By Laura Anthony, Esq.
Disclosure effectiveness has been an ongoing central topic since the JOBS Act required the SEC to launch its Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative. The SEC intends to continue its focus in this arena and expects both additional rulemaking and industry guidance in 2016.
I have written several times on the SEC initiative and the subject of improving the disclosure requirements for reporting companies. Recently the SEC sought comment on financial disclosure requirements for subsidiaries and affiliate entities (see my blog HERE). Moreover, several of the provisions in the recent FAST Act were related to these initiatives. In particular, The FAST Act adopted many of the provisions of a bill titled the Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act, including rules to: (i) allow issuers to include a summary page to Form 10-K (Section 72001); and (ii) scale or eliminate duplicative, antiquated or unnecessary requirements for EGCs, accelerated filers, smaller reporting companies and other smaller issuers in Regulation S-K (Section 72002). In addition, the SEC is required to conduct yet another study on all Regulation S-K disclosure requirements to determine how best to amend and modernize the rules to reduce costs and burdens while still providing all material information (Section 72003). See my blog on the FAST Act and these provisions HERE.
In September 2015, the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) met and finalized its recommendation to the SEC regarding changes to the disclosure requirements for smaller publicly traded companies. My blog on these recommendations can be read HERE.
Prior to that, in March 2015, the American Bar Association submitted its second comment letter to the SEC making recommendations for changes to Regulation S-K. For a review of these recommendations, see my blog HERE.
Mission and Philosophy
Chair White made a point of conveying the message that the SEC is not just about disclosure. They have broad regulatory authority over trading markets, broker-dealers, SRO’s, the settlement and clearing process and the PCAOB. The SEC intends to continue to work in each of these areas, including additional regulations on the swaps markets, clearing agencies, transfer agents, and technology systems. In addition, the SEC has and will continue to seek public comment on proposed rules, ideas related to proposed rules, and concepts in general. As Chair White states, “[W]e are therefore increasingly considering using measures beyond disclosure to fulfill our mission of providing strong investor protection, safeguarding market integrity, and achieving other regulatory objectives.”
Click Here To Print- LC PDF Printout SEC Gives Insight On 2016 Initiatives
Note 1: Read Part I of this Article. Click HERE
Note 2: Original appeared on Legal & Compliance, LLC on 30 June 2015. Click HERE
Securities attorney Laura Anthony is the founding partner of Legal & Compliance, LLC, a corporate, securities and business transactions law firm. The firm’s experienced legal team provides ongoing corporate counsel to small and mid-size private companies, OTC and exchange traded issuers as well as private companies going public on the NASDAQ, NYSE MKT or over-the-counter market, such as the OTCQB and OTCQX. For nearly two decades Legal & Compliance, LLC has served clients providing fast, personalized, cutting-edge legal service. The firm’s reputation and relationships provide invaluable resources to clients including introductions to investment bankers, broker-dealers, institutional investors and other strategic alliances.