Chair Gensler’s prepared remarks focused on: (i) rule amendments and updates; (ii) improving efficiency in equity markets; (iii) disclosure matters and related enforcement including related to cryptocurrency; and (iv) general updates on the SEC and capital markets.
We shouldn’t expect the busy SEC rule making agenda to slow down any time soon. Chair Gensler prioritizes updating rules for technology, business and market changes. Although Gensler’s speech focuses on rule changes to make the markets more efficient and resilient and lower costs, the reality is that not all rule changes will accomplish
On May 25, 2023, the SEC published three new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI) on the recently effective Rule 10b5-1 amendments. The new rules were adopted on December 14, 2022 (see HERE) to enhance disclosure requirements and investor protections against insider trading. The amendments include updates to Rule 10b5-1(c)(1), which provides an affirmative defense to insider trading liability under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5.
The changes updated the conditions that must be met for the 10b5-1 affirmative defense, including adding cooling-off periods before trading can commence under a Rule 10b5-1 plan and a condition that all persons entering into a Rule 10b5-1 plan must act in good faith with respect to the plan. The amendments also require directors and officers to include representations in their plans certifying at the time of the adoption of a new or modified Rule 10b5-1 plan that: (i) they are not aware of any material nonpublic information about the issuer