Don’t Forget Your Say on Frequency Proposal

Decisions, decisions.

Instead of requiring an annual “say on pay” vote, rules implemented pursuant to the Dodd‑Frank Act require that an advisory vote on executive compensation occur at least once every three years.  To further complicate matters, at least once every six years stockholders must also be given an opportunity to vote separately on whether the “say on pay” vote should occur every year, every other year or every three years.… More

Newly Public Companies May Face Immediate Governance Challenges

Investor advocates are turning the spotlight on the corporate governance practices of newly public companies that they regard as hostile to shareholder interests.  In connection with their IPOs, most companies adopt customary defensive measures to protect themselves from activist investors, who might otherwise take advantage of their typically smaller market capitalizations to try to seize control of the company.  These measures often include a classified board of directors, whose terms are staggered over three years. … More

Relying on Last Year’s Risk Factors is Risky

The SEC routinely advises companies drafting risk factors to start from a blank sheet of paper and avoid boilerplate.  As with many best practices, this recommendation is often aspirational.

Most companies do, however, take care in reviewing last year’s risk factors to make any necessary updates and additions.  As public companies prepare their annual reports on Form 10-K for fiscal 2016, they should consider the blank sheet of paper and think carefully about how their business risks are likely to change in 2017 as a result of the new political environment.… More

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Updating Your Annual D&O Questionnaires

Public companies listed on NASDAQ are now required to disclose annually certain payments (if any) made by third parties to their directors or director nominees.

D&O questionnaires related to the annual meeting of stockholders should include a question to determine whether there are any agreements, arrangements or understandings between a director or director nominee and any person (other than the company) relating to compensation or other payments (including non-cash payments) in connection with the director’s or director nominee’s service or candidacy as a director.