August 6, 2009

Treasury’s Mark Iwry to Speak

We’re very excited to announce our speakers for the “6th Annual Executive Compensation Conference” that will be held at the San Francisco Hilton and via Live Nationwide Video Webcast on November 10th.

The All-Star cast includes:

– Treasury’s Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to Secretary Geithner
– RiskMetrics’ Pat McGurn and Martha Carter
– NY Times’ columnist Joe Nocera
– Noted counsel John Olson and Marc Trevino
– Renowned consultants Fred Cook, Ira Kay, Mike Kesner, Doug Friske, James Kim and Don Delves
– Panel of respected Directors
– Investor advocates Ed Durkin, Meredith Miller and Paul Hodgson

Now that Congress is moving on say-on-pay (and other compensation-changing initiatives), you need to register now to attend our popular conferences and get prepared for a wild proxy season. Remember that the “6th Annual Executive Compensation Conference” is paired with the “4th Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference” (held on 11/9) – so you automatically get to attend both Conferences for the price of one. Here is the agenda for both Conferences.

Act Now: Register now to attend live in San Francisco or by video webcast. If you can’t make these dates, note that both Conferences will be available through a video archive.

SEC Enforcement Staff Gains Authority to Issue Subpoenas Without Commission Blessing

As noted by this Reuters article, SEC Enforcement Director Rob Khuzami delivered a speech yesterday about his first 100 days in the job (the text of the speech is not yet available). Rob said that the SEC plans to issue more subpoenas and give people more incentives to cooperate with investigations. Based on the article, here are the speech’s highlights (most of which SEC Chair Schapiro had already announced):

– Yesterday, the SEC adopted final rules that provide the Enforcement Staff with the power to issue subpoenas by getting approval only from supervisors, not the full Commission – this will make it much faster and easier to get formal orders. Rob said that the increased subpoena power may induce companies to be more aggressive in addressing wrongdoing to avoid “the necessity” of a subpoena. Some companies do not disclose SEC probes before subpoenas are actually issued.

– The SEC has plans to seek authority to submit more immunity requests to the Justice Department to encourage people to testify without fear of criminal prosecution.

– The SEC plans to create new groups to investigate cases involving asset management, foreign corrupt practices, market abuses, municipal securities and public pensions and structured products. One group already exists to investigate subprime mortgage abuses. Management will be streamlined.

– The SEC plans to create a new office to monitor incoming tips and complaints and hire its first chief operating officer to boost efficiency and speed the reimbursement of funds to harmed investors.

– The Enforcement Staff will need Rob’s permission for “tolling agreements” that give them more time to conduct investigations. He said these have become too common, causing delays that reduce the SEC’s accountability.

Another Sign of the Times: Birth of the “Investors Working Group”

Recently, it was announced that over 50 investor groups had joined to form the “Investors Working Group,” a group co-sponsored by the Council of Institutional Investors and the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity. The group aims to lobby Washington over how to deal with the financial crisis and the co-chairs are two former SEC Chairs, Arthur Levitt and William Donaldson. Here is the related press release – and here is their initial report recommending a host of regulatory reforms.

This comes on top of the SEC’s new “Investor Advisory Committee” and new attempts to join investors together through social media

– Broc Romanek