January 20, 2021

End of an Era: Corp Fin’s Shelley Parratt to Retire

Yesterday, the SEC announced Shelley Parratt is retiring after a remarkable 35 years of service with the agency.  For many, Shelley’s name is synonymous with Corp Fin – she’s currently the Division’s Acting Director and joined Corp Fin in 1986.  Over the years, Shelley served on three occasions as the Division’s Acting Director – here’s Broc’s blog from 2009 when she became Acting Director – and has served as Corp Fin’s Deputy Director since 2003. The press release includes several highlights of Shelley’s career and notes she led Corp Fin’s Disclosure Program for more than 25 years. In recognition of her service, Shelley has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award, the SEC’s highest honorary award.  She’s also been recognized for her role in promoting women in leadership roles, this excerpt from the SEC’s press release provides a highlight:

Throughout her tenure, Ms. Parratt served as a trusted mentor for countless current and former SEC staff members. As one of the longest serving female senior executives at the SEC, Ms. Parratt used her role to mentor and promote women into leadership roles. Always focused on the present and future needs of the Division, she helped lead the Division’s efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, knowledge management and staff training with a primary focus on developing the Division’s future leaders. SEC Chair Mary Jo White recognized these efforts by presenting her with the Leading for the Future award in 2016.

Acting Chair Roisman recognized Shelley’s service and contributions, saying ‘Shelley epitomizes the dedication and expertise that are hallmarks of the SEC’s professionals, and we owe her a great debt of gratitude for her decades of public service.’

Shareholders Approve Public Company Conversion to PBC – In a Landslide!

Last fall, Liz blogged about some of the possible benefits of B-corps. At that time, Veeva Systems had formed a board committee to explore becoming a public benefit corporation. Of course one hurdle to a public company PBC conversion is the need for shareholder approval. Last week, Veeva announced that its shareholders gave the company two thumbs up as they overwhelmingly approved the company’s proposal to convert to a PBC – the company received support from 99% of its voting shareholders.  On February 1, Veeva will become a PBC, making it the first publicly traded company and largest-ever to convert to a PBC, here’s an excerpt from the company’s press release:

As a PBC, Veeva will remain a for-profit corporation but will be legally responsible to balance the interests of multiple stakeholders, including customers, employees, partners, and shareholders. It will also broaden its certificate of incorporation to include a public benefit purpose, ‘to help make the industries it serves more productive and create high-quality employment opportunities.’

A key technology partner to the life sciences industry, Veeva is dedicated to customers’ mission to advance human health and wellbeing. This move aligns Veeva’s legal charter with this broader mission and the company’s core values, including do the right thing, customer success, and employee success.

Tomorrow’s Webcast: “The Latest: Your Upcoming Proxy Disclosures”

Tune in tomorrow for the webcast – “The Latest: Your Upcoming Proxy Disclosures” – to hear Mark Borges of Compensia, Alan Dye of Hogan Lovells and, Dave Lynn of and Morrison & Foerster and Ron Mueller of Gibson Dunn discuss all the latest guidance – including the latest SEC positions – about how to use your executive & director pay disclosure to improve voting outcomes and protect your board, as well as how to handle the most difficult issues on oversight, engagement and disclosure of executive & director pay.

– Lynn Jokela