November 15, 2016

SEC Chair White to Step Down In January

Yesterday, the SEC announced that Chair Mary Jo White will leave her position when President Obama leaves office on Inauguration Day.  Last week, Broc blogged that Mike Piwowar will almost certainly become interim Chair since he’s the sole sitting GOP Commissioner.  Former Commissioner Paul Atkins is heading the financial regulatory transition team for the incoming Administration – and speculation about White’s possible successor has already begun…

Brexit: UK Parliament Must Okay EU Withdrawal

These memos in our “Europe” Practice Area address the recent UK High Court decision to require the UK government to seek approval of British Parliament before notifying the EU of its intention to withdraw. A few weeks ago, the High Court held that the government did not have the constitutional authority to notify the European Council of the UK’s decision to leave the EU without the prior approval of Parliament. The UK government has announced that it intends to appeal the judgment to the UK Supreme Court. That appeal will be heard in December, with a ruling expected in January…

Brexit: Topics for Audit Committees & Management

This Grant Thornton memo gives some advice to audit committees about the topics that they should discuss with management as a result of Brexit. These include:

– Does management have a strategic plan to manage risks and lessen negative effects? Has the organization done a thorough Brexit risk assessment? What hedging strategies are in place for foreign exchange exposure and how does Brexit affect those strategies? To what extent is the company exposed to debt denominated in pounds sterling?

– How will Brexit affect the carrying value of assets or business units exposed to the UK or EU?

– Will the company see significant translation gains and losses in terms of functional currency? Are foreign subsidiaries using the right functional currency?

– How will Brexit affect historical guidance? How will Brexit affect customers and suppliers and the company’s interactions with them? How will this affect existing guidance?

– What are the implications for communications? How and what does the company plan to communicate to stakeholders about the effect of Brexit – including investors, customers, vendors and employees?

– How will Brexit affect the company’s financial statements? For entities that have significant exposure, what should they expect to see in the June 30 quarter, and what might they see going forward?

The audit committee & management should also discuss what kind of additional regulatory compliance and reporting burdens might result from Brexit, as well as whether there are potential benefits – such as lower borrowing costs resulting from a delay in Fed interest rate increases.

John Jenkins