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A Little Holiday Cheer from the SEC

(The following post originally appeared on ONSecurities, a top Minnesota legal blog founded by Martin Rosenbaum to address securities, governance and compensation issues facing public companies.)

December 14, 2009

As many of you know, the SEC announced yesterday [December 9] that it will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, December 16 for the purpose of adopting its proposed amendments to the proxy disclosure rules. For a short summary of these amendments, see the ON Securities Cheat Sheet. The two questions on everyone's mind: When will the rules be effective? And what changes will the SEC make to the proposals? Most people I talk to believe the rules will apply to 2010 proxy season for companies with a December or later fiscal year end. However, that could certainly change. Assuming the final rules are similar to the proposals, many public companies will be busy over the next few weeks preparing for the new disclosures. Many people have focused on the requirements to include a risk disclosure in the CD&A section, the changes to the equity calculations in the Summary Compensation Table and the required disclosure of compensation consultant conflicts. But there are some "sleepers" too, such as the requirement to elaborate on the qualifications of each individual director nominee - drafting might be trickier than people think. We'll all be watching the SEC on Wednesday.

Other Updates
A few other thoughts:

  • In the Corporate Counsel Blog this week, Broc Romanek gave a great report on the Supreme Court arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the PCAOB.
  • Thanks to Mike Melbinger in the Melbinger Compensation Blog for pointing out this Chicago Tribune article, quoting U of Chicago business professor Steven Kaplan for his interesting perspective on why CEOs are not overpaid. Kaplan obviously is trying to be controversial - check it out. I especially like the comparison between the earnings of the 20 largest hedge funds in 2007 ($20 billion) and that of the S&P 500 CEOs combined in the same year ($7.5 billion).


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