On December 22, 2015, the SEC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking and concept release on proposed new requirements for transfer agents and requesting public comment. The transfer agent rules were adopted in 1977 and have remained essentially unchanged since that time. An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) describes intended new and amended rules and seeks comments on same, but is not in fact that actual proposed rule release. The SEC indicates that following the comment process associated with this ANPR, it intends to propose actual new rules as soon as practicable.
To invoke thoughtful comment and response, the SEC summarized the history of the role of transfer agents within the securities clearing system as well as the current rules and proposed new rules. In addition, the SEC discusses and seeks comments on broader topics that may affect transfer agents and the securities system as a whole. This blog gives a high level review of the whole APNR
SEC Announces Examination Priorities For 2015; Focus On Transfer Agents, Investment Advisers and Broker Dealers
On January 13, 2015, the SEC published its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) priorities for 2015. The OCIE examines and reviews a wide variety of financial institutions, including investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, transfer agents, clearing agencies and national securities exchanges.
The priorities this year have a primary focus on (i) protecting retail investors, especially those saving for retirement; (ii) assessing market-wide risks; and (iii) using data analytics to identify signs of potential illegal activity. In addition, the SEC will examine municipal advisers, proxy services, never-before-examined investment companies, fees and expenses in private equity and transfer agents.
Transfer agents and broker-dealers will be scrutinized for potential claims of engaging in or aiding and abetting pump-and-dump or market manipulation schemes.
The SEC shares its annual examination priorities as a heads-up and to encourage industry participants to conduct independent reviews and make efforts for increased compliance, prior to an SEC examination, investigation or potential enforcement proceeding. Moreover, the SEC chooses
A subsidiary spin-off is a transaction where a parent corporation’s stock ownership of a subsidiary is distributed to the parent corporation’s shareholders giving the shareholders direct ownership of the former subsidiary. Typically, the subsidiary shares are distributed to the shareholders pro rata as a dividend. In fact, two of the requirements for an unregistered spin-off, as set forth in Staff Legal Bulletin No. 4 issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are that the distribution be pro rata and that no consideration be paid by the shareholders (i.e. a dividend).
A more complex form of a spin-off is commonly referred to as a Reorganized (“D”/355) which is where the parent corporation forms a shell subsidiary, transfers the stock to the shell subsidiary, which in turn distributes the stock to the parent shareholders.
Reasons for Spin-Offs
There are many reasons a company may choose to complete a spin-off, however, the most common reasons include: (i) to separate profit centers to increase