June 21, 2017

Corp Fin’s New Deputy Director: Rob Evans

Yesterday, the SEC announced that Rob Evans will serve as a Deputy Director for Corp Fin – joining existing Deputy Director Shelley Parratt (Rob will head the “Legal & Regulatory Policy” side; Shelley will continue to lead “Disclosure Operations”). Rob comes to the SEC from Shearman & Sterling – he worked there with Corp Fin Director Bill Hinman before Bill moved to Simpson Thacher. Rob was also a colleague of former Corp Fin Director Linda Quinn.

SEC Commissioner Nominees: Hester Peirce Back in the Mix?

Broc blogged last year – and again a few months ago – about the nomination saga of Hester Peirce. Now – according to this Bloomberg article – her name’s reportedly returned to the top of the list for the open Republican seat at the SEC:

Hester Peirce, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission counsel and Senate aide, is the Trump administration’s likely choice to fill the open Republican seat at the Wall Street regulator, according to people familiar with the matter.

Should President Donald Trump pick Peirce to be an SEC commissioner, her nomination will likely be paired with a candidate backed by Senate Democrats for another vacant seat at the agency, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the process. Candidates that have been discussed for the Democratic spot include Robert Jackson, a Columbia University law professor, and Bharat Ramamurti, an aide to Senator Elizabeth Warren, the people said.

SEC’s Chief Accountant: Guidance for Audit Committees

A recent speech by SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker addressed how attention by audit committees to their core responsibilities can help promote the integrity of financial reporting & our capital markets. Here’s an excerpt from Ning Chiu’s blog:

New Revenue Recognition Standard. Audit committees should understand management’s implementation plans and the status of the progress on the new revenue recognition standards, including any required updates to internal control over financial reporting. The audit committee should also communicate with auditors about any concerns the auditors may have regarding management’s application of the standard.

Auditor Independence. Audit committees should “own” the selection of the audit firm, including making final decisions in the negotiation of audit fees. In its oversight of the audit relationship, audit committees must oversee auditor independence. The Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) encourages audit committees and management to address independence questions with the SEC staff. If an auditor submits an independence matter to OCA, the SEC staff will sometimes reach out to the audit committee to understand its position.

The speech also touched on the PCAOB’s proposed changes to audit reports, which I blogged about earlier this month.

Liz Dunshee