December 11, 2012

Checklist: “How to Draft More Usable Disclosure”

One of my favorite topics is “usability” when drafting disclosure, whether it be for a paper document or for something posted online. I first wrote about the topic of usability for online documents in this article a dozen years ago. For many of us, drafting disclosure is our profession. We are the experts. And understanding how our disclosure is best consumed is something we should know a lot about.

Now I have written a checklist to help you get a better grasp on the process of writing more usable documents, with some great input from Jared Brandman of Coca-Cola (Coke has done some great things lately, from its online proxy statement to a revamped IR web page).

Proxy Drafting & Usability

In this podcast, Iain Poole of Labrador discusses how to best draft a proxy statement, including:

– How do you determine the ideal type of disclosure layout for a proxy statement?
– What trends are you seeing in proxy presentation?
– What about the ideal format for usability online?

FINRA’s New Rule 5123 FAQs & User Guide

From this blog by Blank Rome’s Melissa Murawsky:

FINRA recently released FAQs and a user guide related to Rule 5123 filings. As discussed in more detail in the June/July issue of Up To Date, Rule 5123 requires, subject to certain exceptions, FINRA member firms that sell securities in certain private placements to submit a notice filing with FINRA. Such notice filing shall include a copy of any private placement memorandum, term sheet or other offering document, including any materially amended versions thereof, used in connection with such sale. Members that do not employ offering documents must indicate to FINRA that no such documents were used in connection with the applicable offering. Submissions must be made within 15 calendar days of the first sale.

The FAQs answer practical questions regarding filing requirements, such as: how members file a notice with FINRA, whether third parties can file offering documents on behalf of a member, and when does the 15-day period commence for filing with FINRA. In addition, the FAQs address matters relating to exemptions form Rule 5123. The FAQs also provide contact information at FINRA for members who have general inquiries and questions regarding Rule 5123. The user guide gives members step by step instructions regarding how to access the private placement filing system and how to make a Rule 5123 filing.

– Broc Romanek