February 9, 2016

SEC to Double Funding by 2021?

Here’s the SEC’s budget request for 2017 – and here’s an excerpt from this WSJ article:

The Obama administration will call on lawmakers to double the budgets of the top U.S. market cops over the next several years, the White House announced Monday, a push almost certain to encounter opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress. The big request, which the White House is set to unveil formally Tuesday, calls for boosting annual funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to $3 billion and $500 million, respectively, by the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2020, according to a blog post by Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council. “The President will continue working to make sure that the financial system works for everyone,” Mr. Zients wrote. “As the financial services industry continues to rapidly evolve, some in Congress have used budget limitations to hamper the agencies charged with establishing and enforcing the rules of the road.”

President Barack Obama’s push to boost funding significantly for the SEC and CFTC comes amid increasing calls from Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to do a better job at holding Wall Street firms and their employees responsible for misconduct. Tuesday’s blueprint, for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, is widely seen as an opening bid for budget negotiations with congressional Republicans and is unlikely to be enacted without significant tweaks. Mr. Zients said the White House would request $1.8 billion for the SEC next year, $200 million above its current funding level, and $330 million for the CFTC, up from the $250 million level it has hovered at for the second consecutive year.

Webcast: “How to Get Your Equity Plan Approved By Shareholders”

Tune in tomorrow for the webcast – “How to Get Your Equity Plan Approved By Shareholders” – to hear Towers Watson’s Jim Kroll and Brian Myers, Fenwick & West’s Shawn Lampron and Alliance Advisors’ Reid Pearson explain how to navigate the NYSE & Nasdaq rules – as well as the proxy advisor and institutional investor policies – to obtain shareholder approval for your equity compensation plans.

Director Pay: Nasdaq Proposes Golden Leash Disclosure Requirement

A few weeks ago, Nasdaq proposed a rule change that would require listed companies to disclose “golden leash” arrangements. As noted in this Dorsey memo, the proposed rule would require listed companies to disclose on their website or in their proxy all agreements between any director or nominee any person or entity (other than the company) that provide for compensation or other payment in connection that the person’s candidacy or service as a director. The proposed rule is meant to be interpreted broadly – so it would apply to payments for items such as health insurance premiums. However, disclosure of arrangements that relate only to reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with a nominee’s candidacy for director, or that existed before the nominee’s candidacy would not need to be disclosed.

Broc Romanek